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Innovating in Cannabis policy

Since 2012, adult use Cannabis legalization has arisen as one of the America’s greatest social experiments. Serving as the catalyst to a newfound awareness of the limitations of federalism, the state-confined legalization of Cannabis is an innovation in public policy. Before beginning to identify avenues that further innovate Cannabis policy, we must start with this premise: that a regulatory infrastructure tailored to create a limited yet inclusive economy with a federally illicit controlled substance is intrinsically innovative. As with all innovative policies, diffusion across jurisdictions has become rampant. In the 10-year period from the “birth year” of Cannabis legalization for adult consumers to the year of preparing this chapter, 22 states have legalized Cannabis for adult use. In this same timeframe, 23 states legalized Cannabis for medical consumers,
leading to a total of 38 states with a form of legalized Cannabis. Many of these states are overlapping, suggesting that the liberalization of Cannabis policies within jurisdictions has also been seen with urgency.

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