USC Study Shows Unlicensed Cannabis Still Flourishing, Especially in Black and Brown Neighborhoods

A new study out of the University of Southern California shows that illicit cannabis operators are more likely to establish businesses in Black and Latino neighborhoods. That means people of color are more likely to have access to unregulated, untested products that may be unsafe and often come in packaging that can be easily accessed by children.

The same study found that neighborhoods with only licensed cannabis shops tend to be mostly white. It also found that unlicensed businesses flourish more in unincorporated communities governed by county officials, rather than incorporated cities.

Overall, the study found just 448 licensed cannabis dispensaries in the state compared to 662 unlicensed shops as of October 2018. It concluded that access to licensed cannabis remains a problem overall, with just 8% of the population living within a reasonable distance of a licensed dispensary.

Read more at the Orange County Register