WSAS Project

Cannabis Research in Washington State


The Washington State Department of Commerce (DoC) has asked the Academy to help them better understand how they might increase Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) participation in research that informs that cannabis industry. For this project, WSAS will synthesize the current landscape of cannabis research in Washington State, including cannabis research that focuses on impacts to BIPOC individuals and communities. The Academy will also convene leading cannabis researchers in the state to identify how research can better inform the state’s cannabis industry and formulate ideas for how DoC may support the next generation of cannabis researchers in the state.

The impetus for this project is the WA state government’s recognition that the disproportionate enforcement of drug laws, specifically those relating to cannabis, for historically marginalized people, their families, and communities has created severe and harmful impacts. These impacts include long-lasting consequences and inequities to health, housing, employment, and long-term financial well-being, as well as a lower ability of those same communities most impacted to access and enter the legal cannabis market as growers, processors, or retailers.

Project Details


Requested of WSAS


April – December 2024


Washington Department of Commerce

Project Team


Celestina Barbosa-Leiker*, Chair
Washington State University

Beatriz Carlini
University of Washington

Rita Fuchs Lokensgard*
Washington State University

Michael McDonell*
Washington State University

Nephi Stella*
University of Washington

*WSAS members


Donna Gerardi Riordan
Executive Director

Renske Dyedov
Associate Program Officer

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