1 in 7 Cannabis Consumers Have Purchased Marijuana From an Out-of-State Market, Finds Study

According to a new study published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, one out of every seven cannabis consumers in the United States say they’ve purchased marijuana from an out-of-state market within the past year. The study was aptly titled Out-of-state cannabis purchases in the United States.

For the study data came respondents “who participated in Wave 1 of the International Cannabis Policy Study (ICPS), conducted in August-October 2018.” Respondents “were aged 16–65 years who had used cannabis in the past 12 months.” They were recruited “using the Nielsen Consumer Insights Global Panel. Binary logistic regression models examined likelihood of any out-of-state cannabis purchases in the prior year, including differences by cannabis regulations, and time since recreational cannabis retail sales began.”

Overall, “15.0 % of US cannabis users had made any out-of-state cannabis purchases in the past 12 months”, states the study. “Respondents in states where recreational cannabis was legal were less likely to make any out-of-state purchases than respondents in states where only medical cannabis was legal and where all cannabis was prohibited.”

Among respondents in ‘legal’ states, “a longer history of legal sales was associated with a lower likelihood of out-of-state cannabis purchases.”

Researchers conclude by stating that “The findings demonstrate that consumers in states where recreational cannabis is legal were less likely to purchase cannabis out-of-state than consumers in states where recreational cannabis is not legal. Future research should examine which states people travel to purchase cannabis and why.”

The full abstract of this study is listed below:

Background

Cannabis legalization at the US state level may have implications for cross-border purchases and diversion of legal products. The current study examined the association between out-of-state purchases and 1) cannabis regulations; and 2) the length of time a state has had recreational retail sales.

Methods

Data come from US respondents who participated in Wave 1 of the International Cannabis Policy Study (ICPS), conducted in August-October 2018. Respondents were aged 16–65 years who had used cannabis in the past 12 months (n = 4320). Respondents were recruited using the Nielsen Consumer Insights Global Panel. Binary logistic regression models examined likelihood of any out-of-state cannabis purchases in the prior year, including differences by cannabis regulations, and time since recreational cannabis retail sales began.

Results

Overall, 15.0 % of US cannabis users had made any out-of-state cannabis purchases in the past 12 months. Respondents in states where recreational cannabis was legal were less likely to make any out-of-state purchases than respondents in states where only medical cannabis was legal (AOR = 0.45, 95 % CI: 0.34-0.60, p < 0.001) and where all cannabis was prohibited (AOR = 0.36, 95 % CI: 0.26-0.50, p < 0.001). Among respondents in ‘legal’ states, a longer history of legal sales was associated with a lower likelihood of out-of-state cannabis purchases (AOR = 0.82, 95 % CI: 0.72-0.93, p = 0.002).

Conclusion

The findings demonstrate that consumers in states where recreational cannabis is legal were less likely to purchase cannabis out-of-state than consumers in states where recreational cannabis is not legal. Future research should examine which states people travel to purchase cannabis and why.

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