Community Trust Model of Cannabis Sales May Improve Public Opinion and Social Benefit of Cannabis Legalization
“You have to make some money before you can do some good”: Balancing the commercial, social and public health objectives in a “community enterprise” regulatory model for alcohol and cannabis
In the United States, the highly profit-driven nature of the cannabis industry has posed barriers to entry, particularly in regulation and dispensary ownership, and led to aggressive marketing and declining prices. To mitigate these issues, drug-policy researchers have proposed applying a “social enterprise” sales model to legal cannabis sales mirroring New Zealand’s alcohol licensing trusts.
Select retail alcohol outlets in New Zealand that are licensed as trusts are the sole distributors of alcohol in their district and allocate a proportion of their profits determined by the retailer toward grants and charities in the community. In their paper, Rychert and Wilkins propose that as long as conflict of interests are adequately reduced, this model could be a viable one for legal cannabis sales.
Additional Point: To reduce conflict of interests in community trust licensing, elected trustees could be banned from also holding elected positions in local governing bodies.