Introduction to the Special Issue on Cannabis Policy in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities for Public Administration and Policy

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The state-legal cannabis industry has grown rapidly over the last few years. The decline of cannabis prohibition enforcement by the federal government and the adoption of medical and adult-use programs in the states have pushed the logic of prohibition to the brink. Even so, the legacy of federal and state prohibition looms over nearly every move that those in industry and policy administration make. Retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis were expected to reach $33 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach over $50 billion by 2026 (Editors 2022). Seemingly impervious to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cannabis market in the United States grew by 51% in 2022 (Fortune Business Insights 2021). In fact, the pandemic helped to accelerate cannabis access as many states largely deemed the product to be an essential service, ushering in expanded online ordering, pickup, and delivery of product. While only 23 percent of the U.S. population lives in a state without comprehensive medical or recreational marijuana, many of those live close enough to a bordering state-legal program. With cannabis remaining under federal prohibition, however, the states, the industry, and consumers face a variety of ongoing challenges



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