Cannabis Retailers Not Linked to Elevated Crime Rates, Teen Use

Mary Jane’s medicinal marijuana dispensary in Eugene, Oregon. (Flickr/Rick Obst)

SEATTLE, WA — The establishment of licensed cannabis retailers is not associated with negative impacts on local crime rates, adolescent use, or home values, according to a literature review published by

Researchers at the website, in partnership with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies at Humboldt State University, identified 42 papers specific to the community impact of cannabis storefronts.

They reported: “Crime near licensed dispensaries has generally stayed flat or decreased, teen cannabis use in legal states has fallen since legalization, and property values near cannabis outlets generally are not affected or, in some cases, experience a greater value increase than comparable properties not near a cannabis outlet. … Despite the fears of those who want to ban cannabis stores, the published research finds that legal retailers are safe, responsible neighbors.”

Authors acknowledged that false claims surrounding dispensaries continue to persist despite ample evidence to the contrary. The prevalence of such claims has led to local bans on the establishment of licensed retail facilities in many states. Specifically, in California, 75 percent of localities impose bans on the establishment of cannabis storefronts, while 65 percent of cities and counties in Colorado impose similar prohibitions.

Full text of the study, “Special Report: Debunking Dispensary Myths,” appears online. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Societal Impacts of Cannabis Dispensaries/Retailers.”

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