“I am delighted that CSU Dominguez Hills has been awarded this critical funding for the important work they are doing,” said Sen. Steven Bradford, a Democrat who represents the South Bay area. “Their research will assist in understanding the role that the cannabis industry plays in economic revitalization and equity in our community, informing policy decisions for years.”
The money — part of more than $29 million in public university research grant funding to universities across California — was made available with the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016. Research proposals had to fall within one of the several specified categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic, environmental impacts, and the cannabis industry.
Fynnwin Prager, an associate professor of public administration and co-director of CSUDH’s South Bay Economics Institute, said the South Los Angeles study area is particularly fascinating for this study as there are municipalities with different approaches to regulating cannabis in terms of growing, distribution, and sales.
“Cannabis legalization has created new business opportunities and jobs in growth, distribution, and sales, but we don’t know to what extent, and whether these opportunities have been fairly distributed,” Prager said. “We are particularly interested in contributing to local municipality policy making as there are important differences between cities. But we are excited for the opportunities this grant will provide to our students to receive on-the-job training in economics and policy research around this emerging industry sector.”
The cannabis research will be led by CSUDH’s Mervyn M. Dymally Institute. Executive Director Anthony Samad said the institute recruited the SBEI and the College of Business & Public Policy to collaborate on the grant as part of a campus-based proposal.
“The plan was to address three different categories (Industry, Economic Criminalization) of a region-based research that included the service area of the university. We felt it increased our chances of a successful proposal,” Samad said.
The three aims of the project are:
- to examine the inequities in cannabis market participation in the South Bay;
- to conduct an economic impact analysis of Prop 64 on the South Bay, research job creation, cannabis revenue, taxes generated by the state and local cities, legal and illicit market prices, tax evasion, and the reasons behind such tax evasion, all by ethnic groups;
- to assess criminal justice policy impacts on recreational cannabis policy and intended outcomes.