This is the third edition of our guide to regulating legal markets for the non-medical use of cannabis. It is for policy makers, drug policy reform advocates and affected communities all over the world, who have witnessed the questions change from ‘Should we maintain cannabis prohibition?’ to ‘How will legal regulation work in practice?’, and now ‘What can we learn from the implementation of legally regulated markets?’
Transform first published How to Regulate Cannabis: A Practical Guide in 2013, shortly after Colorado and Washington passed state-level initiatives to legalise cannabis, and shortly before licensed sales of cannabis began. Since then, the cannabis policy scene has changed dramatically. As well as an ever-increasing number of state-level initiatives to legalise cannabis in the US, now well into the double figures, we have seen moves at a national level in Uruguay, Canada and Mexico — with more to follow. Cannabis regulation is no longer hypothetical, and the challenge is no longer to prove that workable frameworks exist; regulation has already been implemented in many different ways with differing impacts. Instead, the challenge now is to draw on best practice, learn lessons from early experiences, and make the case for optimising regulatory models to ensure they best protect public health, reduce harms, and promote social justice.
Early experiences of cannabis legalisation have brought the issues of social and racial justice to the fore. In this revised and updated version, Transform aims to spell out how to build a regulatory framework that truly works to promote social justice, as well as protecting public health. This book will help guide all those interested in cannabis policy through the key practical challenges to developing and implementing an effective regulation approach.