As marijuana legalization and support for legalization continue to gain momentum, one of the biggest hurdles that the cannabis industry faces is imagined fears. In particular, there is a lot of confusion surrounding dispensaries. In fact, Pew Research found that there is a 25-point percentage gap between respondents’ support for legalization (which stands at 75 percent) and their support for a dispensary opening nearby (which stands at 50 percent).
Some people worry that legal dispensaries will increase crime and underage consumption while lowering surrounding property values. But that’s not actually the case. Leafly recently released a report which debunked many of the fear-inducing myths that surround dispensaries, and other aspects of marijuana production.
Their key findings are below:
- Crime rates are unaffected: An overwhelming majority of reports done on dispensaries found that crime rates weren’t negatively affected when a dispensary opened nearby. Crime rates either held steady or, in some cases, dropped off significantly.
- Teen use remained unaffected: Reports coming from Oregon, Washington, and Colorado showed that teen marijuana use in neighborhoods surrounding legal adult dispensaries dropped. Federal reports also demonstrated that teen use was the lowest it had been over the past 20 years.
- Property values rose: One study indicated that property values in a city that had at least one legal dispensary were 6 percent higher than towns that had banned dispensaries. Another found that home values went up by 7.7 percent within a half-mile radius of a new dispensary.
Overall, the report found that legal dispensaries “are tremendous employers and socially responsible members of the communities in which they operate.” As an increasing number of cities and counties around the country will be faced with weighing the pros and cons of allowing legal cannabis dispensaries to open, they’d be wise to consider the facts.
Read the rest of the Leafly report here.