Transitioning to the new rural cannabis economy is a PhD project led by Tracey Harvey that aims to understand socioeconomic impacts of recreational cannabis legalization to rural regions of British Columbia.

Over the last 40 years or more, rural communities from the coastal islands, Fraser Valley, Okanagan and Kootenay region grew into cannabis producing clusters. While the outlaw cannabis industry was largely ignored and certainly excluded from economic contributions up until recently, it has been a significant, yet largely hidden part of the socioeconomic fabric of rural B.C. communities for decades. With the Kootenay region as the case study, the project goal is to evaluate how historically producing rural regions can effectively transition to the new legal cannabis economy.

Questions guiding this project include: To what extent has the cannabis industry supported rural B.C. economies? How will rural communities historically supported by the cannabis industry be impacted socially and economically with legalization of recreational cannabis? Who are the legalization stakeholders and how are they engaging in decision making? What training and education is needed for the rural workforce in response to legalization? What barriers exist for current cannabis industry participants to transition into the legalized regime? What opportunities and challenges come with legalization?

This research initiative is supported through the Mitacs Accelerate program in partnership with Community Futures of Central Kootenay and Selkirk College.

This information comes from the primary website for this research initiative – For more information on this research initiative contact Tracey Harvey.