Is Having a Cannabis Store in Your Neighbourhood a Good Thing?

 

Is having a cannabis store in your neighbourhood a good thing?

Although Mississauga city council said “no” to cannabis shops, it could reverse course in the not-too-distant future if it feels comfortable with how the private-store model performs in nearby municipalities. 

For that reason, homeowners might be wondering what impact—if any—stores could have on their neighbourhood in the future. 

While the answer to the question 'is having a cannabis store in your neighbourhood a good thing' may vary depending on who you talk to, a recent Zoocasa blog post posted by Lift and Co. -  a technology company that is working to modernize the cannabis industry - looks at a few different aspects that may help people come to their own conclusion.

Cannabis has only been legal in Canada for about seven months (cannabis was legal across the country as of Oct. 17, 2018). As a result, there is no data currently available pertaining to the effects that cannabis stores have on neighbourhoods across the country.

However, as noted in the blog post, we can look to our American friends for some hints.

"A 2017 study by the Wisconsin School of Business found Colorado neighbourhoods with cannabis stores saw increased property values of more than eight per cent after the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2014," reads the blog post.

In addition, according to the blog post, there is little evidence that links cannabis stores to increased criminality. 

However, there still are some negative aspects to take into consideration as well.

"The presence of dispensaries is associated with an increase in marijuana-related hospitalizations," notes the blog post. "But many argue that it's better than the alternative -- an unregulated black market -- and may even drive some positive health outcomes."

In fact, as noted by Lift and Co., Rhet Smith, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Arkansas, analyzed opioid-related treatment admissions in neighbourhoods, both with and without dispensaries. 

"What he found was neighbourhoods with dispensaries experienced a 20 per cent decrease in painkiller treatment over the first two years of operation," notes Lift and Co.

With all that being said, it is hard to pinpoint an exact answer to the big question.

What do you think?

Is having a cannabis store in your neighbourhood a good thing?

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