(Carson, CA) – California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) received a $1,866,311 grant from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) to conduct research on the cannabis industry in the South Bay and other local Los Angeles County communities CSUDH serves. The funding is part of close to $30 million in research grants awarded to public universities across the state by the bureau.
With the passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, the BCC has made research funding available for grants in several categories, including public health, criminal justice and public safety, economic, environmental impacts, and the cannabis industry.
CSUDH and Humboldt State University are the only two California State University proposals that were chosen for funding. The remaining 33 grants were awarded to University of California campuses.
Titled the Cannabis Research Grant, the initiative is designed to understand the South Bay’s response to Prop. 64 across municipalities, according to Anthony Samad, executive director of the Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute (Dymally Institute) at CSUDH. Samad is as principle investigator for the campus-based proposal, and the Cannabis Research Grant is a Dymally Institute initiative.
“A regional approach was key to the uniqueness of our proposal,” said Samad. “Our plan was to address three different categories – industry, economic, and criminalization – in region-based research that includes the service area of the university. We felt this approach increased our chances for a successful proposal.”
CSUDH’s South Bay Economics Institute (SBEI) and the College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP) were recruited by the Dymally Institute to be collaborators on the grant. The research project is named, “Cannabis Industry in South Bay Los Angeles,” and its findings will contribute to public policy debates and be benefit policy makers in the South Bay, and nationwide.
Those include Torrance, Hawthorne, Carson, Inglewood and Lawndale in the South Bay, as well as Long Beach, Compton, the unincorporated county community of Willowbrook and the L.A city neighborhood Watts.
The Economics Institute will examine the inequities in cannabis market participation in the region. “The South Los Angeles study region is a particularly fascinating one for this study as there are municipalities with different approaches to regulating cannabis in terms of growing, distribution, and sales,” said Fynwinn Prager, associate professor of public administration at CSUDH and a SBEI co-founder.
Rama Malladi, associate professor of finance at CSUDH, will represent CBAPP by conducting a comprehensive economic impact analysis of Prop. 64 on the South Bay by ethnic group, which will include research on job creation, cannabis revenue, taxes generation and evasion, and legal and illicit market prices.
“We will research if cannabis consumption in South Bay Los Angeles results in an externality; if one segment of the population bears the cost while another segment reaps the benefits,” said Malladi. “These externalities may have a disproportionate impact on socio-economically disadvantaged populations, such as those in the South Bay region that we propose to study in detail.”
The Dymally Institute will assess whether recreational cannabis policy has adversely impacted criminal justice policies across municipalities, and whether cannabis law outcomes perform as intended, or are there impacts on recreational cannabis policy unintended outcomes. The Dymally Institute will also evaluate Prop. 64’s “Social Equity” policy to determine whether it has performed as intended.
“We are honored our research proposal was accepted and funded,” said Samad. “We look forward to what our research produces.”