Wednesday, December 29, 2021
The title of this post is the title of this paper recently posted to SSRN and authored by Philip Ewing, a student at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. (This paper is yet another in the on-going series of student papers supported by the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center.) Here is this latest paper's abstract:
As marijuana is quickly gaining legal status in an increasing number of states throughout the United States, states are faced with choices to make about how they will regulate the industry. One aspect of the regulatory scheme that states must implement is how they will allow businesses to be structured, specifically with regards to vertical integration. Vertical integration is a business structure where a company controls more than one aspect of a business, such as maintaining control over their suppliers, distributors, and retail locations. This allows companies to reduce overhead and reduce costs. Some states mandate that marijuana businesses must be completely integrated, controlling the business from “seed to sale,” others allow vertical integration but do not require it, and some states prohibit vertical integration. This paper will explore vertical integration and how it currently exists in the cannabis industry, detail current trends in state regulations regarding vertical integration, and evaluate policy considerations for the various regulatory approaches.