Study Finds Washington’s Cannabis Shops Are More Prevalent In Disadvantaged Areas

A study by Washington State University researchers found that cannabis dispensaries tend to be located in lower income neighborhoods. Though it did not offer definitive answers about the causes of this correlation, its results are leading some local Washington policymakers to question current zoning laws that affect where marijuana businesses can be located.

“It’s the same thing you see with NIMBYism, not in my backyard,” Spokane city council president Ben Stuckart said when contacted for his take on the study by a local publication. “NIMBYism is tough. If you tried to change it, then you’d have all those same neighborhoods coming out to speak against it.”

Stuckart was asked to comment because he has lobbied to open up prime Spokane neighborhood commercial areas to cannabis businesses. When the city council voted on zoning regulations in September, every other member voted against his suggestions to ease up on current restrictions.

To Stuckart, policy decisions like these say everything you need to know about why marijuana businesses are located in the areas that they are.

“It’s government decision-making, not just because of the industry,” he commented.

A Question of Zoning Regulations

Initiative 502 regulated adult use cannabis in 2012, and the rules

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