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UC Berkeley to Explore Booming U.S. Cannabis Industry in Case Study

Graduate students at Berkeley-Haas are conducting a case study on an African American cannabis entrepreneur to explore both the flourishing cannabis market and the industry social justice and public policy issues.

MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business are preparing to publish one of the first business school case studies on the cannabis industry. The case, “Cannabusiness in Washington D.C.,” will profile Corey Barnette, owner of two cannabis businesses — a cultivation center and a dispensary, both in Washington D.C.

The case study, lead authored by associate professor Rui de Figueiredo and co-authored by MBA students Jamaur Bronner, Mohsin Alvi and Deena Malaeb, will explore the business opportunities evolving from the nation’s budding market and the public policy and social justice issues surrounding the industry.

The study will be published later this month in the Berkeley-Haas Case Series and the California Management Review.

The authors acknowledge that the cannabis industry faces unique challenges due to federal laws prohibiting marijuana and legislation that varies state-to-state. Currently, while cannabis is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, 25 states have passed medical marijuana legislation and four states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Several more states could have marijuana laws on the books by the end of the year, as nine states have cannabis initiatives that have qualified for this November’s election.

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