JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The case for small-scale domestic cannabis cultivation

Tom Decorte
International Journal on Drug Policy 2010, 21 (4): 271-5
20176465
The shift to (inter)regional production, trade and domestic cultivation has become an irreversible international trend. Until now, the focus of most empirical work has been on large-scale, commercially oriented and professionally organized segments of the cannabis industry, often based on police data and on the perspective of law enforcement agencies. This paper offers a review of recent Dutch-language research that focuses on cannabis cultivation. Empirical studies were identified through literature searches using relevant search terms and Web of Science, Elin, Social Science Research Network and Elsevier ScienceDirect. The paper presents the main findings of Dutch and Belgian empirical work on the factors that stimulated the import substitution process on the cannabis market, aspects related to quality and potency issues, typologies of cannabis growers, and (unintended) effects of pursued policies. In the light of this (selective) review the author offers some commentary and analysis concerning the claims made by different stakeholders, and concludes with some reflections on future research and on policy implications. The author outlines the importance of small-scale, independent or ideologically oriented cannabis cultivation as an under-researched market segment. The author also makes a case for greater toleration of small-scale cannabis cultivation, to secure the least worst of cannabis markets.

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