Frontiers: Asymmetric effects of recreational cannabis legalization

Pengyuan Wang, Guiyang Xiong, Jian Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Recently, as cannabis was legalized for recreational use in an increasing number of states, it has become more important to understand the effects of cannabis policies, especially on youth. Marketers of other recreational substances are also paying close attention to cannabis policy changes. Alcohol and tobacco companies typically view the cannabis industry as a potential threat and are often found among the opponents to its legalization. However, based on extant research, the treatment effects of recreational cannabis legalization (RCL) and its cross-commodity effects on the alcohol and tobacco industries remain inconclusive. Analyzing large-scale web-based behavioral data, we find that although RCL significantly increases cannabis search, the increase comes from adults only, but not youth. RCL also influences alcohol and tobacco industries asymmetrically: it reduces search volume and advertising effectiveness for alcohol but increases those for tobacco. Hence, cannabis appears to be a substitute for alcohol but not tobacco.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-936
Number of pages10
JournalMarketing Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis legalization
  • Policy change
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Frontiers: Asymmetric effects of recreational cannabis legalization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this