Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


Alison Bates

Second Advisor

Justin Becknell

Third Advisor

Michael Donihue


This study is an exploration of the recreational cannabis industry in the state of Maine, specifically exploring environmental, social, and economic sustainability and the barriers that the industry faces in order to be more sustainable. Studies about the recreational cannabis industry are extremely limited due to the plants’ lack of federal legalization and limited information. While this study works to examine sustainability in the industry, it also serves as a baseline or even an entryway into the field of cannabis research. As cannabis makes strides into the business world and starts developing a status as a cash crop in many states that have legalized it, it becomes more relevant economically. This, along with many reasons surrounding the increasing popularity of cannabis, show that research in this field needs to be conducted regardless of its legalization status.


cannabis, Maine, sustainability, assessment, industry, recreational