Modeling co-clustering of tobacco and cannabis outlet density and its impact on geographic disparities

Authors: Priyanka Vyas*, University of California, San Francisco, Pamela Ling, University of California, San Francisco
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Land Use, Applied Geography
Keywords: Co-location of tobacco and cannabis, neighborhood, spatial equity, land use
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Local policies governing tobacco retail environment are changing rapidly. Tobacco density reduction policies are aimed at reducing the concentration of tobacco retailers in low income and in ethnic minority neighborhoods. Simultaneously, legalization of recreational cannabis in California in 2018 poses a challenge due to the potential concentration of cannabis stores in neighborhoods with high tobacco outlet density. Co-clustering of high density of cannabis stores and tobacco outlets in the same neighborhoods may impact the effect of tobacco control policies. Current policies for cannabis retail licensing in California are limited to buffer policies around schools, youth sensitive areas and to a certain extent in residential areas. However, this could still allow dispensaries to locate in communities that have a high burden of tobacco use. Moreover, these guidelines do not include community colleges and higher educational institution where the risk of exposure remains the highest. Increased availability of recreational cannabis in neighborhoods with high tobacco retail density and could lead to potential co-use of tobacco and cannabis. We develop a geographic information science based decision-making tool that can simulate and model the impact of different cannabis licensing policies on geographic disparities. This research seeks to inform cannabis-licensing policy and promote environmental justice by identifying policy and neighborhood factors that drive geographic variation in co-clustering of tobacco and cannabis outlet density within and across cities in California. By integrating GIS-based measures, we can lower geographic disparities in concentration of outlet density and address risk factors that influence cancer-related disparities.

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