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Todd’s PhD thesis is a multi-source investigation of issues with the implementation and evolution of the recreational cannabis market in Colorado. As the world’s first fully commercialised seed to sale legal marijuana market for adults, Colorado is an important example to begin examining early consequences of specific policy choices.

Qualitative research draws on the Colorado Official State Web Portal and other government documents such as House and Senate Bills, Governor Executive Orders, Legislative Council records, industry notifications, and meeting minutes. Additionally the following were examined: Retail Marijuana Code, emerging literature from noted cannabis scholars, media stories, interviews with senior regulators, industry executives and front line public health officials, together with field observations from tours of cultivation facilities, dispensaries, trade shows, and policy symposiums.

The research brings the material together to highlight important lessons learned from the Colorado cannabis markets for regulators in other jurisdictions considering the legalisation of cannabis for adult-use. A key finding of the study relates to the Sunset review 2018 that recommends the unification of medical and recreational cannabis markets in Colorado in order to streamline regulatory efficiency and maximise tax revenues.

Findings associated with the research have been disseminated in multiple international journals and conferences.

PhD Scholar (under examination) at National Drug Research Institute in Australia

Based: Sydney

Fieldwork: Denver, San Francisco

Overview of research: Check out this 2 minute video

Todd’s PhD thesis is a multi-source investigation of issues that arise from the implementation and evolution of the recreational cannabis market in Colorado. As the world’s first fully commercialised seed to sale legal marijuana market for adults, Colorado is an important example to begin examining early consequences of specific policy choices.

Data sources included the Colorado Official State Web Portal and other government documents such as House and Senate Bills, Governor Executive Orders, state-mandated impact and task force reports, Legislative Council records, industry notifications, and workgroup meeting minutes. Additionally, the following were examined: the Retail Marijuana Code (RMC); industry periodicals; emerging literature from noted cannabis scholars; media stories; interviews with senior regulators, industry executives and front-line public health officials; and field observations from tours of cultivation facilities, dispensaries, trade shows, and policy symposiums.

Todd subritzky: Education. Business, Awards
  • Originally from NZ, Todd completed his BSc (hons) in Sociology while living in Copenhagen, Denmark. With an entrepreneurial background, he has worked in Denmark for 10 years, China for 7 years, and Australia for 8 years among other ventures.
  • In 2017 Todd was awarded the Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarship (formerly known as Australian Postgraduate Award or APA) and the Curtin Research Scholarship (CRS) for students with exceptional research potential.
  • In recent times Todd completed postgraduate courses in quantitative and qualitative health research methodologies with distinction and high distinction respectively.
  • He is also a lecturer with La Trobe University (Sydney campus) on the Health Information Management (HIM) program where he teaches data analytics in health care and other evidence-based research subjects.
  • The entrepreneurial Todd has founded several companies including Kaizen Digital in 2011, which has overseen and successfully managed hundreds of web projects for Australian businesses including: web project management, strategy and consultation, analytics, data migration and backup, competitor analysis, market insights, reputation management, surveys, SOPs, online training and webinars, focus groups, data management, EDM, SEM, and SEO (traffic surge specialists).
  • Todd has also founded the site Medical Cannabis Doctors, which aims to connect patients with licensed GPs able to prescribe cannabis in Australia.
  • Cannabis Thought Leadership: Conference Papers and Presentations by Todd Subritzky
  • Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S., & Lenton, S. (2016). Testing times: issues with potency and pesticides in Colorado’s commercial recreational marijuana market – Paper presented at International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP 2016) Satellite Conference in Auckland, May 11 -12, 2016
  • Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S., & Lenton, S. (2016). Smoke and mirrors: issues relating to data collection and impact assessment in Colorado’s recreational cannabis market – Paper presented at International Society for the Study of Drug Policy (ISSDP 2016) Conference in Sydney, May 16 -18, 2016
  • Subritzky, T., Lenton, S., & Pettigrew, S. (2017). Developing regulations for pesticide usage on marijuana crops in Colorado – Paper presented at The 1st Annual Institute of Cannabis Research Conference at Colorado State University-Pueblo, Colorado, USA, April 28-30, 2017
  • Subritzky, T. (2018) Cannabis and the spectrum of wellness. Presented at Hemposium Conference, Mardi Grass, Nimbin NSW May 4, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TSeT1_lbnM
  • Subritzky, T. (2018) The strengths and weaknesses of the Colorado cannabis legalisation scheme – presented at NDRI Annual Symposium in Melbourne, November 22, 2018 http://ndri.curtin.edu.au/news-events/ndri-events/2018-annual-symposium

Peer-reviewed Academic Publications in International Journals

  • Subritzky, T., Lenton, S. and Pettigrew, S. (2019) Practical lessons learned from the first years of the regulated recreational cannabis market in Colorado. In Decorte, T., Lenton, S. and Wilkins, C. (eds.) The coming cannabis revolution? Regulatory models for (recreational) cannabis markets: experiences, scenarios and debates. Routledge, London.
  • Subritzky, T. (2018). Beyond deficit and harm reduction: Incorporating the spectrum of wellness as an interpretive framework for cannabis consumption. International Journal of Drug Policy, 60, pp. 18-23. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.07.013 [RJ1439]
  • Lenton, S. and Subritzky, T. (2017). On sentinel samples, sales data and potency. Commentary on Kilmer & Pacula: Greening the Black Market. Addiction, 112, (7), pp. 1137-1138. DOI: 10.1111/add.13756 [RJ1292]
  • Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S. and Lenton, S. (2017). Into the void: regulating pesticide use in Colorado’s commercial cannabis markets. International Journal of Drug Policy, 42, pp. 86-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.01.014 [RJ1252]
  • Subritzky, T., Lenton, S. and Pettigrew, S. (2016). Legal cannabis industry adopting strategies of the tobacco industry. Drug and Alcohol Review, 35, (5), pp. 511-513. DOI: 10.1111/dar.12459 [RJ1240]
  • Subritzky, T., Pettigrew, S. and Lenton, S. (2016). Issues in the implementation and evolution of the commercial recreational marijuana market in Colorado. International Journal of Drug Policy, 27, pp. 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2015.12.001 [RJ1125]

Project Reflections

  • Project Manager

    This was a unique project that really took me out of my comfort zone. It included custom building a search engine for niche media from around the world, stake holder management including intellectuals, senior government officials, cannabis entrepreneurs, and admin staff. And the end of it, after 5 years I got a PhD!

    October 19, 2018

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