- Associated Press - Friday, December 6, 2019

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Washington State University researchers have released a study saying licensed cannabis companies are more likely located in less-educated neighborhoods across the state.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the research used publicly available data from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board checked against data from the Area Deprivation Index including median family income, single-parent households, median home values, employment levels and highest education attained.

Researchers say marijuana businesses from 2014 through 2017 were more likely to be in areas with high deprivation scores compared to their middle-class and upper-class counterparts.

University researchers say there is no definitive explanation for the results but could be because of higher demands for the drug, affordability of real estate and also laws regulating where business can operate.

Researchers say the study was intended to inform policymakers about a potential trend, not offer suggestions.

Officials say research by the four-member university faculty and staff research team was published in the November issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

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