Article by Breanna Roycroft, Lift
Public Safety Canada (PSC) recently released “Cannabis Performance Metrics for Policy Consideration: What do we need to measure?” For a concise synopsis of the report, I recommend this recent piece for Lift ’ by Jenna Valleriani.
The report is a great first step by PSC to identify measurement and evaluation (M&E) opportunities and needs in the cannabis industry. The Trudeau government would be wise to heed their advice and invest in M&E prior to legislation in the Spring of 2017. Tracking the landscape prior to, during and post-legalization will allow them to measure whether their policy changes are having the desired effect. It will have the further benefit of strengthening the results for dissemination (positioning the Canadian government as a world leader in effective public safety policy).
Below is an overview of the first of four categories outlined in the report. The first category is Public Safety; it is comprised of 18 subcategories, which have been sorted for analysis into four buckets: Law & Order, Personal Use Trends, Production, and Transportation & Point-of-Sale.
The authors do a thorough job of identifying opportunities for increased M&E in law enforcement, including tracking incidents reported to the police by the public, cannabis related charges laid by law enforcement, outcomes of said charges, cannabis-related probation infraction, and illicit crop eradication, amongst others.
One glaringly obvious trend emerges from reading this section: law enforcement agencies in Canada, including local and provincial police forces as well as the RCMP, do not have the tools or training needed to adequately identify, capture and measure their interactions with cannabis.