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Pioneer State

Pioneer State

Paul Barbagallo

Almost 10 years ago, Washington state broke major ground as one of the first two states to legalize adult-use cannabis. After a decade of both success and growing pains, the story of Washington state and cannabis can be read as a classic tale of “pioneer’s dilemma.”

When you’re a pioneer, there is no rulebook, no signposts, no beacon in a storm. Pioneers become pioneers because they understand that even the smartest minds and most careful planning can do little to help remove the uncertainty of moving first. But still they go. That means unintended consequences and unforeseen challenges. In contrast, later-moving states have the luxury of reviewing past successes and failures of others (like those of Washington state) and attempting to validate assumptions and calibrate approaches. They proceed only when they’re sure, emphasizing getting it right rather than getting there first.

Pioneer State






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