August 30, 2011

Data Shadows of an Underground Economy

Following on from our "Price of Weed" maps featured in the September issue of Wired, we would like to make available the draft report that the maps came from. The full title of the paper is "Data Shadows of an Underground Economy: Volunteered Geographic Information and the Economic Geographies of Marijuana."

Please note that we are still working on the paper (so excuse any lack of polish), but would certainly appreciate any comments and critiques on the draft before we submit it for peer-review.


  1. So I'm curious as to what sort of differences there were in the distribution of measured "quality" (high/med/low) across space. I'm thinking that a person from Humboldt County might have a very different definition of "high quality" than someone from Wyoming.

    The other thing I was thinking about is localized cannabis production. You note that the 16 states with legalized medical marijuana see less expensive prices. I'm wondering what would happen if you attempted to derive great circle distances for each of the major urban hubs in these states? I'd expect a great deal of cannabis to be produced "in-house" by dispensaries and/or in the general vicinity of dispensaries by caregivers. I'd also expect that the excess makes it to market much in the same way that pharmaceuticals do.

    Anyhow, terribly interesting paper! Thanks for sharing.

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