Adolescent Advertising Exposure to Cannabis Products in Rural Oklahoma via Medical Dispensaries


Objectives:

We assess cannabis advertising exposure among adolescents in rural Oklahoma from medical dispensaries.


Methods:

Our mixed-methods study identified medical dispensaries within a 15-minute drive-time of rural Oklahoma high schools. Study staff completed observational data collection forms and took photographs of each dispensary. Quantitative data from the forms and qualitative coding of photographs were used to describe dispensary characteristics and likely advertising exposure for adolescents.


Results:

Ninety-two dispensaries were identified across 20 rural communities. The majority presented as retail spaces (n=71). Product (n=22) and price promotions (n=27) were common. Coding of dispensary photographs found that product promotions advertised cannabis use modalities, with cannabis flower being the most common (n=15) followed by edibles (n=9) and concentrates (n=9). Among dispensaries with price promotions, discounts (n=19) and prices under $10 (n=14) were common.


Conclusions:

Sampled rural medical dispensaries present as retail spaces and are a likely source of adolescent cannabis advertising exposure.


Public health implications:

Cannabis advertising via dispensaries likely modifies the adolescent perceived risk environment, even in states where recreational use is illegal.

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