Conducted at the initiative of a multidisciplinary team of researchers, the Cannalex project was born out of a partnership between the INHESJ (French National Institute for Advanced Studies in Security and Justice) and the OFDT (French Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction) with financial support from the CSFRS (Council for Strategic Research and Training). The study results were presented by the research team on October 6, 2017, in Paris. The purpose of the study, initiated within the first few years of implementing cannabis regulation reforms in Colorado, Washington State and Uruguay (between 2015 and 2017), was to draw up a situational analysis based on encounters with stakeholders on the ground – whether falling within the scope of the public authorities, regulatory authorities, or civil society organizations – committed to the process for legalizing recreational and personal cannabis use.

Cannalex also aimed to measure the initial consequences of the reforms in terms of politics, economics, health, and crime. Given the recent and changing nature of the policies implemented in these three states, the conclusions drawn from the study may only perceived as temporary in nature and exclude the impact of the reform, as this could only be determined in the longer term.