By Tom Decorte and Gary R. Potter / EMCDDA
Worldwide, patterns of cannabis cultivation have shifted from production for international markets concentrated in certain developing countries, to decentralised production in almost every country. In response to the synchronous expansion of cannabis cultivation in many industrialised countries, cross-national research is needed to develop a better understanding of the characteristics of those involved in cannabis cultivation. This need for further research forms the context within which the Global Cannabis Cultivation Research Consortium (GCCRC) was created and the International Cannabis Cultivation Questionnaire (ICCQ) was developed. The ICCQ was developed to bridge the gap in international comparative research, as early empirical studies on cannabis cultivation in the global north focused on large-scale, commercially oriented growers, or examined small samples. This paper presents some of the key findings from the first wave of the ICCQ, the methodological lessons learned from implementing online surveys targeted at drug producers and the policy implications of the survey results. As this study shows, the survey has generated important substantive findings about cannabis cultivation, along with policy insights and methodological lessons, that would likely have been unattainable through other methods.