Public Administration

Maximizing Social Equity as a Pillar of Public Administration: An Examination of Dispensary Licensing in Pennsylvania

Authors

Abstract

Public administration upholds four key pillars for administrative practice: economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and social equity. The question arises, however, how do administrators balance these often-competing priorities when implementing policy? Can the values which contributed to administrative decisions be measured? This study leverages the expansion of medical cannabis programs in the states to interrogate these questions. Focusing on the awarding of dispensary licenses in Pennsylvania affords the ability to determine the effect of social equity scoring on license award decision, relative to criteria that represent the other pillars of public administration. The results show that safety and business acumen were the most important determining factors in the awarding of licenses, both effectiveness and efficiency concerns. Social equity does not emerge as a significant determinant.

Content

Thumbnail image of APSA 2021 Equity Disparities in Cannabis Policy Final.pdf

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