Patterns of youth participation in cannabis cultivation

Holly Nguyen, Martin Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The current study examines the patterns of youth participation in cannabis cultivation by developing a typology among a sample of young offenders (n=175) in a rural region of Quebec, Canada known for its extensive outdoor cultivation industry. A hierarchical cluster analysis approach is used to group participants on various dimensions: motivation, substance use, delinquency and type of participation in cannabis cultivation. We also explore the role that criminal networks have in structuring the nature of youth involvement in the cultivation industry. Two general categories of participants emerged: participants for which cultivation is mainly a money generating activity (Entrepreneurs and Generalists), and participants who grow for personal use and intangible rewards (Hobbyists). Further, we found another group, the "helpers", who qualify as "participants" to the cultivation industry, but not as "growers" per se. For generalists, participation to the cultivation industry is found among a portfolio of other crimes, while entrepreneurs tend to specialize in cultivation and are rewarded by achieving a higher level of success. Our results also suggest a correlation between the intensity of involvement in cultivation and the size of a youth's criminal network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-294
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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