Murrow professors Stacey Hust and Jessica Willoughby recently completed phase one of a two-phase contract with the King County Department of Health. The first phase of the project examined teens’ perceptions of cannabis product packaging. The study was designed to help elucidate what elements of product packaging youth may find appealing and how they interpret warning information presented on those packages. Using virtual focus groups with 29 teens from across the state, the research team found that teens’ perceptions of what was appealing in product packaging was highly nuanced. What is more, serving size and warning information presented on packaging was interpreted differently by participants based on their experiences with cannabis and their media literacy.

Phase two will see Hust and Willoughby expand the research to include a survey of more than 400 teens across Washington state. They will examine if the larger sample population finds similar appeals in the products and how perceptions related to packaging are associated with intentions and use of cannabis. Profs. Hust and Willoughby presented the findings of their work to public health professionals across the state and members of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board as part of their research dissemination efforts.