Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Management (BBA)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Steven Stewart, Ph. D.


This explorative study attempts to identify norms and practices of new businesses within the emerging industry of recreational cannabis retailers; specifically in the context of their entrepreneurial characteristics, start-up behaviors, and firm behaviors and strategies (Duchesneau & Gartner, 1990). Due to the nature of emerging industries, there are many opportunities for firms to create a successful position in a new market. However, firms in emerging industries face an innate “liability of newness”, increasing the challenge and risk of new venture creation (Stinchcombe, 1965). This risk and stigma is increased when the industry lacks legitimacy in the eyes of consumers and other established industries or organizations. The lack of definitive legitimacy besets this industry with a unique challenge. Therefore, in addition to the measures mentioned above, this study seeks to identify the extent of stigma in the new industry and how firms may have been impacted or addressed it.