Model Ordinance Regulating Local Cannabis Retail Sales and Marketing in California

June 15, 2022

This Model Ordinance was also written as part of the Public Health Institute’s Getting It Right from the Start: Local Regulation of Recreational Cannabis project, which provides guidance to help California jurisdictions reduce negative health impacts of legalization of recreational cannabis. The Model Ordinance principally addresses regulatory challenges surrounding retail sales and marketing. It provides guidance for enacting basic regulatory structures at the local level, with examples for specific policies related to pricing, permit regulation, allowable and prohibited products, compliance monitoring, advertising and marketing. The Ordinance cites the declining popular perception of marijuana’s harm as a key issue. This is coupled with growing evidence that marijuana use causes serious and specific harms to several populations, especially children and young adults under 25 years old. California’s large marijuana crop creates a strong incentive to expand consumption, but the Ordinance demands that economic opportunity be balanced with population health considerations. Furthermore, profits from marijuana sales should be shared with low-income communities that have been most affected by the war on drugs.

Lynn Silver & Alisa Padon, Public Health Institute