Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Getting it Right from the Start: Local Regulation of Recreational Marijuana

Project Director(s)

Lynn Silver

State licensing of retail marijuana outlets in California began January 1, 2018. Cities and counties have a window of opportunity to either a) impose a temporary moratorium (even if this may be better phrased as a ban), with the intent of developing their regulatory framework more calmly; b) issue local ordinances to regulate the marijuana market before January; c) ban the sale of marijuana or d) do nothing, in which cases any rules adopted by the state will be in effect.

Getting it Right from the Start was created to develop tools and provide assistance to local jurisdictions and community partners to navigate this window and protect their community against further proliferation of youth use and problem use by instituting appropriate protections against unfettered promotion by the rapidly burgeoning legal marijuana industry.

The project is:

  • Developing a model local ordinance for licensing local marijuana retailers and marketing, using decades of accumulated experience from tobacco and alcohol control.
  • Carrying out research with stakeholders from other states who have legalized, local jurisdictions, academic marijuana, addiction and legal experts, taxation experts, marijuana businesses and community groups to identify best practices based on what we know and don’t know.
  • Developing legal analyses of relevant issues for local licensing, constraints on marketing and local taxation.
  • Developing a listserv, webinars and other technical assistance tools to support communities and exchange experiences and questions.
  • Providing public health oriented input to regulatory processes.

Learn more about the Getting it Right from the Start project.