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2023 Cannabis Policy Scorecards Look at Health, Safety, Equity

PHI’s Getting it Right from the Start: Regulation of Recreational Marijuana program recently released their 2023 cannabis policy scorecards for California cities and counties. The scorecards help to measure how well cannabis ordinances are protecting youth and supporting social equity in the first five years of legalization.

  • California City News
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“The Public Health Institute (PHI) has released its fourth annual scorecards for local cannabis policies in California. These grades are based on efforts to encourage cannabis safety, including keeping cannabis out of the hands of children. High scores are correlated with restrictive environments for cannabis consumers overall.

Out of 100 points, cities and counties that allow brick-and-mortar shops scored an average of 21. The average score was just 11 among localities where only deliveries are permitted.

Lynn Silver
The legal market in California has grown enormously and is now stabilizing. Yet, the state and many local jurisdictions still failed to put in place the guardrails necessary to protect youth and public health. These scorecards provide a clear roadmap for cities and counties to meet this moment. Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, FAAP

Program Director, Getting it Right from the Start, Public Health Institute

The City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) earned the highest score (51) for jurisdictions that allow storefronts. PHI credited policies limiting the number of cannabis retailers and mandating large buffer zones around youth-servicing facilities. South Lake Tahoe saw the greatest improvement (+12 points) because of a new cannabis tax that funds youth programs.

For delivery-only jurisdictions, San Benito County ranked No. 1 (35 points). PHI cited restricted delivery locations, a local tax, and prohibitions on cannabis billboards. Among delivery-only jurisdictions, Burlingame saw the biggest increase in its score.

Biggs, Arcata, and Eureka received scores of 0.

Here are some additional findings from the report:

  • 76% of jurisdictions limit the number of cannabis retailers
  • 58% of jurisdictions have stronger buffer zones around youth-serving facilities than the state
  • Just 22 jurisdictions have equity hiring and licensing policies
  • 165 jurisdictions have enacted local cannabis taxes”

To read the full article, click on the link below.

image of cannabis policy scorecard for San Luis Obispo for 2023

2023 Cannabis Policy Scorecards

California cities and counties can now measure how well their cannabis ordinances are protecting youth and supporting social equity in the first five years of legalization. Scorecards summarize the evolution of cannabis policies in the 298 California cities and counties that have opted to permit retail sales, whether through storefronts and/or by delivery, of cannabis. The scorecards bring light to a patchwork of local policies that continue to mostly fall far short of what public health leaders believe is necessary.

See the scorecards

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