In the News
Local Jurisdictions Scored on Cannabis Ordinances to Protect Youth and Social Equity
- Desert Review
Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs & Mental Health
Public Policy Advocacy
Getting it Right from the Start: Regulation of Recreational Marijuana
Getting it Right from the Start, a program of the Public Health Institute (PHI), has compiled information on how well cities and counties have adopted cannabis ordinances to protect youth. The compiled data from 157 scorecards summarize cannabis policies in each of the California cities and counties that have opted to permit storefront sales of recreational cannabis.
“California is solidly in the ‘Wild West’ of cannabis regulation, creating an overheated cannabis market that has already led to increases in teen use. This approach can have serious negative impacts on physical and mental health,” said Pediatrician Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, who heads PHI’s Getting it Right from the Start project.
After Californians voted to legalize cannabis, local jurisdictions were tasked with deciding how to approach commercial cannabis in their communities. The County of Imperial Planning and Development Services conducted a public lottery for commercial cannabis activity licenses in April of 2018, where Imperial County awarded five wholesale distribution licenses, five virtual retail licenses, and one physical medicinal license. With storefront sales of recreational cannabis in facilities located in Imperial and Calexico, PHI tallied scores for both cities.
The City of Imperial received a score of 19, an increase from 16 points in 2019. The City of Calexico received a score of nine, a decrease from 11 points in 2019. The County of Imperial as a whole received an overall unincorporated area score of nine, a decrease from 17 in 2019.
The highest score possible is 100 points, with an average of 19 points. PHI stated between 2019 and 2020, scores improved by an average of two points.
The City of Imperial hit several key areas for adopting policy beyond state law, including limiting the number of retailers, requiring distance between retailers, limiting billboards, and adopting business signage restrictions.
Click below to read the full article from the Desert Review.
Originally published by Desert Review