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Model Ordinances Regulating Local Cannabis Retail Sales, Marketing and Taxation in California

Explore model ordinances and resources for states or localities where cannabis has been legalized or legalization is being considered—designed to help discourage high potency products and youth use, and provide sustained financial support to local efforts to create healthier and more equitable communities and prevent substance abuse.

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Our Getting it Right from the Start project has prepared two model ordinances for California and a general statement of principles for action for states or localities where cannabis has been legalized or legalization is being considered. The Retailing and Marketing ordinance covers a wide range of policies that can allow legal access to cannabis while mitigating exposure of youth, increasing social equity, and reducing other negative public health impacts. The model ordinance/ballot initiative for local taxation of marijuana is designed to grow over time, help discourage high potency products and youth use, and provide sustained financial support to local efforts to create healthier and more equitable communities and prevent substance abuse. These resources are designed to be used as a starting point for local communities in developing their own local policies.

PHI’s Getting it Right from the Start: Local Regulation of Recreational Marijuana project team has been listening to experts and stakeholders from across the nation and from jurisdictions across the state to identify best practices and develop stronger local regulatory and taxation frameworks to protect youth, public health and social equity in the wake of legalization in California.

Through these conversations, the project team developed a model local ordinance for retailing and marketing and two model local ordinances/ballot initiative for local taxation of marijuana, designed to grow over time, help discourage high potency products and youth use, and provide sustained financial support to local efforts to create healthier and more equitable communities and prevent substance abuse. The resource is designed to be used as a starting point for local communities in developing their own local policies. The initial models were launched in 2017 and 2018 and updated in 2021.

The model ordinances were prepared by the project, working with Michael G. Colantuono, JD of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley PC, a leading municipal law and revenue expert and President of the Board of Trustees of the California State Bar, with generous assistance of several expert reviewers.

 

View model ordinances See the principles for regulation

 

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