Getting it Right from the Start

Advancing Public Health & Equity in Cannabis Policy


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They say the devil is in the details.

We’re here to help.
(for FREE!)

When California legalized cannabis through Proposition 64, the state left many of the details of cannabis policy to local jurisdictions.  Our project works with cities and counties, as well as other states, to provide guidance on adopting cannabis policies that reduce harms, protect against youth and problem cannabis use, and ensure social equity.

We have conveyed our research into best practices

Model Ordinances

Guidance on what ordinances and public health measures should be taken into consideration in regards to cannabis legalization in your community

Model Comments & Letters

Based on the best scientific evidence, we draft model comments & letters on proposed cannabis regulations 

Quick Reference

We have prepared an abbreviated version of our best practices for model ordinances 

Cannabis Products, What are They?

Product diversification is a key and concerning strategy of today’s cannabis industry. From inhalables to edibles, the world of cannabis products and their consumption is ever evolving. To  shed some light on this topic we have created an informational document, Cannabis Products, with some basics and examples of commonly used products currently available in the industry.

Access our most recent Webinar on Mobilizing Local Cannabis Tax Revenue in the COVID-19 Era here.

In 2018, 289, or 58% of California cities and counties legalized some form of commercial cannabis activity, including cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, retail or testing. Of those, at least 53% did not …

Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons From Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California

California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and adult recreational use in 2016, effective in January 2018.

What legal limits have cities and counties adopted since California legalized marijuana use for adults, and to what extent do these legal limits incorporate public health recommendations and lessons from tobacco control?

California Cannabis Tax Revenues Padding Law Enforcement Budgets

As activists across the country call to reduce funding for police departments, a report from Youth Forward and PHI’s Getting It Right from the Start shows cities across California are spending cannabis revenues on city and county law enforcement.

Program Goals

  • Protect children and youth

  • Don’t exacerbate existing health inequalities such as low birth weight, poor mental health outcomes, or lower high school graduation rates

  • Minimize cannabis dependency and attendant health and social harms

  • Minimize creation of a powerful new tobacco-like industry

  • Reduce social harms related to the war on drugs

  • Promote economic and social justice

Reach Us

Public Health Institute
555 12th Street, 10th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607

Tel: 510.285.5648
Fax: 510.285.5501

About Us

We collaboratively develop and test models of optimal cannabis policy (retail practices, marketing & taxation) with the goal of reducing harms, youth use & problem use. These models are based on the best scientific evidence and guided by the principles of public health, social justice, and equity. 

We also provide technical assistance to jurisdictions considering legalizing cannabis. Please contact us for more information.