Getting it Right

From the Start

Advancing Public Health & Equity in Cannabis Policy


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. 


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


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. 



Tel: 510.285.5648

Fax: 510.285.5501


Public Health Institute

555 12th Street,10th Floor

Oakland, CA 94607