California Local Laws Database

California’s legalization of cannabis in 2016 was tempered by laws which established substantial local discretion in whether or not to allow cannabis commerce and how it would operate. Since legal retailing began in 2018 Getting it Right from the Start has created and annually updated a comprehensive database of California local cannabis policies in all of the state’s 539 cities and counties.

This database provides the essential information to issue annual local policy scorecards and draw conclusions regarding what state localities are doing right when it comes to prioritizing public health in the wake of cannabis legalization, and what areas need improving. It is also extensively used for research in studies looking at how the natural experiment of local policy variation in California is affecting health outcomes, for example for pregnancy, neonates, and adolescents, how the policy landscape is changing over time, and how the cannabis industry is evolving in terms of equity. Over 170 variables are collected for each jurisdiction. We have a number of collaborative research projects with different institutions.

For any questions or if you are interested in research collaboration, please contact Dr. Lynn Silver, Director, Getting it Right from the Start, at or Dr. Alisa Padon, Research Director at