Model Comments

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We encourage communities that are considering legalizing cannabis, or that are in the process of legalizing cannabis, to adopt public health protective cannabis ordinances.

We have captured our research into best practices in our model ordinances, comments and principles sheet.  We encourage you to download these documents and use them as guidance. 


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

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? This cross-sectional study of all 539 California cities and counties
found that jurisdictions differed widely in how they regulated marijuana and that key public health recommendations and lessons from tobacco control have generally not been adopted, although local innovation is emerging.

California Cannabis Tax Revenues: A Windfall for Law Enforcement or an Opportunity for Healing Communities?

Proposition 64 promised to take cannabis revenues and invest them in youth programs, substance abuse treatment, and more. This report from Youth Forward and PHI's Getting It Right from the Start, shows cities across California are are spending cannabis revenues on city and county law enforcement.

Our Model Ordinances

Retail & Marketing Model Ordinance

This ordinance covers best practices in retail, including hours, potency & product restrictions, youth protection, caps on dispensaries, and equity considerations.

Special Tax Model Ordinance 

This ordinance is our recommended approach to taxation in that it directs revenue towards specified public health and prevention funding.

General Tax Model Ordinance

Our alternative tax ordinance, this approach places revenue in a general fund with an advisory panel.

Our Model Comments & Letters

We draft model comments and letters on proposed cannabis regulations for submission to the appropriate regulatory agencies. These comments are based on best scientific evidence and information available. Comments are downloadable and available as models for public use. 


Our Principles Handout


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