The Public Health Institute (PHI) has released its fourth annual scorecards for local cannabis policies in California. These grades are based on efforts to encourage cannabis safety, including keeping cannabis out of the hands of children. High scores are correlated with restrictive environments for cannabis consumers overall.
Out of 100 points, cities and counties that allow brick-and-mortar shops scored an average of 21. The average score was just 11 among localities where only deliveries are permitted.
“The legal market in California has grown enormously and is now stabilizing,” said Dr. Lynn Silver who heads PHI’s Getting it Right from the Start program. “Yet, the state and many local jurisdictions still failed to put in place the guardrails necessary to protect youth and public health. These scorecards provide a clear roadmap for cities and counties to meet this moment.”
The City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) earned the highest score (51) for jurisdictions that allow storefronts. PHI credited policies limiting the number of cannabis retailers and mandating large buffer zones around youth-servicing facilities. South Lake Tahoe saw the greatest improvement (+12 points) because of a new cannabis tax that funds youth programs.
For delivery-only jurisdictions, San Benito County ranked No. 1 (35 points). PHI cited restricted delivery locations, a local tax, and prohibitions on cannabis billboards. Among delivery-only jurisdictions, Burlingame saw the biggest increase in its score.
Biggs, Arcata, and Eureka received scores of 0.
Here are some additional findings from the report:
- 76% of jurisdictions limit the number of cannabis retailers
- 58% of jurisdictions have stronger buffer zones around youth-serving facilities than the state
- Just 22 jurisdictions have equity hiring and licensing policies
- 165 jurisdictions have enacted local cannabis taxes
View the scorecards here.