2018 National Planning Conference

Regulating Marijuana: Legal and Planning Issues

Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.50
L | 1.50

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198243

Location: 3020

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  • Describe basic approaches to regulating medical or recreational marijuana businesses, including production, distribution and retail facilities .
  • Evaluate options under state laws for regulating various marijuana businesses -- production, distribution and retail -- including the effect of various policies on issues of social inclusion and diversity .
  • Draft effective regulations for various marijuana businesses -- production, distribution and retail --within a state’s legal framework including the effect of regulations on issues of social inclusion and diversity .


This session examines the legal issues local governments face in states where marijuana has been legalized in some form. In these states, local governments must comply with state law as regards their regulation – or prohibition -- of marijuana businesses. These choices can address any of the following, depending on state law: (1) accepting, reviewing and processing applications, renewals and transfers; (2) issuing and renewing business permits and licenses;; (3) deciding on zoning approvals for marijuana production facilities, retail stores and other establishments; (4) tracking multiple department inspections of new licenses or changes, as well as annual inspections; (5) managing building permits for construction of new establishments; (6) conducting code enforcement investigations, hearings and other enforcement activities; (7) collecting fees for permits or licenses; (8) collecting business taxes; (9) managing activities that are subject to environmental, health or safety regulations, such as regulating establishments that produce edible products infused with marijuana; and (10) sending required reports to the state. The session presents an overview of these issues, discusses the differing regulatory approaches and experience of representative cities, and concludes with an in-depth case study of regulation in Oakland, CA including an evaluation of how regulation has affected communities of color.


This session qualifies for 1.5 Law CM.

Session Speakers

Karla Chaffee
Robinson & Cole, LLP
Boston, MA

greg minor
City of Oakland
oakland, CA

Alan Weinstein
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, OH