Regulating Marijuana: Legal and Planning Issues

What You'll Learn

  • Understand basic approaches to regulating medical or recreational marijuana businesses, including production, distribution, and retail facilities.
  • Evaluate state regulation of various marijuana businesses — production, distribution, and retail — including the effect of various policies on issues of social inclusion and diversity.
  • Tips for drafting effective regulations for various marijuana businesses within a state’s legal framework.

More Course Details

This course 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 in their regulation — or prohibition — of marijuana businesses.

These choices can address any of the following, depending on state law:

  • Accepting, reviewing, and processing applications, renewals, and transfers
  • Issuing and renewing business permits and licenses
  • Deciding on zoning approvals for marijuana production facilities, retail stores, and other establishments
  • Tracking multiple department inspections of new licenses or changes, as well as annual inspections
  • Managing building permits for construction of new establishments
  • Conducting code enforcement investigations, hearings, and other enforcement activities
  • Collecting fees for permits or licenses
  • Collecting business taxes
  • Managing activities that are subject to environmental, health, or safety regulations, such as regulating establishments that produce edible products infused with marijuana
  • Sending required reports to the state

Get an overview of these issues and learn the differing regulatory approaches and experiences of representative cities. The course concludes with an in-depth case study of regulation in Oakland, California, including an evaluation of how regulation has affected communities of color.