10 Reasons Commercial Cannabis Storefronts Aren't in Marin's Best Interest
  1. Support of Prop 64 was literally a vote for local control. It was not an open invitation or entitlement for the cannabis industry to create high-potency, youth-targeted products and set up shop in our neighborhoods.
     

  2. Although it is illegal and dangerous to drive under the influence of cannabis, many marijuana users report doing so; unfortunately, there is not an standardized objective test for driver impairment. A local storefront would attract out-of-town customers who may be driving impaired.
     

  3. Today’s marijuana is different and much more potent than in the past – compared to the 3-5% THC found in the 60s and 70s, today’s cannabis is sold in potencies of up to 99% THC, in products like edibles, candies, cookies, beverages, vapes, and concentrates. 
     

  4. Adults in Marin already have access to legal marijuana through home delivery, a local medical marijuana storefront in Fairfax and home cultivation. Additionally there are Marin-based delivery businesses located in the County Unincorporated, San Rafael, and Novato, as well as dozens of recreational storefronts a short drive away in neighboring counties.
     

  5. The data on use of high potency cannabis (defined only as >10% THC, which is virtually the entire CA market) has been associated with a five-fold increase in risk of first episode of psychosis. Additionally, marijuana more than doubles the risk of developing opioid use disorder or initiating non-medical opioid use (source). Our County is already unable to fully address the mental health and addiction crisis facing Marinites, in part due to the pandemic.
     

  6. Greater product visibility in the community leads to normalization and a decrease in youth perception that the products are harmful to them. We know that ​when perception of harm decreases, use increases. We also know from decades of research of the alcohol and tobacco industries that neighborhood retail outlets are related to higher rates of youth use.
     

  7. Local youth are already at higher risk for underage substance use and the related harms, as documented in two Marin Jury reports on Alcohol and Vaping and the recent analysis of the California Healthy Kids Survey data which has consistently shown Marin County youth substance use rates to be among the highest in the state of California.
     

  8. The tobacco industry has been considering entering the marijuana business since 1969. Big Tobacco giant, Altria, has invested billions in the cannabis industry (and also JUUL). In early 2021, they officially began lobbying on behalf of the cannabis industry to ensure their investment. Despite the “green rush”, only a small number of investors and corporations benefit from storefronts. Meanwhile, the community-at-large is left with the economic and social costs associated with youth use, addiction, accidents, law enforcement and homelessness.
     

  9. Cannabis stores make health recommendations and at the same time profit from the sales. This creates an inherent conflict of interest which has been evident by the recommendation of cannabis products to pregnant women. Additionally, budtenders require less training and receive less oversight than bartenders – yet are dispensing a Schedule 1 drug along with often unfounded medical advice. Additionally, the products sold have not undergone clinical trials like other drugs that must receive FDA approval to ensure the benefits outweigh the harms.
     

  10. California still hasn’t figured out cannabis business regulations and enforcement - as evidenced by Governor Newsom’s proposal to create a Department of Cannabis Control to consolidate the current regulatory industries. Without a stable and effective regulatory body similar to Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), jurisdictions cannot regulate and enforce cannabis effectively.