The resources on this page are designed to help you educate yourself, local lawmakers, voters, and other stakeholders about the best practices in regulating commercial medical cannabis activity. You will find model legislation for cities and counties, reports and research regarding medical cannabis and regulations, and links to innovative ASA programs that can help you succeed in bringing safe and legal access to your community.


Memo from ASA to Local Lawmakers Regarding the MMRSA, Local Licensing of Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation, and Bans on Personal and Commercial Cultivation (PDF)

This 18-page memo discusses the MMRSA and how it affects local government. The memo argues against local bans on personal or commercial medical cannabis cultivation. The tables give detailed information about timelines, license types, and other provisions of the MMRSA. A copy of an open letter from Assembly Member Jim Wood is also attached (see below). Print this memo, along with the model cultivation ordinance below, to share with your City Council or Board of Supervisors. 


Letter from Assembly Member Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) Regarding the March 1, 2016 Deadline for Local Cultivation Ordinances (PDF) 

In this letter to local lawmakers, the author of AB 243 indicates that a March 1, 2016, deadline for cities and counties to adopt regulations (or ban) commercial medical cannabis cultivation was included in the MMRSA as a result of a drafting error. The author is already working with lawmakers and the Governor to correct the language. It is very important to share this letter with your City Council or Board of Supervisors. 


Model Ordinances

Sample Local Ordinance Licensing Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation in Cities and Counties (HTML)

Sample Local Ordinance Licensing Commercial Medical Cannabis Cultivation in Cities and Counties (PDF)

New links are coming soon. Please check back!  


Talking Points 

Use these talking points to educate lawmakers, talk to media, and more. These basic facts and arguments are an important element to supporting your effort to adopt an ordinance or voter initiative. You can use these talking points verbatim, or use them as a starting point to write your own.  

New links are coming soon. Please check back!  


White Paper: Where Will Patients Obtain Their Medicine?

This white paper discusses the experience of local jurisdictions with medical cannabis dispensaries, with a focus on correcting the misperception that dispensaries cause crime.


Report: Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collectives and Local Regulation (California)

Updated in 2011, the report describes the positive outcomes of regulation in California cities and counties. ASA research shows that local officials and law enforcement report fewer crimes and complaints around well-regulated medical cannabis facilities.


Study: Prevalence of medical marijuana use in California, 2012

This report, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review in 2015, is the first representational survey of medical cannabis users in California. The results indicate that 1.4 million Californians have used medical cannabis, and 92% report from a serious medical condition. The report also indicates that medical cannabis is used by a variety of people in all ethnic, age, and gender groups. This can be an important tool in debunking common misperceptions about who uses medical cannabis and why. See the ASA blog for more.


American Herbal Products Association Guidelines for Regulators

Founded in 1982, AHPA is the oldest of the non-profit organizations that specializes in service to the herbal industry. It is the voice of the herbal products industry and the recognized leader in representing the botanical trade. With more than 300 members, AHPA’s membership represents the finest growers, processors, manufacturers, and marketers of botanical and herbal products. In 2010 AHPA established a Cannabis Committee tasked with the development of national  Recommendations to  Regulators that address sensible regulatory practices for hemp, cannabis, and cannabis-derived products. As such, the AHPA’s Cannabis Committee developed a series of Recommendations to Regulators, or guidelines, in the following four areas.


American Herbal Pharmacopeia’s Cannabis Monograph

Established in 1995, the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) California- based organization with a mission to promote the responsible use of herbal products and herbal medicines. The AHP produces critically reviewed documents called monographs that outline the quality control criteria needed for ensuring the identity, purity, and quality of botanical raw materials.

Each monograph also presents a complete and critical review of the traditional and scientific literature regarding the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines and includes information on specific products such as tinctures and extracts. In 2011, the AHP began the development of a Cannabis Monograph and a Therapeutic Compendium for Cannabis. The first edition of the Cannabis Monograph was released in 2013 and provides scientifically valid standards for companies engaged in laboratory analysis of cannabis, cannabis-derived products and hemp products with regards to:

  1. Ensuring the identity, quality, purity, and potency of cannabis, cannabis-derived and hemp products;
  2. Reporting, analytic equipment calibration and method validation;
  3. And, ensuring product safety by identifying safe levels of pesticides, metals, and microbial limits. 


Medical Cannabis Advocates Training Center

ASA believes that good policy is created when those who are most affected are at the table. Just because you are medical cannabis patient or industry player, it doesn't mean that you automatically have a degree in public policy. ASA has always been committed to demystifying political systems and providing advocates the tools they need to participate in the processes in a meaningful way. Use this innovative and free online tool to learn all about grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying, media spokesperson training, and much more. These are skills you will need in your effort to pass an ordinance or a voter initiative.


Patient Focused Certification

Patient Focused Certification, PFC is an innovative new program that is calibrating the medical cannabis industry for excellence.  Comprehensive and flexible, PFC is what patients, healthcare providers, companies, and regulators can depend on to identify reliable, high-quality medical cannabis products and services. PFC addresses product and distribution safety in the medical cannabis industry. The program provides components for operators, legislators and regulators to promote the adoption of safe and reasonable industry standards and regulations from seed to consumption.