How much should recreational marijuana be taxed and how should the funds be used? This is a critical and fast-moving question as legalizations spreads and communities race to get tax measures on the ballot in 2018. The Getting it Right from the Start: Local Regulation of Recreational Marijuana project team has been listening to experts and stakeholders from across the nation and from jurisdictions across the state to identify best practices and develop stronger local regulatory and taxation frameworks to protect youth, public health and social equity in the wake of legalization in California, with sales starting this month. In December we released a model local ordinance for retailing and marketing. Learn more at

This Web Forum will cover the second tool developed by the project, a model ordinance/ballot initiative for local taxation of marijuana, designed to grow over time, help discourage high potency products and youth use, and provide sustained financial support to local efforts to create healthier and more equitable communities and prevent substance abuse. The model was developed in conjunction with a leading municipal revenue expert, Michael Colantuono, JD. During this Web Forum, the panel will present and discuss the final ordinance.

  This Web Forum is recommended for representatives of local jurisdictions in California and other states legalizing recreational marijuana, community organizations, substance abuse prevention and treatment experts, and other stakeholders. All attendees will have access to closed captioning.

Support for this Web Forum was provided in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. Additional support was provided by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and The California Endowment.


Michael Colantuono, JD


Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC

Grass Valley, CA

Michael Colantuono is an attorney at Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC; President of the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California; City Attorney for the Cities of Auburn and Grass Valley; and Agency or General Counsel for a range of public agencies across the state.

Michael has specialized…

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Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, FAAP

Director, Getting it Right from the Start

Public Health Institute

Oakland, CA

  • Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Dr. Lynn Silver, a pediatrician, researcher and public health advocate, is Senior Advisor at the Public Health Institute and Clinical Professor at University of California San Francisco. She focuses on policies to prevent noncommunicable disease, its risk factors and inequitable impact. Silver was Assistant Health Commissioner of New York City…

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Alisa Padon, PhD

Research Scientist, Getting it Right from the Start project

Public Health Institute

Oakland, CA

Dr. Alisa Padon’s past research focused on youth-targeted marketing and promotions of alcohol and tobacco products, examining the intersection between the unique vulnerabilities of youth and the psychosocial and neurocognitive appeals and techniques used in marketing. She is now translating that work as a research scientist at the Public Health…

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