HHS R10, Cannabis Toolkit Resources

A Prevention Practitioners' Toolkit to Understanding HHS Region 10 State Cannabis Policies and Regulations

This toolkit describes the current status of HHS Region 10 state retail cannabis regulatory frameworks and specific policies, highlighting their relevance for prevention.

State legalization of cannabis use and sales for nonmedical purposes is relatively new. Regulatory design has relied heavily on examples from alcohol and tobacco, but cannabis is a different product with unique characteristics. In the absence of specific knowledge, Prevention stakeholders should work toward the most appropriate regulatory approaches for prevention, including in each of the 5 P areas: Places for Access, Products, Promotion, Public Health and Safety, and Price, which act as an organizing framework in this document. 

While assuring that high-quality information on cannabis use and harms is essential to know whether or how much public health and safety has been affected, policy work is a critical component of prevention with long term and lasting effects.  This toolkit is intended to supports capacity development within the prevention workforce by increasing understanding of cannabis regulatory frameworks and policies that can affect the prevention of youth cannabis use and associated harms and adult cannabis misuse. The documents within the toolkit can stand alone or work in tandem to:

  • Educate stakeholders about the concepts and elements of "stronger" and "weaker" cannabis policy
  • Explore the status of regulations and policies within their region, and where there are opportunities for strengthening those based on evidence about effectiveness for prevention
  • Examine the status of regulations in other states in the region because that status could affect neighboring areas directly

This toolkit is not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, it serves as a starting place for prevention practitioners and community coalition members interested in building their capacity to support the implementation and enforcement of cannabis policies and regulations to promote public health and safety.

Resources Available in this Series

A Prevention Practitioners' Toolkit to Understanding R10 State Cannabis Policies and Regulations includes a suite of six documents. A Guidance Document for Northwest Substance Misuse Prevention Practitioners provides in-depth information on the purpose, background on cannabis legalization in the Pacific Northwest, key definitions, and basic principles underlying the toolkit. A Multi-State Comparison Across Three Northwestern States provides a snapshot of cannabis-related policies in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington categorized under the 5 P's for PreventionThe State Cannabis Policies and Regulations documents summarize each state's rules and laws to regulate cannabis, as of June 30, 2020. 

Policy Analysis Worksheet

This worksheet is to help entities to identify where current and proposed regulations and policies are strong and where more specific prevention-informed approaches may be needed.
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