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City of SLO leads state with cannabis safety laws, new report says

A vendor points to a selection of cannabis strains for sale during a 2018 cannabis festival in California.
Courtesy Of Seaweed On Ocean
A vendor points to a selection of cannabis strains for sale during a 2018 cannabis festival in California.

The City of San Luis Obispo is leading the way in implementing cannabis safety laws according to a recent report.

The nonprofit Public Health Institute has spent the last few years collecting information on cannabis safety laws across California. In annual reports, they assess counties and cities based on measures to protect public health and children.

In this year’s State of Cannabis Report, San Luis Obispo stands out with the highest score, earning 51 out of 100 points, according to Public Health Institute senior advisor Dr. Lynn Silver.

“They've taken some innovative measures to do better than other places are doing,” Silver said. “For example, giving more points to businesses that commit to limiting high-potency products, limiting billboards, protecting smoke-free air, making sure that cannabis retailers are not near schools.”

The report considers things like product regulations and marketing practices.

Silver said, even though SLO scored higher than other places, it could do more to prevent kids from being drawn to fruit-flavored cannabis products.

“Young people think that a product is healthier and more natural if it has a fruit name attached to it — pictures of oranges and apples on the front — and these are not healthy products,” Silver said.

Silver said considering a ban on those fruit-flavored products could reduce teen use. That’s important, she said, because cannabis can be addictive — another reason why robust safety laws matter.

KCBX Reporter Amanda Wernik graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Journalism. Amanda is currently a fellow with the USC Center for Health Journalism, completing a data fellowship that will result in a news feature series to air on KCBX in the winter of 2024.