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Municipal Regulation of Marijuana: Guidance on Permitting, Licensing and Zoning for Medical and Recreational Uses

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Recorded event now available

This CLE course will offer guidance to local government lawyers on regulating cannabis consumption for medical and recreational uses. The panel will discuss the patchwork of current regulatory efforts across the country and explore some of the most effective strategies for regulating in municipalities based on current case law and the interplay with state and federal regulation.


Marijuana regulation has become an immediate and front-and-center consideration across all levels of government. A recent survey of state regulations found that while only nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, 29 states and D.C. permit medical use, and 13 states have decriminalized (but not legalized) the drug. Some municipalities, caught in the crossfire of conflicting levels of legality, have passed local ordinances decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis.

In addition to addressing issues of policing (in cases of legal/decriminalized use), local governments must consider how to effectively structure and manage a regulatory environment that accommodates an industry of businesses that has, until recently, thrived outside the bounds of the law.

Robust frameworks for permitting and licensing are critical tools in regulating these businesses. Considerations like the allocation of resources and coordination between departments like licensing, community development, finance, police, fire, health, and code enforcement in the development and implementation of permitting and zoning codes also play a crucial role.

Listen as our panel explores some of the most effective strategies for developing and managing a regulatory environment for cannabis businesses, licensing, zoning and permitting considerations for recreational use in legalized/decriminalized jurisdictions, and the interplay of local ordinances with state and federal regulations.



  1. Overview of state regulation
    1. Medical use
    2. Legal recreational use
    3. Decriminalized
  2. Municipal regulation
    1. Commercial concerns
      1. Zoning
      2. Permitting
      3. Licensing
      4. Inspection/enforcement
      5. Taxation and fee collection
    2. Non-commercial
      1. Ordinance drafting/revision
      2. Policing
      3. Resource allocation


The panel will review these and other high profile issues:

  • Equitable allocation of departmental resources in licensing, zoning, permitting and enforcement for commercial stakeholders
  • Structuring zoning buffers to limit access to other community components
  • Land use classifications for cannabis businesses (growth, processing/manufacturing, dispensary)


Levy, Jerome
Jerome T. Levy

Duane Morris

Mr. Levy has conducted a wide range of administrative negotiations and civil litigation on behalf of healthcare...  |  Read More

Reale, Samuel
Samuel (Skip) Reale, Jr.

Of Counsel
Helmer Conley & Kasselman

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Reale was a partner with the Kearns, Reale & Kearns law firm in Willingboro, NJ....  |  Read More