September 18, 2023
Re: Opposing Cannabis Consumption Lounges in the City of Sacramento
Dear Members of the Sacramento City Council Law and Legislation Committee,
On behalf of Public Health Advocates, I am writing to express our opposition to the permitting of cannabis consumption lounges in the City of Sacramento.
For decades, public health activists fought to protect people from the health risks associated with smoking and second-hand smoke in addition to the fight to promote clean indoor air. We oppose the permitting of cannabis consumption lounges as such an action by the City Council would undermine this progress and would increase health risks for heart attacks, heart disease, stroke and cancer for employees and customers. Employees would be at particular risk as they would breathe in second-hand smoke throughout their shifts.
In addition to health risks for employees and customers, the permitting of cannabis consumption lounges would increase health risks for the unborn children of female employees and visitors. Research shows that secondhand smoke increases risks for low birthweight and developmental delays.i
Decades of research has shown that ventilation systems do not reduce toxic levels of particulate matter in second-hand tobacco smoke and many of the harmful constituents found in cannabis smoke cannot be eliminated through air ventilation systems or air cleaning technologies. In fact, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) states in their standards for ventilation for acceptable indoor air quality that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, that cannabis smoke should not be allowed indoors, and that ventilation and other air filtration technologies cannot eliminate all the health risks caused by cannabis and other smoke.ii
Thank you for your consideration of our views on this important matter.
Senior Director of Local Policy
ii Secondhand Exposure to Marijuana Smoke. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute. University of Washington. 2016. https://345050a0-c4d1-460a-934e- 53b5b7d5f8b6.usrfiles.com/ugd/345050_36665a2b53c5433f82cc5369b8224b9e.pdf
Please see attached letter from Youth Forward.
The Curiosity Collaborative is a Sacramento 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that hosts the annual City of Trees Parade. Our parade lifts up local Sacramento art, music, and culture through an all-volunteer organizer team and the support of local businesses. Our 2023 parade featured 1,000 performers and brought 20-30 thousand spectators to the downtown area, based on data from DSP. We believe our parade brought economic activity to downtown Sacramento, enlivened the community through a safe and positive activity, and inspired greater participation in arts and music in Sacramento.
A local cannabis company, Eleven11 7th, is apparently implicated in this discussion, and we would like to state our support and belief that this company is an upstanding business that supports a safe and prosperous downtown Sacramento. They were the single largest financial supporter of our 2023 City of Trees Parade (either public or private), and we believe that they care about the downtown area and are positive contributors to the community and nonprofit organizations like ours. Their contribution to our nonprofit parade went directly to support our parade artists and musicians and to pay for city services that made our parade possible. As they supported us, we support them and their ability to do business in a lawful manner that supports a prosperous, diverse, and entertaining downtown community.