Letter to the Editor, Sonoma Sun Mar 7, 2018

Mar 9, 2018 — A response to ‘Pipe Dreams’ article
Posted on March 7, 2018 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Thanks to Jonah Raskin for his article, “Pipe dreams: Will Sonoma miss out on the marijuana boom?”, (Feb. 23) (http://sonomasun.com/2018/02/23/pipe-dreams-will-sonoma-miss-out-on-the-marijuana-boom/).

However, I would like to put a finer point on a couple of items.

I am a former member of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance and currently belong to the local chapter of the California Cannabis Industry Association. I formed the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group to help former mayor Ken Brown and the city of Sonoma realize a permitted medicinal dispensary within the city limits. SVCG currently has 189 members and continues to grow.

That Sonoma could be home to a $50 million-dollar-a-year business may be a bit overblown. Based on figures supplied by California’s Board of Equalization, in 2016 each marijuana dispensary license brought in an average of $562,093, gross. That still represents a substantial amount of tax revenue for the city.

As far as wine and cannabis getting along, both are realizing that they can exist to mutual benefit. The “Wine and Weed Symposium”, held in Santa Rosa this past August, served as an ice-breaker for the two industries. Both understand that they share common opportunities ranging from designating appellations to courting tourists. I very much doubt recreational cannabis will have any real impact on wine sales.

It is the case that there is some backbiting within the cannabis industry, but what industry doesn’t include that?

Regarding quotes attributed to me, just to straighten the record a little more, Ken Brown recused himself from city council discussions around a dispensary six years ago based on bad advice from an attorney.

The only defense I have for the city of Sonoma and this issue is that Sonoma has no choice but to go through the same ordinance process every other city has. Otherwise, up to this point, it has done no good service for its residents, especially patients.

As far as Mr. Early’s complaint that he doesn’t seem to be trusted is concerned, perhaps there are reasons for that, perhaps not. But, the standards for permitting any cannabis business within the city of Sonoma will be very stringent. There will soon be other interested parties and he will have to get in line with everyone else.

– Gil Latimer, Sonoma

Email to Sonoma City Council: Why the Residents of Sonoma Deserve a Local Dispensary

The following was sent to the Sonoma City Council on Jan 3, 2018:

Why the Residents of Sonoma Deserve a Local Dispensary

Subject: Why the Residents of Sonoma Deserve a Local Dispensary
From: Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group <Staff@sonomavalleycannabisgroup.com>
Date: 1/3/2018 8:24 PM
To: citycouncil@sonomacity.org

(Optional) This text will appear in the inbox preview, but not the email body. It can be used to supplement the email subject line or even summarize the email’s contents. Extended text preheaders (~490 characters) seems like a better UX for anyone using a screenreader or voice-command apps like Siri to dictate the contents of an email. If this text is not included, email clients will automatically populate it using the text (including image alt text) at the start of the email’s body.

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group
Sonoma, CA, 95476

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City council votes 5-0 in favor of investigating dispensary option

For those of you who aren’t yet aware, on Monday night the Sonoma city council voted 5-0 in favor of investigating an option to accommodate a dispensary in Sonoma. The council also expressed interest in learning more about manufacturing and testing labs.

The entire discussion, including public comments, takes place from 1:31:35 – 3:06:00, here:
https://sonomacity.civicweb.net/document/9619?splitscreen=true&media=true

Hello! Our first Post.

Welcome, all, to our new web site for Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group. We think adding this additional layer to our online presence will help our visibility, credibility and ability to communicate our group’s message to a wider audience. Stay tuned!

Sonoma City Council Meeting

When: Monday, December 4, 2017

Where: Community Meeting Room, 177 First Street West

Though an agenda will not be published until Friday, Dec 1, it has been suggested by staff that it will present the council with a timeline for writing a comprehensive ordinance at its next meeting. This cannot be confirmed until an agenda is published, however. We hope that you come to this meeting and let your voice be heard, even if our issue is not on the agenda. Without pressure from the public, this issue will continue to drag. It’s our job to help keep council and staff responsible for addressing the needs of the community. : )