It’s our understanding that hosting a dispensary at Sonoma Valley Hospital or any other hospital in the country would put them in legal peril. Intentional violation of the Controlled Substances Act could lead to fines or imprisonment for employees, closure of a facility, loss of DEA controlled-substances registration and facility licensure, and loss of federal health care funding.

Secondly, it’s not my impression that Sonoma is looking to be dazzled by big money from cannabis, though there is a certain hypocrisy in allowing umpteen tasting facilities yet hand-wringing over one medicinal and/or retail cannabis outlet.

The residents of Sonoma and its elected officials seem pretty level headed and pragmatic, for the most part. Let’s consider the local “social fabric” and grant the likelihood that over 30% of Sonoma’s population is aged 50 and above and that, according to a 2016 study, seniors are the fastest-growing cannabis demographic in the country, with medicinal use among those 55 and older increasing by 53 percent between 2013 and 2014. It is clearly time to allow a dispensary and its accompanying delivery service to exist in Sonoma.