Video of Sonoma City Council Meeting, Feb 20, 2019

time line for Sonoma Cannabis ordinance development


You can click through here to see Wednesday night’s city council meeting video.

The item’s discussion starts at 44:00 and ends at 1:37:15

Public Comment begins at 52:05

A managing partner of the property on W. Napa St., formerly known as the Wine Annex, lobbied for consideration as a dispensary site. This is also the site to which John Early has been associated. He was present but did not speak.

Two members of Teamsters Local 665 also spoke regarding fair pay and unionization.

The always thoughtful Fred Allebach, whom many of us know, added a much-needed moment of humor, breaking up the room. Good stuff!

I took the liberty of speaking for SVCG. Perhaps it was no longer necessary to make the point, but it seemed that, on this night, it would be good for us to put something on the record.

Great News!

newspaper with headline "Good News!"

Thank you to the city council for moving forward tonight to contract with a consultant that specializes in assisting cities with ordinance development. The council will be exploring details on dispensaries (adult and medical), labs, manufacturing, taxes and more. This is a *very* good thing for the city of Sonoma!

Sonoma City Council meets to discuss Local Regulation of Commercial Cannabis Activities

City Council Chambers, 177 First Street West

****Wednesday, February 20, 2019 6:00 p.m.****

Review, Discuss, and Provide Direction on Local Regulation of Commercial Cannabis Activities and Approve a Resolution Authorizing a $29,200 Base Contract Plus Associated Variable Application Costs From General Fund Reserves with HdL Companies to Provide Cannabis Management Consulting Assistance (City Manager)

RECOMMENDATION: Review, discuss, and provide direction on local regulation of commercial cannabis activities and approve resolution.

Click through here to read Agenda Report – Commercial Cannabis Activities – Pdf

Sebastopol’s first annual report updating its City Council on the state of cannabis businesses and regulations

Sent the following to the Sonoma City Council, Planning Commission and staff:

Attached to this email is Sebastopol’s first annual report updating its City Council on the state of cannabis businesses and regulations in Sebastopol. It will be presented to that city’s council tomorrow night. Its a great example of the successful integration of cannabis business into a community.

Some of the more salient points:

• Currently, Sebastopol permits 2 Cannabis dispensaries (Adult and Medical) with delivery.

• Two (2) cannabis manufacturing operations and one indoor cultivation facility have also been approved.

• “Record of Incidents:
Since the Comprehensive Cannabis Ordinance was adopted no incidents have been reported at any of the existing Cannabis businesses. However, it should be noted that there was a robbery at one of the two dispensaries in January 2018. The assailants were caught and the stolen product was recovered. No further incidents have been reported.”

• The city staff sent a questionnaire to existing cannabis business operators to provide feedback regarding its application process and the state of cannabis businesses in Sebastopol. According to this report, “Overall the response has been very positive. According to those who responded, the City’s process is rigorous, but fair and straightforward. ‘Sebastopol is one of the best places to do business is regards to cannabis.’ No changes or alterations to the City’s cannabis Ordinance or review process are recommended at this time.”

• In response to a question about enacting a special cannabis tax, all the operators felt it would have a negative impact on their businesses, citing that the industry is already over taxed, driving retail prices up and customers to cheaper, untested product on the black market.

• To that point, owners suggested the city permit tasting lounges to increase the city’s revenue. One stated, “Sebastopol is poised to have a stronger local cannabis economy if we do not implement a cannabis tax. We will have more competitive businesses that will outlast those in other jurisdictions where the local taxes are crippling. The stability of career industrial jobs and benefits is something to cherish. If we want to increase the tax base then consider more consumption lounges which would incur a sales tax at point of sale to the end user.

As always, the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group is ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.


Gil Latimer

and the members of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group