Sonoma City Council opens door to second walk-in dispensary

Sonoma City Council opens door to second walk-in dispensary

After a full year of negotiating and approving a single retail cannabis dispensary for Sonoma, the city council at its Jan. 20 meeting opened the door to a second retail dispensary.

Gil Latimer, who said he was speaking for Justice Grown applicants Ken Brown and his late wife Jewel Mathieson and “over 200 members of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group,” a local collective of cannabis advocates, argued that a second dispensary “was in the best interest” of medical patients, adult consumers and the city, through increased tax revenue and cannabis tourism.

“Permitting only one walk-in dispensary limits residents’ ability to take advantage of a fair, more competitive environment. Our patient community especially needs access to the widest choice of products possible to ensure they get what they need. Competition is a health part of any industry,” said Latimer. “That’s what the free market is all about, isn’t it?”

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Our Thank You Letter to the Sonoma City Council

Our Thank You Letter to the Sonoma City Council

Hello City Council and Staff,

The entire SVCG membership and all the medical patients throughout the Sonoma Valley who depend on cannabis to help them manage their conditions would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the Sonoma City Council and Staff for their hard work in bringing safe and fair access to all our residents.

Many of you understand, either from personal experience or social observation, just how important it is to be able to find a particular product that properly matches a specific medical condition, including chronic pain, arthritis, migraine, and cancer. Each patient’s medical condition and treatment is unique to them. Some may require ingesting edible products for relief. Others may require topical lotions or salves. Still others may require specific tinctures or lozenges. And there are dosage requirements and THC to CBD ratios to consider.

No one dispensary can possibly carry all of the products that any medical patient may need. Compassion dictates that we work to adequately meet the needs of patients by ensuring they have easy, affordable access to medical cannabis.

We only mention all of the above to set the context for why it’s so important to permit an additional dispensary in a timely manner. The longer it takes to bring a second outlet into operation, the longer medical patients have no access to the options and alternatives they may require.

We also understand that the council is facing a number of important issues it would like to engage. For these reasons, we ask the city council to explore ways that it can shorten the permit process and implement it within a more reasonable timeframe. We believe council member Amy Harrington’s suggestions may be a good start point for further discussion on this issue. It may even be possible to review the three remaining applicants from the first round and make a choice.

Again, thanks so much for your time and attention.

Gil Latimer

Ken Brown and the Spirit of Jewel Mathieson

Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group