New Dispensary Process Slow-Going

New Dispensary Process Slow-Going

Our email to the City Planning Director, followed by his response:

July 20, 2021

To: David Storer

     City Manager

Hello David,

Hope your summer is going well.  : )

Can you give us an update on Sparc’s current status? Now that the appeal has been withdrawn, will they be moving forward on building permits, etc?

In regards to a 2nd dispensary, has your office made progress on locating a consultant for the new process?

We did offer two candidates last April, Avenu Insights and SCI Consulting. We’d now like to add a third, Tierra West Advisors. We’ve linked to their Services page, which lists a number of past city/clients. Perhaps contacting one or two of them regarding their experiences with TWA could be helpful.

Avenu Insights

SCI Consulting Group

Tierra West Advisors

We recall that at the April 19 city council meeting, staff estimated that the task of preparing regulation and guideline documents could be completed in 90 days. Do those documents require many changes? Are they based on the documents that were produced for the first dispensary process?

Obviously, we all have great interest in moving this new plan forward in as timely a manner as possible. We appreciate your efforts to streamline the evaluation process and look forward to learning more at the upcoming August 2 council meeting.  : )

Thanks, David.

Best Regards,


CC: Ken Brown

        Van Solkov

        Josette Brose-Eichar

        David Eichar


On Jul 20, 2021, at 10:48 AM, David Storer <> wrote:

Hi there Gil:

Updated per your email…

1) SPARC has submitted applications for building permits with the Building Dept. and they are being processed.

2) Staff is still in the process of contacting consultants and will continue to search. Thanks for the additional reference.

3) Since that meeting where the City Council discussed a new process, as you know there has been personal changes. That said, we now also have a new City Manager that (fortunately) has a lot of experience in cannabis related matters and I think it is a great opportunity to learn from him and receive his counsel as we move forward. At the prior meeting, the City Council was interested in a shorter timeline and one that may change the order of things from the first process that was adopted.

4) Now that the appeal has been withdrawn, I am not aware of any cannabis related matter on the agenda for August 2nd at this time.

Hope this helps…



Appeal to sparc Location Withdrawn

Appeal to sparc Location Withdrawn

We just received confirmation from Associate Planner Wendy Atkins that the appeal filed re: sparc location has been withdrawn. It will not appear on the August 2 city council agenda.

So, as Emily Latella once famously said, “Never mind…” ?

One less thing to worry about. Now, what about that consultant? We’ve received another lead and will be forwarding it to the Planning Dept. early next week.

We will let you know of the latest developments.

Appeal to sparc Location Withdrawn

First Sonoma Dispensary Blocked, Pending Appeal. Second Dispensary Process Remains in Limbo

An appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision to approve Sparc’s permit and plan has been filed with the city of Sonoma. The individual who made the appeal felt “The proposed changes to the building are inappropriate to something that is a historic resource in Sonoma. The building is still part of a cultural landscape that includes an adobe building and other remnants of the original resort.” The appeal will be heard by the city council at its August 2 meeting.

Meanwhile, the city’s staff is rapidly approaching its tentative deadline for finishing new administrative regulations and application procedures and guidelines to allow for the selection of a second retail storefront cannabis business. However, the response from staff to our latest query is that they’ve yet to find a consultant to assist in managing the new process. This suggests there will be a delay before an RFP (Request for Proposals) is posted and applications taken.

We’re closely monitoring both of the above and will let you know of the latest developments.