Letter to City Council Mar 21 2022

The Sonoma City Council continues to deny the process for a second dispensary to move forward:

Sonoma City Council
No. 1 The Plaza
Sonoma, CA 95476

CityCouncil@sonomacity.org
Madolyn.Agrimonti@sonomacity.org
Kelso.Barnett@sonomacity.org
Jack.Ding@sonomacity.org
Robert.Felder@sonomacity.org
Sandra.Lowe@sonomacity.org

March 21, 2022

To Sonoma City Council and Staff:

More and more of the citizens within our Sonoma Valley community are confused and saddened by the failure of the Sonoma City Council to listen to the advice and counsel of experts on the necessity for all individuals, especially the elderly and those on fixed incomes, to have easy access to affordable medical cannabis. To not allow for a second dispensary only adds to and increases the stress and anxiety of those in need.

The author of this article, Julia Arnsten, M.D., is chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System, and a registered practitioner with the New York State Medical Marijuana Program.

Kindly read the linked article. Then please take the opportunity to reconsider the decision that allows the voice of a single individual to sway the council’s judgement; particularly the owner of the business to whom it awarded the sole operating license for a dispensary in the City of Sonoma.

These are the key takeaways from the article:

•    95% of Americans support the use of medical cannabis.

•    Poorer people have less access to medical cannabis than wealthier people. Monthly payments can run from $200 to $300.

•    Perhaps fewer than half of those who need medical cannabis buy from licensed dispensaries, because they can’t afford the prices.

•    Less access helps sustain a black market that exposes patients to unregulated product that can contain dangerous pesticides and molds.

•    The fewer the number of licensed dispensaries, the fewer options patients have to access the best products for their personal health needs. In a locality that only permits one dispensary, this can force patients to drive long distances or pay costly delivery charges. This is especially unfair to those on limited budgets.

•    Less access helps to sustain the use of opioids and addiction because opioids are much easier to obtain. Opioid-related deaths are on the increase in Sonoma Valley.

Sincerely,

The 208 Members of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

CC: emily.charrier@sonomanews.com
       chase.hunter@sonomanews.com
       susan.wood@busjrnl.com
       vrobichaud@sonomasun.com