Living in a Cannabis Desert

Living in a Cannabis Desert

All politics is local. Decisions made by city councils, mayors and commissioners have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of residents in their communities.

Per California’s DCC, 56 percent of cities and counties prohibit the licensing of all cannabis business types.

An even greater fraction, 62 percent, don’t permit retailers specifically, which would theoretically increase demand for unlicensed sales for people unwilling or unable to travel to a different part of the state for marijuana.

The city of Sonoma serves as an example of limited access. Taking the wide view, it’s difficult not to feel that we are being held hostage in the middle of a cannabis desert with only one small well.

17 dispensaries in Santa Rosa. 6 in Napa.

1 dispensary in Sonoma.

Can’t find a product at one outlet in SR? You have 16 other options.

Can’t find what you need in Sonoma?

Sonoma to Santa Rosa – 60-80 minutes round trip
Sonoma to Cotati – 60 minutes round trip
Sonoma – Napa – 50 minutes round trip

Throw in the time you spend online or on the phone, time spent in store, and don’t forget to add the price of gas, or the price of delivery charge…

City of Sonoma Continues to Support Sparc Dispensary Monopoly

City of Sonoma Continues to Support Sparc Dispensary Monopoly

Unfortunately, the city of Sonoma created, and continues to support, a monopoly that favors Sparc’s dispensary and limits service to our local patient community.

Regardless that there is now service here, its availability remains seriously limited, no thanks to many of those pictured, from left to right:

Councilmember Madolyn Agrimonti – arguably has never supported a cannabis dispensary, mysteriously voted to continue the first process, but continues to oppose a second dispensary.

Vice Mayor Kelso Barnett – in order to stall the second dispensary process, misrepresented, distorted information to the public regarding the number of dispensaries in the county and differences in their product pricing

Amy O’Gorman Jenkins – part-owner/lobbyist who wrote a clause into a state Senate bill to grant jurisdictions’ right to ban delivery services, including Sonoma

Erich Pearson – deliberately misrepresented his company’s financial situation to the city council in order to stall any process for a second, competing dispensary

Councilmember Sandra Lowe – accepted campaign donation from Amy O’Gorman Jenkins, who is part-owner of Erich Pearson’s Sonoma outlet

These are just some of the players who have been working against improving the quality of service for medical cannabis patients.

Product Availability an Issue in Sonoma

Product Availability an Issue in Sonoma

In her latest column for the Sonoma Sun, “If it works for veggie burgers…”, SVCG member Josette Brose-Eichar writes, “Do we need a second cannabis dispensary in the City of Sonoma? My little personal story, I think points out, yes we do.” It’s well worth the read.

Her story is one shared by a large number of cannabis patients.

For many, cannabis is a medical necessity. To date, medical cannabis has been legalized in 37 states and the number of state-registered patients approaches 4 million. If you add unregistered users who self-prescribe cannabis for medical reasons, as well as those who report mixed medical/recreational use, then we’re talking many more millions who rely on cannabis to manage their medical conditions and symptoms.

Unfortunately, not all cannabis products are created equally and not all work the same for all users. A patient may need to try a number of similar products before finding a brand that provides the desired relief.

Product availability is another issue. Dispensary inventories can range widely from shop to shop and from even from one visit to the next.

There is no equity for Sonoma’s medical cannabis patients without competition at the local level. The free market means being free of government intervention. Patients deserve competitive pricing, product availability and services.