What if?

What if?

Let’s say Sonoma only allowed one grocery store and you were forced to choose between shopping at the very expensive Sonoma Market or driving to Napa or Santa Rosa for cheaper products, or for items not available at the local market. Would this be acceptable to you?

What if the only pharmacy permitted was the CVS at the Marketplace Shopping Center and it didn’t carry the particular brand of OTC medication that works for you? And the next closest CVS was on Kenilworth Drive in Petaluma.

Now, those scenarios may be a bit far-fetched, but they illustrate how limited your selections for the best products, prices and services are as long as the city restricts your freedom of choice.

Sonoma’s ordinance permits two dispensaries. Why do we only have access to one?

Or let’s try another scenario. Your town only permits one wine store and maybe it doesn’t carry your favorite Cab or Sauvignon Blanc. You’d like to have a second shop nearby in town, but local government insists it shouldn’t be an issue because one or 2 more shops will eventually open outside of town. Unfortunately, either or both would necessitate a 40-minute round trip to those locations.

Besides the fact that either location requires more time and gas (and emissions) to visit than would a second shop right in town, you discover that both locations must satisfy about 80 conditions for approval before the county allows them to open – and you’re told that those conditions have yet to be met and it would be impossible to put a time line on when ground might be broken, let alone doors finally opening for business.

As a consumer, how would you feel about this?

SEEWEED – PART ONE – McLovin Farm in Laytonville

SEEWEED – PART ONE – McLovin Farm in Laytonville

Short film (16 minutes) featuring just one of many legacy family cultivators trying to survive in the Emerald Triangle, where some of the best cannabis flower we all enjoy is grown.

Starting at the Mendocino Producers Guild markets in Laytonville, Matt Grimshaw catches up with MPG’s ringleader Traci Pellar and visits McLovin Farm to see their landrace cultivar called Heirloom Pineapple that’s been grown in the same spot, soil to seed, for over 20 years.

They seem like a nice couple, don’t they? Doing their best to provide for the greater good. But, because of insane regulatory policy, including dual-licensing and over-taxation, the impressive legacy of Emerald Triangle family farms, from which so many of the rest of us have benefited from for generations, will only be a memory if the State does not move quickly to help the smaller cultivators recover from financial losses.

“Local Control”, part of the dual-licensing system on which the city of Sonoma relies to protect sparc’s monopoly, not only threatens the livelihoods of smaller cultivators, it helps sustain the illicit market (which Prop 64 was supposed to eradicate) and endangers the health of consumers who have limited or no access to legal products that have been tested for pesticides, harmful contaminants, and mold and mildew.

Why would one choose to turn a blind eye to the injustice of limited access and all the harm it causes, from putting small farms out of business to jeopardizing public health? Why would one try to rationalize how permitting only one dispensary in a service area of 40,000 people makes any kind of sense?

And just a reminder, Sonoma’s disregard for its own citizens is mirrored by roughly two-thirds of local governments across California, folks.