Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

For responsible health care policy

SUCCESS!

To all SVCG members and everyone on our mailing list:

Congratulations! We did it. The two cannabis ordinances were finally passed in June of 2019 on a 3-2 to vote. See our newest posts, for the latest news on the process.

This campaign was never about making it easier for “stoners to get their weed”, as many of the opposition would like to think. It was always about the patients. Always. Now, the essential services that dispensaries can provide will become readily available within our own community. Once a dispensary opens its doors, those being treated for medical problems will no longer have to make a 2+ hour round trip drive to obtain safe, legal access to medicinal cannabis. For our seniors and the disabled who may not have vehicles or are on fixed incomes, local access will make their lives less stressful and difficult. In turn, the city will benefit from new jobs, an additional source of tax revenue and be able to take pride in furthering a progressive vision that improves the quality of its residents’ lives.

Thanks to everyone in this group and on our mailing list for their support, for signing the petition, for writing the letters and contributing to the discussions.?

Thanks to Ken Brown and Jewel Mathieson for their years of advocacy for patients’ access to safe, legal medical cannabis. Their goal has finally been realized.?

And thanks to our City Council allies Councilwoman Rachel E Hundley, Councilwoman Amy Harrington and Mayor Logan Harvey for leaning forward on so many fronts to help define Sonoma as a city of progressive values and a pacesetter in Sonoma County.?

In the meantime, the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group will continue to keep you all informed on new regulations, application development, a cannabis tax measure and the possible ramifications of a separate dispensary ballot initiative in 2020.

Best Regards,

Gil Latimer

Ken Brown

Jewel Mathieson

SVCG In the News

cannabis jars on counter 

Council eyes allowing second dispensary

 

Sonoma Index-Tribune

“In order to permit a potential second walk-in dispensary, the city needs to modify the city municipal code to allow for it, then establish an application process to receive proposals from eligible cannabis businesses.

As outlined by city staff, the application, rankings, interview process and criteria would largely be the same if a second dispensary were allowed —including a “community benefits” requirement, such as “employment for residents of the city, community contributions, and/or economic incentives to the city.””

Our Comment  beneath the article:

“There has to be a better way than go through the entire process all over again. The first RFP was opened on January 3, 2020, over 1 year ago. The start date for the first dispensary remains unknown. That we could go through the entirety of this laborious and time-consuming procedure all over again is a head-shaker. Please, there are ways to adapt the earlier process in order to approve a retail business in a more timely manner.

Gil Latimer
Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group”

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dispensary counter 

Valley Forum: Sonoma would support second dispensary

Sonoma Index-Tribune

First, thanks to former Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown and his late wife Jewel Mathieson for their years of advocacy for patients’ rights to safe, legal medical cannabis. They were the inspiration to form our 200-plus member Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group over three years ago. Since then, we have actively engaged the community and city government to help bring a cannabis dispensary to Sonoma.

Now that the mission has been realized, we also thank the Sonoma City Council for leaning forward on this issue. They’ve helped define Sonoma as a city of progressive values and a pacesetter in Sonoma County.

Recently, some council members expressed support to permit one additional walk-in dispensary with delivery service. We agree, and believe there are a number of reasons why this would be in the best interest of medical patients, adult consumers and the city.

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ken brown letter to editorLetters to the Editor: Let’s talk dispensaries

Sonoma Index-Tribune

December 11, 2020 – Ken Brown: I am very unhappy with the current state of affairs within the Cannabis community and local government.

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Sonoma City Council debates dispensary

Letter to the Editor: Re-ignite dispensary process

Sonoma Index-Tribune

November 12, 2020 – Readers weigh in on POTUS 45, UGB, cannabis and onsite learning

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dispensary counterCannabis initiative finally comes to voters

Sonoma Index-Tribune

September 28, 2020 – Measure Y on the ballot after 2-year delay by City Council.

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Sparc dispensary renderingSonoma names first (and only) license for retail cannabis

Sonoma Valley Sun

August 18, 2020 – The City of Sonoma has awarded its exclusive cannabis retail license to SPARC.

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heart made of cannabis leavesJewel Mathieson: Fearless Activist

Bohemian

August 12, 2020 – She called herself “a breast cancer survivor, dancer, award-winning storyteller and poetry slam champion.”

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Jewel Mathieson and Ken BrownJewel Mathieson, poet and cannabis advocate, dies at 62

Sonoma Index-Tribune

August 10, 2020 – Outspoken cancer survivor succumbs to the disease

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cartoon paper boyLetters to the Editor: Dispensing with pleasantries

Sonoma Index-Tribune

July 28, 2020 – We applaud Michael Benziger’s letter to the editor (“Light a Sparc for Sonoma,” July 14).

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Ken and Jewel in parkSonoma’s city council picks 2 to present dispensary plans in August

Sonoma Index-Tribune

June 11, 2020 – Two companies with strong Sonoma County ties, Justice Grown and SPARC, were selected to finalize their proposal for a cannabis dispensary in the city.

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cartoon paper boyLetters to the Editor: Supports cannabis dispensary

Sonoma Index-Tribune

June 5, 2020 – The Sonoma City Council is coming up to its final stages to consider the issue of a license for a cannabis dispensary.

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coastal dispensaryCouncil to review 5 dispensary ‘finalists’

Sonoma Index-Tribune

May 25, 2020 – Five hopefuls will present their best case to the City Council on Wedneday, hoping to advance to the next phase of ‘Survivor Island: Sonoma Dispensary.’

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dispensary interiorCity of Sonoma’s cannabis license process on track

Sonoma Index-Tribune

April 16, 2020 – City on track to issue permits in August; dispensary may open by end of year.

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cartoon paper boySV Cannabis Group responds to Sun pot editorial

Sonoma Valley Sun

May 28, 2019 – Gil Latimer, of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group, responds to The Sun editorial ‘Haven’t you heard? The war on pot is over.”

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mini mall parking lotSonoma City Council OK with 2 dispensaries

Sonoma Index-Tribune

March 7, 2019 – Three-member majority leans toward 1 walk-in, 1 delivery-only

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city councilSonoma City Council moves on pot dispensaries

Sonoma Index-Tribune

February 21, 2019 – Cook lone holdout as council allocates funds for cannabis consultants in first steps toward commercial sales.

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Jewel Mathieson shows her delivery permitCannabis deliveries to City of Sonoma still limited to medical patients

Sonoma Index-Tribune

December 24, 2018 – A new cannabis dispensary will start delivery service Jan. 1, giving Sonoma patients two sources for their medicine.

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outdoor cannabis seedlingsSonoma OK’s cannabis grows

Sonoma Index-Tribune

October 1, 2018 – Call it a “spliff” decision. The Sonoma City Council last week struggled to reconcile competing elements in a proposed ordinance to regulate cannabis cultivation and cannabis sales in the city, so city officials on Sept. 24 split the issue into two parts – and narrowly approved limited personal cultivation of cannabis both indoors and out.

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cartoon paper boyLetters to the Editor, Aug. 21 – 23

Sonoma Index-Tribune

August 20, 2018 – A response to criticisms, and a plea for mountain lions

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cartoon paper boyLetters to the Editor: Dispensaries are inevitable

Sonoma Index-Tribune

August 13, 2018 – The Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group (SVCG) strongly condemns the malicious behavior of Jon Early toward Sonoma City Councilman David Cook (‘Bullseye Email Raises Alarm at City Hall,’ Aug. 7). We cannot stress more firmly that any level of threats or harassment of public officials or citizens is not only out of line, but ultimately counter-productive.

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Jason Walsh: Sonoma cannabis initiative up in smoke

Sonoma Index-Tribune

August 6, 2018 – COMMENT: Thank you, Jason Walsh, for a stinging editorial. We agree, the council majority’s goal for requiring yet another study isn’t about information gathering, it’s to block a local dispensary. – at no expense, by the way, there goes another $25,000 down a rabbit hole of their own making… – Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group

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Ken and Jewel in parkLost in the weeds?

Sonoma Valley Sun

July 6, 2018 – Curiously, neither Ken Brown, the former city councilmember, nor his wife Jewel Mathieson signed the pro-pot petition.

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cartoon paper boyLetters to the Editor, Cannabis decision ‘shameful and embarrassing’

Sonoma Index-Tribune

June 14, 2018 – Readers weigh in on Bear Flag re-enactment, Plaza art and council’s vote on cannabis dispensaries

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outdoor cannabis plantSonoma City Council: Back yard cannabis OK, dispensary no way

Sonoma Index-Tribune

May 31, 2018 – City officials at crosswinds over ‘stinky weed’ in Wednesday special session.

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outdoor cannabis on porchCannabis users lobby Sonoma to ‘grow their own’

Sonoma Index-Tribune

May 28, 2018 – Council to vote Wednesday on whether to ban outdoor cultivation

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indoor cannabis seedlingsSonoma’s city council sticks with indoors-only, six-plant maximum for personal cannabis cultivation

Sonoma Index-Tribune

April 17, 2018 – The City Council voted Monday to keep the current restrictions on personal cannabis gardens, despite public complaint.

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cartoon paper boyA response to ‘Pipe Dreams’ article

Sonoma Valley Sun

March 7, 2018 – It is the case that there is some backbiting within the cannabis industry, but what industry doesn’t include that?

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counter inside a dispensaryPipe dreams: Will Sonoma miss out on the marijuana boom?

Sonoma Valley Sun

February 23, 2018 – Sonoma cannabis activist Gil Latimer calls himself a realist and a skeptic. For the most part, he defends Sonoma when it comes to marijuana, though he has some gripes.

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Sonoma holding breath on cannabis

Sonoma Index-Tribune

December 28, 2017 – Gil Latimer, of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group, encourages the community to make its position on the issue known to the Council.

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older man with pipeCannabis forum at Sonoma’s Vintage House

Sonoma Index-Tribune

October 2, 2017 – The forum is sponsored and hosted by Jewel Mathieson of Sonoma, a breast cancer survivor and cannabis activist with Sonoma Patient Group, the oldest dispensary serving Sonoma County.

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medical persrption bottleJason Walsh: Has Sonoma come around on medical pot?

Sonoma Index-Tribune

September 14, 2017 – Former city council member Ken Brown asked city officials to keep those patients ‘in the front of your mind.’ ‘(There’s been) a lot of statistics and a lot of talking,’ said Brown. ‘But there are patients in Sonoma who are terminal and need service now. Not six months from now, not when you get it all nailed down.’

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cannabis jars on counterJason Walsh: Will Sonoma bogart legal cannabis?

Sonoma Index-Tribune

September 4, 2017 – In past, City has been reluctant to embrace shifting winds

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Wildflower Weed bandSonoma to get rolling on cannabis

Sonoma Index-Tribune

August 31, 2017 – Council schedules Sept. 11 session to discuss regulations

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Ken Brown in studioKen Brown’s new crusade

Sonoma Valley Sun

July 6, 2017 – Former Sonoma City Councilmember Ken Brown is on the march. You may have seen him in the Fourth of July Parade – for a medicinal cannabis facility within the City limits.

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cartoon paper boyKen Brown: support legal medicinal cannabis facility in Sonoma

Sonoma Valley Sun

July 2, 2017 – Hey neighbors! Join with myself, Richard Silver and Earl Blue for it is time for a Legal Medicinal Cannabis Facility in the City of Sonoma.

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