Let’s put the second dispensary back on the Agenda

Every new dispensary in California helps the supply chain. The city of Sonoma currently has one retail outlet (Sparc), but a monopoly is not acceptable. The city’s ordinance allows for two dispensaries. All the paperwork including the RFP have been largely concluded, but the issue remains tabled. Our Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group has launched a new campaign to put this issue back on the city council agenda. The following is the first letter of many to the Council:

Dear Mayor Lowe, Vice Mayor Gurney and Council Members,

On behalf of the Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group, we are writing once again to communicate our strong interest in the process to permit a second cannabis dispensary. In support of that, we offer the following:

1)   According to city records, in its first 8 months of operation, Sparc’s gross receipts amount to $2,894,355.41, from which the city of Sonoma received $115,774.22 in Cannabis Business Tax.

2)   Sparc has incurred no negative impacts on the safety, health and welfare of Valley citizens.

3)   Sparc has had ample time to establish itself as a viable business. Assuming the city issues the RFP for a second dispensary in the first quarter of 2023, that store may not open until the first quarter of 2024, by which time Sparc will have been in operation a full two years.

4)   Sonoma’s cannabis consultant HdL noted that the city could support two retailers.

5) The city council understands that permitting a wide variety of retail stores in Sonoma attracts both locals and visitors. The city council has never restricted an individual or group from opening a retail shop in any business category, whether it’s pharmacies, groceries, clothing or book stores.

Understanding that city staff has already generated the RFP and the associated documents, we respectfully request that the city council, at the earliest possible time, place an item on the Agenda to consider, discuss and act to begin the Request for Proposal Process.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have and we thank you for your time and attention.

Best Regards,

SVCG Executive/Policy Committee


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