Please Sign Our Call for More Cannabis Retail Stores in California

We need your support. The cannabis industry must address local control and its negative effects on the industry as a whole and the hardships it creates for seniors, veterans, young people with childhood maladies and individuals with disabilities for whom cannabis serves an important medical purpose.

On behalf of California’s leading cannabis trade, labor, advocacy, veterans, and patient organizations, as well as individual stakeholders throughout the industry, we’ve drafted this position paper to serve as a template for other local jurisdictions in their fight for reasonable access to cannabis. Every industry signature helps, so please read the full text below and show your support today.


    • California must prioritize its retail footprint to expand availability of cannabis products
    • Local Control creates hardships across the entire supply chain
    • There are several hundred under-served jurisdictions across the state, of which the small town of Sonoma is one example
    • All stakeholders must work together to devise strategies that support wider access at the local level

Take Action


Sign Your Support for Our Call for More Cannabis Retail Stores in California, below.

Position Paper (quick read)



                   Position Paper


                                                                 1 January 2024

I. Retail and Local Control

Most industry professionals believe California must address and prioritize its retail footprint before it can have real impact on the availability of cannabis products. California’s Proposition 64 grants city and county governments local control to restrict retail cannabis dispensaries from operating within their jurisdictions.1 Not only does local control create hardship for seniors, veterans, young people with childhood maladies and individuals with disabilities for whom cannabis serves an important medical purpose, it also

    • threatens consumer safety and perpetuates the illegal market;
    • undermines the survival of smaller scale cultivators;
    • blocks access and business opportunities to minority communities; and
    • creates space for corruption and scandal among elected officials.

II. Sonoma, California

Over-concentration of retail in a few large cities may be of some concern, but there are several hundred under-served jurisdictions across the state. The town of Sonoma is just one example of how local control makes it nearly impossible to open stores. This small northern California municipality has just one dispensary serving the city and its surrounding population of 40,000. Patients and consumers want local access to competitive prices and more choices, but those options are limited if there is only one provider. Capitalism without competition is exploitation.

Though Sonoma’s ordinance allows for two dispensaries, the city council continues to forestall the process for a second retail outlet. This, despite the fact that the city’s own consultant, HdL Companies, indicated that Sonoma could sustain two dispensaries.2 Why would a city council choose to ignore the expert opinion of its own consultant and reduce by half the options a second dispensary would provide its constituents? Why would it choose to deny the city additional revenue? Why does it support a monopoly of service in Sonoma, rather than let the market decide?

III. Conclusion

The health, safety, and personal well-being of both patients and consumers come first, and should guide every decision our industry makes. When California voters supported Prop. 64, they made clear the importance of replacing the illicit market with a legal system that would grant Californians safe access to cannabis products, while also creating good jobs and significant tax revenue. It is essential that all stakeholders work together to support wider access at the local level and encourage a positive outcome that reflects the will of the people.

1HdL Companies, Elections Code Section 9212 Report Regarding an Initiative Measure to Permit Personal Cannabis Cultivation and Commercial Cannabis Businesses within the City of Sonoma, City of Sonoma, P 18,

2Alexander Nieves, California’s legal weed industry can’t compete with illicit market, POLITICO,


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Gil Latimer, Founder, Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group
Sonoma County Cannabis Alliance
California NORML
Debbie Churgai, Executive Director, Americans for Safe Access
Genine Coleman, Executive Director, Origins Council
Hessel Farmers Grange
Nate Bradley, Executive Director – Cannabis Consumer Policy Council
Ken Brown, Founder, Bear Flag Social Club, Former Mayor, City of Sonoma
Jen Baxter, Executive Director, Balanced Veterans Network
Etienne Fontan, VP, Berkeley Patients Group
David Wallace Jefferson, President, Burdell Properties
Shivawn Brady-Fenton, Senior VP of Compliance, Justice Cannabis Co.
Brandon Levine, CEO, Mercy Wellness
GreenWave Consulting LLC
Jason Sweatt, Co-Founder, CEO, Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance
Tim Blake, Founder and producer of The Emerald Cup
Craig Litwin, CEO, 421 Group
Hirsh Jain, Founder, Ananda Strategy
Megan Mbengue, Founder, Trusted Canna Nurse
Jeffrey Y. Hergenrather, MD, Medical Cannabis Consultant
Wesley Hein, Head of Government Relations, Mammoth Distribution
Josette Brose-Eichar, Member, Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group, Owner, Lavender Floral Design
Van Solkov, Founder, Happy Travelers Tours, Inc.
Dustin Gibbens, Co-Founder, 965 Solutions
Brian Applegarth, Founder, The Cannabis Trail
Matt Grimshaw, President & Co-Founder, MGTV Inc (cannabis media)
Lenny Clayburg, Founder, Condor Grown
Michael Jay Green, Individual/Member, Veterans Action Council
Yarrow Lee Kubrin, Individual
Perri Ellis Paniagua, Resident of Sonoma for 33 years
Annie Holman, CEO, THE GALLEY
Chad Beverly, President, Cush
Keenan Soares, Co-Founder, CannDev
Mike Bruno, Founder, Golden Ocean Solutions
Nate Landau, Co-founder and COO, Snowtill
Donna Petraitis Fontan, Individual
Shona Levana Gochenaur, CEO, Axis of Love SF
Cannabis Jew Magazine
Brian Dombrowski, Cannabis/Hemp Industry Advisor
Micah Anderson, CEO & Co Founder, Leef Brands
DeVonne Hart, CEO & Owner, Santa Rosa Garden Supply
William Graham, CEO and Founder, Pure Food Gardening dba Microclone Tissue Culture/Tangent Bioscience
Victor Trujillo, CEO, Tru Invest Inc
Sarah Shrader, Americans for Safe Access, Sonoma County Chapter
Chris Anderson, Founder/CEO, Redwood Roots Family Inc.
Horst Legal Counsel, PC
Terry Patton, Founder & Chairman, CannaTrac
Carl Saling, CEO, HighDay
Wyatt Hahn, Founder & CEO, Pluggi
Patrick Bransford, President, Castle Rock Ridge
Toni Malvesta
Michael Adams, Owner, Nurturing Seed Farm
Sica Roman, CEO and Co-Founder, Spring Creek Farm

To:   The Honorable Members of the Sonoma City Council

Cc:    Mr. David Guhin, City Manager, City of Sonoma

Jennifer M Gates, Community Development Director, City of Sonoma

Joseph Erich Pearson, CEO, PARC Ventures LLC.

Amy O’Gorman Jenkins, Founder, Precision Advocacy

Emily Paxhia, Managing Director, Poseidon Investment Management, LLC.

Morgan Paxhia, Managing Partner, Poseidon Investment Management, LLC.

Patrick Rea, Managing Director, Poseidon Investment Management, LLC.

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