The Sonoma Planning Commission held its first public hearing on a cannabis ordinance last night (the second is scheduled for May 9).
Though it understands how to administer zoning laws and ordinances, some commission members displayed a lack of knowledge of cannabis and the types of businesses attached to it.
Some also expressed exasperation that this process was initiated by the City Council, rather than the commission. At one point the commission’s chair firmly pointed out that “this is how government works” and that the commission would get a crack at changing/adding/subtracting items when the ordinance comes back to them from the Council.
The Sonoma City Council has a much firmer grasp of the issue. It seems that if the Planning Commission was left to initiate an ordinance, there might never be any cannabis business in the city.
Meanwhile, the City Council will hold its second study session on the issue at its April 15 meeting (Monday, 6 pm, 177 First St West). You can see the Agenda and the Report PDF here:
The Council will consider possible adjustments to the buffer maps and an outline of the merit-based application process. A draft ordinance will be drawn up and presented to the Planning Commission on May 9 for its own review/changes/recommendations. After that come the first and second readings of the ordinance in June.
So, the ball is rolling on this ordinance faster and faster. We *strongly* encourage anyone who cares about safe, local access to medicinal cannabis (adult rec, too) to please come to these upcoming meetings. If you can’t come to a meeting, send an email to the City Council and Planning Commission to show your support!
City Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning Commission: email@example.com
Sonoma Valley Cannabis Group