Most readers are aware cannabis was recently “legalized” in California but few fully understand the ramifications of the regulatory rollout, the confusion and the delays that were created.
The passage of Prop. 64 in November 2016 (with almost two thirds of the local Sonoma vote) was, in essence, a mandate: “A command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative(s).” However, local municipalities were also given the right to establish their own laws and regulations.
So far, the decision-making response here in the City of Sonoma has been very slow. Although, in fairness, it’s not just the City of Sonoma that’s in legalization turmoil. If one reads the recently enacted 270 pages of flawed and conflicting State regulations, it’s somewhat understandable that local authorities have decision anxiety. Nonetheless, Sonoma County itself as well as the Cities of Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, Cotati, Petaluma and even the nearby City of Napa have all gotten on the bandwagon with some level of reasonable commercial cannabis regulations.
Unfortunately for now, the Sonoma City Council has chosen to place a one-year moratorium on licensing any local cannabis business while they take their time to weigh local regulatory options. As an alternative to a full moratorium, temporary permits could be issued almost immediately if the City Council so desired while permanent regulations are fine-tuned over the coming year. That’s what many of us Sonomans would like to see happen as soon as possible.
My personal involvement with the cannabis industry dates back to 2009-2010 when we discovered, by chance, the amazing benefits of CBD, the non-psychoactive medicinal cannabinoid predominately found in certain marijuana strains. In August 2017, cognizant of the recently enacted Prop. 64 regulations, a property with portions ideally situated for a retail cannabis dispensary (both medical and recreational), a delivery service and a small manufacturing facility was acquired by an affiliated partnership keen to help us create local cannabis access here in the City of Sonoma.
With over eight years of experience managing legal cannabis collectives that included cultivating, manufacturing and supplying state-of-the-art medicinal products to our members, we can offer a perfectly-situated cannabis access location within the City, at 865 – 875 W. Napa St. By starting with an immediate local delivery service with local benefits, we are prepared to follow with a state-of-the-art dispensary and high quality manufacturing, assuming we can expect permanent status.
We do have City design and construction approval already underway, which means these tired old buildings are about to emerge as a very exciting gateway complex to include a refurbished restaurant, wine café, offices and retail space, hopefully with cannabis access elements. Go to www.sonoma-access.com for details, images and updates!
– Jon Early, Sonoma