Sonoma County Moves Forward With New Cannabis Ordinance

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approved the first phase of a two-part ordinance Tuesday governing recreational cannabis sales and commercial cultivation in unincorporated areas of the county.

Recreational Cannabis Can Be Sold Starting Nov. 15

As of Nov. 15, five commercial adult-use cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to operate in unincorporated Sonoma County, provided they receive a permit. A 600-foot setback from schools is required.

New Limits on Outdoor Cultivation Imposed

The ordinance also sets a minimum lot size of 10 acres for commercial cannabis cultivation operations. As a result, 5,000 lots that had been considered possible cultivation sites have been eliminated as viable options.

Some Residents Displeased

At the public hearing Tuesday, a number of speakers came forward to express displeasure about the plan. One attendee wore a respiration mask which he says he’s forced to use because of the odor emanating from a pot grow near his home.

More Work to Be Done

Neighborhood concerns will be addressed during discussions over the second phase of the land use ordinance. This aspect of the law “will include a more thorough review of neighborhood compatibility” according to Petaluma Patch. It will begin next year and is expected to take 12-18 months to complete.