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Board of Supervisors Pass Cannabis Amendments, Appoint Advisory Group Members

Aug 28, 2018
by Will Carruthers

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After a five-hour discussion about proposed changes to cannabis regulations earlier this month, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors quickly passed the regulatory amendments and appointed three new members to the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group at its meeting on Tuesday morning.

The proposals were most recently discussed at an August 7 Board of Supervisors meeting when color-coded industry representatives and anti-cannabis activists squared off over the issue during the public comment period.

Supervisors hoped the rules change will provide consistency for their businesses and their concerned neighbors alike.

“I’m hopeful we can come to a broad consensus,” Supervisor Lynda Hopkins said at the meeting, according to the Press Democrat. “Having this (the rules) keep changing is really hard for (cannabis) operators and is really hard for neighbors who have no idea what the hell is going to happen. We need to expedite the permitting process to provide answers.”

Regulatory Amendments:

The approved amendments alter the rules regulating the permits required to operate a dispensary and the process of awarding and revoking those permits.

Other amendments to codes governing the business tax and proposed land use regulations were intended to "incentivize [code] compliance and to avoid unduly burdening a nascent industry," according to a staff summary. The amendments tweaked the Cannabis Business Tax to be consistent with other county and state regulations, and redefined some terms to align with the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance.

All of the amendments are available to read here.

New Advisory Group Members:

The supervisors appointed twenty members to the newly-formed Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group on July 18, but three have since resigned.

The three new members of the Cannabis Advisory Group areGreg Dexter, a retired homeowner living in District 4,Laura Waldbaum, an environmental advocate, and Dona Frank, the owner of the OrganiCann Dispensary in Santa Rosa.

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