• Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Planning Commission Meeting Information

For more information on the Planning Commission meetings and to read the documents, visit County Ordinances

Virtual Town Hall PowerPoint and Zoom Video Recordings

The PowerPoint Presentation and Zoom Video Recordings from the March 8 and March 12 Virtual Town Halls will be available the week of March 15. 

Virtual Town Hall PowerPoint (English) (PDF: 6.7 MB)
Virtual Town Hall PowerPoint (Spanish) (PDF: 3.8 MB) 

If you would like to receive a link to the Zoom Video Recordings, please email your request to Cannabis@sonoma-county.org.

Now available for Public Review: Draft Ordinance and Draft Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration

The County of Sonoma is proposing to adopt amendments to the County Code, Chapter 26 and new Chapter 38, to allow expanded ministerial permitting for commercial cannabis cultivation in agricultural and resource zoned areas. The County of Sonoma also proposes a general plan amendment to include cannabis within the meaning of agriculture. A Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration is proposed to be adopted pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and State and County CEQA Guidelines. The draft Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration has found that the proposed ordinance amendments and general plan amendment as written will not have a significant effect upon the environment.

The comment period will be from February 16, 2021 to March 18, 2021, a period of 30 days pursuant to Section 15105(b) of the CEQA Guidelines. Comments must be received no later than 12:00 PM on March 18, 2021. Comments should be addressed to the Planning Commission c/o McCall Miller, Department Analyst, Cannabis Program, County Administrator’s Office, and submitted electronically to Cannabis@sonoma-county.org; or by mail to 575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A, Santa Rosa, California 95403.

The public hearing before the Planning Commission is tentatively set for Thursday, March 18, 2021. A separate notice of the date, time, and means of accessing the Planning Commission’s virtual public hearing will be issued 10 days prior to the confirmed hearing date. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will also hold a noticed public hearing at a later date, to be determined and noticed separately.

NOTE: These documents replace the preliminary working drafts released on January 31, 2021. 

Notice of Intent (PDF: 92 kB)
Draft Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration (PDF: 1.8 MB)
Draft Commercial Cannabis Cultivation Ordinance (PDF: 471 kB) 
Draft Amendments to Chapter 26 of Sonoma County Code (PDF: 5.4 MB)
Draft General Plan Amendment (PDF: 186 kB)

Link to documents on California Environmental Quality Act website

Link to Frequently Asked Questions - 2021 Ordinance Update

CROP LOSS DUE TO RECENT FIRES

We recognize that Sonoma County cannabis producers may have lost crop due to the recent fires. The Sonoma County Tax Ordinance allows the County to prorate or adjust the cannabis business tax based on crop loss.

The Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures will be available to perform inspections to cannabis crops to determine crop loss. Growers wishing to claim crop loss must contact the Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures at (707) 565-2371 to schedule an inspection. 

Can Cannabis Businesses continue to operate?

Yes, licensed cannabis businesses are allowed to remain open, including cultivators, processors, manufacturers, distributors, testing labs, dispensaries/retail facilities, and delivery companies providing medical or adult-use cannabis. All cannabis businesses must be closed to the public and employees must follow Social Distancing and Hygiene Requirements.

Dispensaries/retail facilities and delivery companies may only sell cannabis and cannabis products via curbside pickup or delivery. Dispensaries/retail facilities selling via curbside pickup should encourage customers to call in their orders ahead of time. Customers do not need a County Medical Marijuana ID Card or a physician’s recommendation to purchase cannabis or cannabis products.

For more information, visit socoemergency.org

Cannabis Ad Hoc Update

On November 10, 2020, the Board of Supervisors received an update from the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee. 

The Cannabis Ad Hoc, comprised of Supervisors Gore and Hopkins, during the October 28, 2020 meeting, accepted staff recommendation to pursue a General Plan amendment that will manage cannabis cultivation similarly to other crops’ agricultural uses. As with any changes to the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, the approach recognizes that a general plan amendment will need to be studied under California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and adopted in compliance with state planning and zoning law. The proposed ordinance changes and associated environmental analysis will be publicly available for review before the end of 2020. The review will include engaging Tribal partners in compliance with SB 18 and AB 52. Additionally, to prepare for increased cannabis land use compliance review workload, Agriculture/Weights & Measures management will be presenting a request for additional staff financed with Cannabis funds during the mid-year budget review. 

To read the Summary Report and Cannabis Ad Hoc Update, click here

Planning Agency Update July 30, 2020

Staff gave a presentation regarding the Cannabis Ordinance Update key items for consideration, process, and timeline. 

View the Zoom Video on YouTube

View the PowerPoint Presentation. (PDF: 529 Kb) 

If you would like to submit public comments regarding the Cannabis Ordinance Update, please email them to Cannabis@sonoma-county.org

December 2019 Update: Cannabis Ad Hoc Recommendations

On December 17, 2019, the Board of Supervisors received an update on the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee and accepted recommendations for program improvements. 

The Board of Supervisors approved recommendations for staff to explore changes in the following areas: penalty relief program, cultivation, and the timeline for these recommendations. These changes include an assessment of penalty relief applications, permitting process improvements, code enforcement, and updates to the ordinance toward ministerial permitting. 

Staff will begin work on the following items:

  • Complete an assessment of each penalty relief project application and establish a path to resolution
  • Schedule projects identified for original jurisdiction for hearing at future Board of Supervisors meetings (30 day notification)
  • Investigate amending the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance to that cannabis cultivation may be allowed with a ministerial permit issued by the Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures (AWM), while associated building permits would continue to be issued by Permit Sonoma; and including amendments that would streamline the permitting process
  • Transition code enforcement of regulated market from Permit Sonoma to AWM
  • Shift priorities from a countywide environmental impact review toward changes that do not require that level of environmental review
  • Develop a business plan and timeline for program improvements and transition of responsibilities

Please note: Amendments to the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance will proceed through a public hearing process, with opportunities for public input. The Board of Supervisors will also review the business plan and timeline. 

Summary Report (PDF: 1,350 kB) 

PowerPoint Presentation (PDF: 234 kB)

CalCannabis Update - COVID-19: Keeping Our Workforces Safe

Visit the CalCannabis website for information on how to keep your workforce safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, click here

Information for the Public

Information For Businesses

Licensing & Regulation Assistance

Taxation

Cannabis Taxation
Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector

Permits & Inspections

Edible Medical Cannabis Manufacturing and Dispensaries
Environmental Health & Safety

Cottage and Outdoor Cultivation
Agriculture, Weights & Measures

Land Use & Building Permits, Zoning, Code Enforcement
Permit & Resource Management Department (Permit Sonoma)

Hazardous Materials & CUPA
Fire Prevention

Compliance Inspections

Best Management Practices, Scales and Scanners
Agriculture, Weights & Measures