The County conducted a series of town hall meetings and community workshops to gather input on cannabis regulations and to communicate the new regulations and permit process. Staff developed a “Dirt to Dispensary” workshop series to assist an industry new to regulation. To date, the County has held 18 of these workshops on topics ranging from taxation, permitting, water use, best management practices and energy and sustainability.
Attendance at many of the workshops has been over 300 people. Two of the workshops focused on security with representatives from the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department providing information on best practices for business crime prevention and sharing a variety of resources to keep our community and businesses safe.
In addition to the workshop series, staff has developed a variety of tools to efficiently provide key information and respond to a very high volume of questions and assistance requests. These tools include this cannabis-specific website, a cannabis email and telephone hotline; handouts; and informational presentations.
Through the cannabis email and hotline, the Sonoma County community can reach out directly to trained staff members to have any question or concern addressed directly. The response to the cannabis hotline has been tremendous and staff continues to respond to dozens of calls and emails each week.
To address neighborhood concerns and to inform the community about the Cannabis Ordinance, staff has presented information at approximately 15 very well-attended neighborhood and community group meetings.
On October 16, 2018, the County updated the Cannabis Ordinance which went into effect on November 15, 2018. This update, Part 1, was the first of two updates. Part 1 had a limited scope focused on neighborhood compatibility issues and aligning the Ordinance with state law where appropriate. Part 2, anticipated to begin in the summer of 2019, will include a more thorough review of neighborhood compatibility and other implementation efforts that require robust outreach and staff analysis.
To be notified of upcoming community outreach and Ordinance update activities, please sign up for Sonoma County Cannabis Email Updates.