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County Administrator's Office

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Security Workshop hosted by City of Santa Rosa

The City of Santa Rosa is hosting an in-person workshop to discuss security in the cannabis industry.

Location: Utilities Field Operation Building (35 Stony Point Rd, Santa Rosa)

Date: Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Time: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Visit the City of Santa Rosa Cannabis Security Community Workshop event webpage for more information.

Multi-Tenant Ordinance Update

On June 6, 2023 the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 6436 amending the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance. The ordinance permanently amends the multi-tenant provision in Section 26-88-250(f)(2) to only allow ministerial review of smaller-scale multi-tenant cannabis cultivation permits. 

Section 26-88-254(f)(2) has been amended to read as follows:
Multi-Tenant Operations. Multiple zoning permits may be issued on a single parcel provided that the aggregate cultivation area does not require a use permit per Table 1 A-D Allowed Cannabis Uses and Permit Requirements.

This change was previously established by Urgency Ordinance 6354 on September 21, 2021 and extended by Urgency Ordinance 6356 on October 26, 2021, until September 10, 2023. 

Link to County Ordinances

Cannabis Tax Update

On May 23, 2023 the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 6433 amending the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance. The key changes are:

  • Updated reference to Chapter 26 of the Sonoma County code, to refer to correct section for definitions 26-04-020.
  • Amended the definitions of “Indoor”, “Personal cannabis cultivation”, and “Treasurer-tax collector” to make non-substantive corrections.
  • Amended the cultivation tax rates to the new rates approved by the Board on February 28, 2023 and removed all references to the temporary rate reduction. New cultivation tax rates effective July 1, 2023:
    • Outdoor - $0.75 per square foot
    • Mixed-Light - $3.00 per square foot
    • Indoor - $12.50 per square foot
  • Changed the language regarding reporting and remittance of tax, to clarify when cultivation area (cannabis canopy) verifications should be performed and who has authority over this process. Amended language aligns with existing County practice.
  • Changed the language regarding tax assessment hearing, application, and determination to align with existing tax-collector review processes in order to streamline cannabis assessment appeals for theoperator and tax-collector.
  • Changed the language regarding appeal hearing to explicitly reference the Board’s option to select the Hearing Officer, in line with current practice, and make the Hearing Officer’s decision final.

Link to County Ordinances

New Department of Cannabis Control Regulations

On November 10, 2022, the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) announced the adoption of new regulations. Among the changes is a revised definition of outdoor cultivation to include light deprivation as an allowable activity. 

Although the definition of outdoor cultivation has changed at the state level, the County's definitions remain unchanged and in effect. As such, conducting light deprivation continues to require a local permit for mixed-light cultivation. The County cannot pursue any interim ordinance updates (including changes to definitions) related to the current comprehensive program update while that process is ongoing.

Below are the current County of Sonoma definitions of outdoor and mixed-light cultivation per Sec. 26-04-020:

  • Cannabis Cultivation - Mixed-Light. Cannabis cultivation in a greenhouse or other similar structure using natural light, light deprivation, and/or any combination of natural and supplemental artificial lighting.
  • Cannabis Cultivation - Outdoor. Cannabis cultivation using no artificial lighting conducted in the ground or in containers outdoors. 

Read the new DCC regulations on the DCC website.

Reminder for all Sonoma County Cannabis Cultivators

Please contact the Sonoma County Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures (AWM) to schedule a cannabis canopy verification before harvest to confirm canopy size for your tax assessment. The inspection fee is $225 per hour. 

For indoor and mixed-light cultivation, a canopy verification should be conducted quarterly. For outdoor cultivation, a canopy verification should be conducted in the fall before harvest. 

In all cases, we are only able to verify canopy for tax purposes when the plants are in the ground and/or growing medium. 

If you suspect damage to your crop due to pests, disease, or an extreme weather event, please contact us right away to schedule a canopy loss verification. 

Call (707) 565-2371 or email

Determining Canopy

The Sonoma County Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures is tasked with verifying canopy of cannabis cultivated in Sonoma County. This canopy is determined in a variety of ways. Below is a link to a comprehensive guide on how canopy is determined.

Determining Canopy - A Comprehensive Guide  (PDF: 3.9 MB)