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County Administrator's Office

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

NOTICE FOR CULTIVATORS

If you have experienced crop loss due to the recent weather events, contact the Department of Agriculture / Weights & Measures (AWM) to schedule a canopy loss verification before plants are removed. Call (707) 565-2371 or email sonomaag@sonoma-county.org

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 sonomaag@sonoma-county.org

Continuing Multi-tenant Cannabis Land Uses

Multi-tenant Ordinance (No. 6356) Section III(a) states “The expiration date for each zoning permit is hereby extended for 5 years from the date the permit was issued, except that a zoning permit will expire if the use ceases for a continuous period of one year.”   Under this provision, if a multi-tenant cannabis operator wishes to forgo a growing season without expiring their permit, the operator must demonstrate the use has not ceased by maintaining their local cannabis cultivation permit and state cultivation license, maintaining title or lease of the land, paying inspection fees, allowing inspections, complying with BMPs, requesting canopy verifications as needed, and filing tax statements.  

Cannabis Program Update & Environmental Impact Report

More information on the Cannabis Program Update & EIR

Multi-Tenant Ordinance Adopted 10/26/2021

On October 26, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted Urgency Ordinance No. 6356 to expire September 10, 2023 prohibiting new permits for large-scale multi-tenant commercial cannabis cultivation in unincorporated Sonoma County.

Visit County Ordinances.

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)

Cannabis Equity Program

The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), in partnership with the Department of Cannabis Control, provides Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions. This program seeks to advance economic justice for populations and communities disproportionately affected by cannabis prohibition by providing funding to local jurisdictions that are committed to promoting equity in the legal cannabis marketplace and eliminating barriers to entering the regulated cannabis industry.

GO-Biz Cannabis Equity Grants Program Webpage

In April 2021, the County received a Type 1 Grant for purposes of conducting a cannabis equity assessment and developing a local equity program. 

April 13, 2021 Board of Supervisors Meeting Materials

On November 16, 2021, the Board of Supervisors received the Cannabis Equity Assessment and approved the creation of a Local Equity Program. 

Sonoma County Cannabis Equity Assessment  (PDF: 6.2 MB)

Spanish Cannabis Equity Assessment

November 16, 2021 Board of Supervisors Meeting Materials

Draft Local Cannabis Equity Program Manual is now available. 

Draft Local Cannabis Equity Program Manual  (PDF: 611 KB)

Spanish Draft Local Cannabis Equity Program Manual