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County Ordinances

Cannabis Tax Ordinance Amendments

On April 19, 2022 the Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance amending the County's Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance (codified in Sonoma County Code Chapter 35). The Ordinance accomplishes the following:
  • Reduce the cultivation tax rates by 45% effective July 1, 2021 with a sunset on the reduction on June 20, 2023. 
  • Amend lanugage for consistency and clarification, including clarifying language regarding operator audits and providing financial records, including gross receipts data, to County consultants.

Multi-Tenant Ordinance

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.

Sonoma County Code Sec. 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.

For example: On a parcel zoned Land Extensive Agriculture (LEA), multiple ministerial permits cannot exceed 500 square feet of indoor, 2,500 square feet of mixed light, or 10,000 square feet of outdoor and the aggregate cultivation area of all types on the parcel cannot exceed 10,000 square feet.

Current Multi-Tenant Permittees:

  • Permit terms are extended for 5 years from the date the permit was issued. However, if use ceases for a continuous period of one year, the permit will expire.
  • If a complete application for a use permit is submitted within 3 years, the current zoning permits will not expire until there is a final determination on the use permit application. If an applicant does not submit a use permit application within 3 years, the zoning permits will expire at the end of the 5 year term.
  • Permittees must continue to pay the monitoring and inspection fees, and are subject to at least two inspections per year. The zoning permits remain subject to enforcement, including suspension or revocation as per Sonoma County Code Sec. 26-88-252.

Adopted Ordinance No. 6356  (PDF: 453 KB)
Link to Item Materials on Board of Supervisors Agenda Website

2021 Proposed Cannabis Ordinance Documents

Board of Supervisors

On May 18, 2021, the Board voted 5-0 to reject the Planning Commission’s recommendation to adopt the Commercial Cannabis Cultivation in Agricultural and Resource Areas Ordinance, also known as Chapter 38, which would have streamlined permitting for cannabis cultivation within Agricultural and Resource zoned parcels in Sonoma County. Read the Board Summary Report and Attachments here

Planning Commission

April 15, 2021 Staff Memo and Resolution

March 18, 2021 Staff Report and Attachments

Zoom recordings: 
March 18, 2021 Meeting Passcode: bxUf2!P4
March 25, 2021 Meeting Passcode: K?e*G5h@
April 15, 2021 Meeting Passcode: Z1rf2zb!

March 2021 Virtual Town Halls

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

Link to Zoom Recordings

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 will include a more thorough review of neighborhood compatibility and other implementation efforts that require robust outreach and staff analysis.

Part 1 Amendments to the Cannabis Ordinance include:

  • Minimum lot size of 10 acres for all commercial cannabis cultivation operations in agricultural and resource zones (LIA, LEA, DA, and RRD)
  • New setback of 600 feet from schools for indoor cultivation in agricultural and resource zones
  • Reduction to the setback from public parks may be allowed with a use permit under certain circumstances
  • Adult use/recreational cannabis is allowed only with a use permit
  • Use permit term extended to 5 years (zoning permits are still 1 year)
  • 25% additional area for propagation to support onsite cultivation is allowed with a use permit;
  • New license types:
    • Centralized Processing (Cap of 9)
    • Microbusiness (combo of different cannabis businesses, allowed only in industrial)
    • Distributor-Transport Only- okay for all zones where cultivation is allowed

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted the Cannabis Ordinance for Land Use, Medical Cannabis Health Ordinance, and Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance in December 2016.

2016 Ordinance Adoption and 2018 Ordinance Updates

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors met on December 6, December 13, and December 20, 2016; and on April 11 and October 16, 2018.

October 16, 2018

August 7, 2018

April 10, 2018

December 20, 2016

December 13, 2016

December 6, 2016

Sonoma County Planning Commission

The Sonoma County Planning Commission met several times during October and November 2016; and June and September 2018.

September 6, 2018

      June 28, 2018

      June 7, 2018

      November 17, 2016

      October 2016