In the fast moving evolution of commercial cannabis policy, the Sonoma County Agriculture Commissioner’s office is no exception. SCGA executive director, Tawnie Logan, and board member, Dennis Rosatti, recently had an opportunity to sit down with agricultural commissioner (AC), Tony Linegar, to get a summary on what’s coming up for cannabis in his department:

Best Management Practices (BMPs)– were recently updated and are available on the AC’s website.

Biotic Assessment– The AC/County of Sonoma are going to take these very seriously, due to the CEQA negative declaration of impacts from the Cannabis Ordinance. Operators are not required to have a biologist do the biotic assessment, but are expected to have someone who is familiar with recognizing wetlands, local fauna and endangered species. The Sonoma County Winegrowers has information related to biological assessments on their website.

Permit Application– The AC has now posted on its website the zoning permit application for outdoor commercial cannabis cultivation

  • Cottage (25 plants or less)
  • Specialty Outdoor (5,000 sq. ft. OR 50 plants or less)
  • Small Outdoor (5,001 to 10,000 sq. ft.)

Top 6 things to prepare for your permit:

  • Determine the slope of your property, and cultivation site
  • Prepare a topo/site map
  • If you’re leasing, obtain a notarized copy of your permission from the landlord for your commercial cannabis operation.
  • Verify all your setbacks:
    • 300 ft from neighboring residence, 100ft from fence
    • 1,000 ft from sensitive uses (k-12 schools, daycare centers, public parks and alcohol or drug treatment centers)
    • Riparian and Wetland setbacks
  • Make sure your well is conditioned, and permitted
  • Have your WQCB Wastewater Waiver completed, and make sure you’re compliant with SWRCB and Fish & Wildlife standards.


AC’s Workshop– The AC’s office will be holding a workshop on June 29th at their office, 133 Aviation Blvd #110, Santa Rosa.

Items to be covered include:

    1. Review of zoning permit applications
    2. Review of the AC’s web page navigation (new site coming!)
    3. In-take appointments with the Ag/Weights/Measures Department
    4. Nursery issues review
    5. Crop loss + procedures for claims

SPACE IS VERY LIMITED FOR THIS WORKSHOP! If you plan to attend, please RSVP immediately to the AC’s office at 707-565-2371.

Sonoma County Grower’s Alliance has worked incredibly hard to cultivate relationships and create a professional presence in policy creation and interpretation for our members and cannabis community in Sonoma County. The team at SCGA would like to thank Tony Linegar and his staff for their time and attention to issues of concern for our budding industry.


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