• 5 Sep 2021 8:00 AM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    Sonoma County’s countywide cannabis visioning survey closes tomorrow (Monday, September 6, 2021). Members and supporters of the local cannabis industry are encouraged to submit their responses so our concerns can be heard by the Board of Supervisors as they work to revise the county’s cannabis program. This is especially important considering how there has been talk of a potential moratorium on new applications.

    Link for survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cannabisvisioningsurvey

    More information: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Cannabis-Program/

    Submit feedback about the survey to: mailto:cannabis@sonoma-county.org

    Want to get involved with SCGA’s efforts to improve cannabis policies in Sonoma County? Email us at info@scgalliance.com to learn more about our campaigns, committees, and leadership opportunities.

  • 17 Feb 2021 3:46 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    The following documents related to Sonoma County’s proposed cannabis ordinance updates are now available for review, with comments due at 12pm PST on March 18:

    These documents replace the preliminary documents the county had posted previously.

    Link to documents on California Environmental Quality Act website

    Link to Frequently Asked Questions – 2021 Ordinance Update

    Comments should be addressed to the Planning Commission c/o McCall Miller, Department Analyst, Cannabis Program, County Administrator’s Office, and submitted electronically to Cannabis@sonoma-county.org; or by mail to 575 Administration Drive, Suite 104A, Santa Rosa, California 95403.

    A public hearing before the Planning Commission has been tentatively set for March 18.  The county is holding virtual town halls about the proposed ordinance updates on March 8 (2pm & 5pm) and March 12 (9am & 12pm).

    For more information, visit the county’s cannabis program website.


  • 12 Feb 2021 3:48 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    [NOTE: Updated materials have been posted on the county’s cannabis program website. Please refer to those documents instead of the ones in this post when reading and commenting on the proposed ordinance changes.]

    On January 31, 2021, Sonoma County released preliminary draft language for a new cannabis cultivation ordinance, along with a draft of the associated subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration. Both documents can be accessed on the county’s cannabis program website. Our preliminary reading shows that this language would be an addition to the existing cultivation permit process that could provide a pathway for those in some zoning classifications (DA, LIA, LEA & RRD with a minimum parcel size of 10 acres) to a local permit through the Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures (the “Ag Department”). Some of the draft ordinance includes positive changes, such as the ability to obtain a county permit in a shorter time through a ministerial process at the Ag Department in contrast to a longer and more costly discretionary process at PRMD; however, there remain many questions about implementation, grandfathering in of current applicants and penalty relief operators, water and road regulations, how a ministerial permit from the Ag Department will allow operators to satisfy CEQA compliance for an annual state license, and the long-term viability of the cannabis industry in Sonoma County. Staff is still accepting suggestions, and changes may still be made to this preliminary draft; you can submit comments to Cannabis@sonoma-county.org with “Preliminary Draft Comments” in the subject line.

    Check out this blog post from our friends at the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa for more details about what’s included (and not included) in the draft language.

    In addition to our regular Member call on Wednesday February 24 from 9:00am-10:00am, we have also set aside Wednesday, February 17 from 9:00am-10:00am for review and discussion.  Please contact us for the Zoom access information; all are welcome to this work session!!  

    You can  also let us know how you feel about the draft by emailing info@scgalliance.com with your feedback.

  • 6 Jan 2021 3:49 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    The SCGA Board of Directors sent the following letter to county officials in response to further delay in releasing the draft amendments to the Sonoma County Commercial Cannabis Land Use Ordinance.

    SCGA-Letter-to-SoCo-re-Delay-of-Updates-to-Ordinance-Amendments-1.2.21.pdf

  • 30 Nov 2020 3:51 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    On November 10, 2020 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors received a quarterly update from the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee regarding the status of the current permitting program and an update on proposed amendments to the cannabis ordinance. You can view the update here.

    Of note, the former cannabis program manager Niki Berrocal is no longer working with the county, and the new “point person” for the cannabis program is Assistant County Administrator Christina Rivera, though it seems like she will mainly be overseeing the various county agencies involved rather than making any policy decisions herself.

    The update included a tally of the applications received and permits that have been issued since January 2017, when the commercial cannabis licensing ordinances went into effect:

    It also included the amount of cannabis taxes that Sonoma County has made so far:

    It is expected that a draft of the proposed “Phase 2” ordinance changes will be ready for public review by the end of 2020, with the possibility of a Board of Supervisors vote in January/February of 2021.

    This is a developing story; please stay tuned to our website / social media pages / email blasts for more information.

  • 5 Sep 2020 4:02 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    Recently, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to amend certain cannabis-related code enforcement provisions. Most notably, the 50X “permit multiplier” for cannabis has been reduced to 10X to match other commercial violations. Check out this blog post from SCGA Advisory Council member Lauren Mendelsohn of the Law Offices of Omar Figueroa, which details the code enforcement update.

  • 10 Aug 2020 4:04 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    On July 30, 2020 the Sonoma County Planning Agency received an update from county staff about the cannabis program. The presentation can be accessed below.

    Planning Agency Cannabis Update 07/30/2020

  • 2 Aug 2020 4:04 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    On August 6, 2020 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors authorized a COVID-19 Eduction and Compliance Program and adopted an Administrative Citiation and Civil Penalty Urgency Ordinance. The presentation can be accessed below.

    Board of Supervisors Update 08/06/2020

  • 3 Jul 2020 4:05 PM | Nicole Griffith Barbieri (Administrator)

    Dear Members, Sponsors, and Friends of the Sonoma County Growers Alliance: 

    2020 has been a unique and challenging year so far for everyone. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, including related business shutdowns and social distancing requirements, SCGA hasn’t been able to host our normal social mixers or in-person educational events. We also realize that many people are out of work, either because they have to care for loved ones or because they were terminated or furloughed as a result of COVID-19. 

    As a result of the challenges facing our community, we have decided to stop taking payments from members and sponsors and temporarily transition to an entirely volunteer-run, grassroots model. Our goal is to operate in a way that best serves the community, facilitates input and invigorates our mission in this time of uncertainty and change. We welcome anyone who would like to participate to run for a seat on the SCGA board or volunteer for one of our committees; please reach out to us if you’re interested for more information. These opportunities are available to everyone regardless of past or present membership status.

    Despite this internal change in our structure and operation, we are not giving up our mission of advocating for policies that benefit Sonoma County cannabis operators (in particular small and legacy farmers) and the community at large. We have been engaged in dialogue with various County departments regarding changes to the cannabis program, as well as the potential for this industry to help with the County’s budget shortfall and unemployment rate, and feel optimistic that change, albeit modest, may be coming. We are continuing to host our monthly policy update calls, which will now be open to the general public. We’ve updated our website to include COVID-19 resources and other updates, and have been sharing important updates with the community on our social media pages. 

    SCGA has played an important role in shaping the discussion around cannabis policies in Sonoma County, and although we are retooling how we operate as an organization, we are not giving up this effort. Our motto is still “Educate, Advocate, Collaborate” and we’ll continue to be guided by those principles. Please feel free to communicate with us via email, social media, or by joining our monthly conference calls to let us know how you’re doing, share your ideas, and connect with other local cannabis operators and activists! We are all stronger together.

    In solidarity,

    SCGA Board of Directors

We are working hard, and depend on our members for support. Please, consider joining SCGA today!


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