The Sonoma City Council this week additional refined what it may perhaps be seeking for in cannabis dispensary applicants, if and when the city puts out a contact for company proposals, as council members mentioned they program to do this summer time.
At the council’s April 15 meeting, cannabis consulting firm HdL Organization presented “buffer maps,” outlining prospective areas that adhere to the council’s specifications about exactly where in the city a cannabis company would be permitted.
City officials count on to take into account the approval of an ordinance to regulate cannabis dispensaries inside the city sometime in June.
In a cannabis-dispensary workshop on March four, the council expressed a need to let two dispensaries – a single storefront, a single delivery only – as nicely as a single testing lab and a single manufacturing company focusing on producing edibles. The storefront dispensary would only be permitted in a industrial place.
Even though some council members have expressed an openness to a dispensary in the downtown Plaza region, the maps presented Monday showed a prohibition about the Plaza company region, as nicely as 600-foot “buffer zones” about such youth-centered areas as the Sonoma Small League fields, Sassarini, Prestwood and St. Francis elementary schools, Sonoma Valley and Soloquest higher schools and Adele Harrison Middle College.
Exceptions to the buffer zones would involve such retail plazas as the Complete Foods, Safeway and Sonoma Market place purchasing centers, as nicely as the units about the Copy Shop and Additional on West Napa Street.
In addition to a dispensary applicant obtaining a place in accord with the buffer zones, city employees posed to the council the possibility of possessing a “merit-based” procedure, in which dispensary hopefuls would be asked as to what “community benefits” they may possibly bring to Sonoma. Tim Comartie, a consultant with HdL, mentioned such neighborhood positive aspects could be produced by way of a assortment of solutions, from donations to the neighborhood to guaranteeing staff a living wage.
Through the public comment portion of the council’s cannabis workshop, resident David Eichar cautioned against permitting a dispensary on the Sonoma Plaza.
“The Plaza is a spot Sonoma is advertising its history for vacationers to come to,” mentioned Eichar. “I do not want to see (legal marijuana) come to be a tourist attraction – ‘Hey, they’ve got cannabis!’”
Councilmember Rachel Hundley mentioned she wanted to prevent developing “a lot of hoops to jump through” for cannabis applicants. “I just want a productive company to come in,” Hundley mentioned, adding she was dubious as to possessing a neighborhood advantage requirement when other varieties of company in town are not held similarly accountable.
Having said that, the 3 other council members in attendance – Councilmember Madolyn Agrimonti was absent – supported the neighborhood advantage proposal.
Councilmember David Cook was amongst these in favor, saying, “We can see what they are going to give back to the neighborhood, and I believe that is essential.”
Councilmember Logan Harvey mentioned, “It would make the dispensary far more acceptable to the neighborhood.” Harvey mentioned he liked the idea of promising to spend staff a living wage.
Mayor Amy Harrington mentioned she favored a “social equity element,” but preferred steering it toward some thing like a living wage rather than a donation.
Sonoma Organizing Director David Storer mentioned that as soon as a dispensary ordinance is finalized the procedure for permitting an operator would be accomplished in 3 phases: council consideration of applicants, or what Storer described as the “beauty contest” component of the procedure the awarding of a “conditional” permit to whomever the council selects and ultimately granting the dispensary a permit to operate.
City employees count on a permit could be issued sometime in the fall.
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