Council approves recreational cannabis sales at future Sonora dispensary – Union Democrat

The Sonora City Council gave its final approval on May 17 for a planned marijuana dispensary on Calaveras Street to sell recreational cannabis products, over a torrent of opposition from an advocacy group that is pressuring council members to provide a youth educational component about cannabis from the profits provided to the city by a development agreement.

“We’ve been told because of the way we are doing our regulations in the City of Sonora, this will help stifle, due to the free market, a lot of the marijuana that is being grown or sold in the county illegally,” said Sonora Mayor Matt Hawkins. “The free market I think is going to win out on this one.”  

Hawkins said the owners of the future dispensary at 10 Calaveras St., known as the Bract House, are already paying the city $10,000 a month to maintain their development agreement, though work has been slow to construct the facility, which from the outside appears now not much more than a warehouse.

The Bract House is near the former Tuolumne General Hospital and previously operated as a machine shop and foundry in the early 1900s.

A limited liability company behind the future dispensary has a member named Raphael “Ralph” Calderon, of Valley Springs, who owns several cannabis businesses in Calaveras County and Northern California.

The dispensary would be the second recreational cannabis site in the city. Hawkins said there were many inquiries about a third site, though there were no permit applications submitted as of now. 

Hazy Bulldog Farms at 1243 Mono Way is the only operating cannabis dispensary in the city limits at this time. They are poised to move to a new, larger building at 1201 Mono Way sometime in mid-June. 

The dispensary began offering recreational sales to adults 21 and older on April 20. It opened in January

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