Council eyes streamlining dispensary process – Sonoma Index-Tribune

The Sonoma City Council on Wednesday will review new guidelines to the City’s commercial cannabis ordinance to streamline the process for allowing a second storefront cannabis business to operate in the city limits.

In April, the council approved an amendment to the ordinance to pave the way for a second walk-in cannabis store. At the same time, council members asked city staff to find ways to shorten the evaluation and selection process in awarding a conditional certificate to operate a cannabis business. The the process for awarding the first certificate, approved for the Sparc dispensary in late 2020, took nearly a year.

Sparc’s proposal to operate its dispensary at the former El Gallo Pinto restaurant at 19315 Sonoma Highway comes to the Sonoma Planning Commission for final review on Thursday, Sept. 9 – more than 21 months since the city first started fielding applications for dispensary hopefuls in January of 2020.

Mayor Madolyn Agrimonti expressed frustration this week that the process has taken so long.

“Currently, I’m waiting for the first dispensary to open,” said Agrimonti when asked about the prospect of a second business.

Whether a second dispensary will be viable in Sonoma, she said, will be a matter of “supply and demand.”

“Anyone considering opening a second dispensary must consider that fact. As any business would,” Agrimonti said.

Agenda Report – Draft New_Revised Application Procedures And Guidelines – Pdf.pdf

The city’s initial commercial cannabis ordinance was approved in June of 2019 and allowed for one storefront business and one delivery business. But in the ensuing application period, no proposals were received for a conditional certificate for a delivery-only dispensary, leading some on the council to call for allowing a second storefront business instead.

As with the previous selection process, the new guidelines will evaluate applicants based on such

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