Cannabis is rising from the ashes in Sonoma.
That much was clear at the end of the Sonoma City Council meeting on Nov. 16, when council members voted to bring back a pair of controversial cannabis matters for consideration at a future meeting.
The first item will be to reconsider granting the Sparc cannabis company a conditional permit to operate a storefront dispensary at 19315 Sonoma Highway. Sparc was narrowly denied approval of an operating permit in a 2-2 vote by the council on Oct. 5.
Second, the council will eye amending the existing city cannabis ordinance in order to allow for a second walk-in retail pot shop in the city limits.
Revisiting the city commercial cannabis ordinance was music to the ears of Sonoma Valley resident Josette Brose Eichar, who lamented during the public comment portion of the meeting that she has to commute to Cotati for her medicinal marijuana.
“I do think the idea of two dispensaries would be great,” said Brose-Eichar, while urging the council to act. “Get a dispensary up and running, and then revisit and amend (the ordinance).”
The council in 2018 established the city’s cannabis ordinance, which allows for a single storefront commercial dispensary in town. But earlier this fall, just as the city seemed ready to award the coveted single license to Sparc, allegations of city council conflict of interest brought the process to a screeching halt.
After a months-long permitting process over the course of the summer in which several dispensary applicants were whittled down to four finalists, the council in October was on the verge of awarding the lone business license to the Santa Rosa-based cannabis company, Sparc.
But prior to an Oct. 5 final vote on the license, City Councilmember Rachel Hundley’s husband, political consultant Sean Hamlin, approached Sparc about