The landscape of commercial cannabis operations in Sonoma County took a step toward simplicity late Sunday night, with the release of a preliminary draft of a new Sonoma County Commercial Cannabis Cultivation ordinance.
The new ordinance, intended to manage cultivation in agricultural and resource areas of the county, opens the door to approval of such applications though the Agricultural Commissioner, rather than “discretionary” review through Permit Sonoma.
The Jan. 31 release of that draft came five days after the Board of Supervisors approved permits for Erich Pearson’s commercial grow site and processing facility at 101 Trinity Road — where he has been growing cannabis since 2017, under terms of the Penalty Relief program that allowed some who had been growing cannabis without a permit to continue in business, without penalty, while the county workshopped its own regulations and procedures for the newly legal crop.
Pearson’s application came up for board approval in the “original jurisdiction” protocol, which gave supervisors authority to pick 19 permits for fast-tracked review. When the permits were chosen, in December 2019, 1st District Supervisor Susan Gorin singled out four such permits, three of them managed by Pearson. The fourth was Glentucky Farms, operated by Mike Benziger, which was certified last month.
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