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  1. TopTop #1
    phredo's Avatar

    Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    My especial concerns regard cultivation of medical cannabis by the patient himself, because I am one, rather than commercial or other large scale growing. I grow outdoors and need approximately one pound each of CBD and THC flowers per year.

    The Planning Commission is having a public meeting at 1 pm this Thursday to discuss the following proposal:

    The County of Sonoma proposes to amend the Zoning Code to regulate cannabis uses consistent with the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, including cultivation, nurseries, dispensaries, laboratories, manufacturing, distribution, and transportation. The proposed Medical Cannabis Land Use Ordinance would allow both personal and commercial cultivation of medical cannabis with certain limitations.

    From accounts I have read, it sounds as is they favor restricting home growing, including home medical growing, to rather narrow situations, some of which follow:

    • Only 6 plants per household, with only 3 allowed outdoors. Presently a medical user can grow up to 30 plants in a maximum of 100 square feet. In my case, for example, I started about 20 plants, 10 each of a CBD strain and a THC strain. About half of them turned out to be males and were destroyed, but only after months of outdoor growth. There is no guarantee that only half would be males--in the worst case all 10 of each might have been males and I would have had no crop. That was unlikely, but it was easily possible to have, say, only 3 or 4 females, which was what I needed.
    • It's unclear to me just what parcel zoning would be required, but they seem to be tending to limit any kind of cultivation to large rural properties. This, of course, would make cultivation impossible for the great majority of patients.
    • The planners have suggested many kinds of restrictions on growing setups. For outdoor growing, only greenhouses allowed, requiring door locks ("to protect children and animals") and odor filters, custom setback rules, and more. Seems unnecessary. Raw cannabis is not psychoactive, so children and animals are unlikely to be harmed. If one is only growing 3 plants, perhaps obtaining a small greenhouse would not be restrictive, but growing 20 or 30 plants on 100 square feet would be costly, especially with all the included "safeguards".
    It may be that I am incorrect in my ideas of what the Planning Commission wants. I haven't studied the issue extensively, just read articles in various publications, some of which have not been very clear. My purpose in writing here is two fold: to find out if my fears are justified or not and to hope that some people reading this might be able to attend the meeting, which I won't be able to do, and speak against these restrictions.

    As a final comment, I get the feeling that the County is trying to unnecessarily restrict cannabis growing. No one suggests limiting the amount of grapes or tomatoes a home gardener can grow or how much space a home vegetable garden takes up on a lot. I don't see why cannabis should be any different, why someone should not be able to grow a few plants on their apartment window ledge if she wants, just like growing a few basil plants. True for the recreational user and especially so for a medical user. "Odors" and "animal safety" sound like contrived issues.
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  3. TopTop #2
    newclay's Avatar

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    Very good points made... this is about black market regulating, not about folks getting their medicine.
    And I understand both sides of fence... sticky situation for law enforcement and the courts and it really effects the poor who need their medicine. This is about "mean green"... yes, money... and regulating how and where it comes from... Except for those who print it and they seem to have full free reign on the printer button... SOOO The Emporer wears no clothes... surprise! And really most are just trying to survive one way or the other...
    Will repost and try to be there... -Bless
    Last edited by Barry; 10-26-2016 at 12:00 PM.
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  5. TopTop #3
    newclay's Avatar

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    Spread Word Please...
    Last edited by Barry; 10-26-2016 at 12:00 PM.
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  6. TopTop #4
    Barry's Avatar
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    For more information the proposed Sonoma County Cannabis Land Use Ordinance , see the PD's article: "Sonoma County unveils marijuana land use ordinance" and/or the The Sonoma West Times and News article: "Planning commission takes on county’s proposed cannabis ordinance"

    The Planning Commission is hosting two public hearings to provide information and an opportunity for you to share feedback today, Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 1:05 p.m. and Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 1:05 p.m. at the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 575 Administration Drive, Room 102A, Santa Rosa.

    The draft ordinance, staff report, environmental document and other related materials are available online at

    To provide comments or ask questions on the Ordinance, you may email [email protected]. The project planner, Amy Lyle, is also available at [email protected] and (707) 565-7389.
    Last edited by Barry; 10-27-2016 at 09:35 AM.
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  8. TopTop #5
    Shandi's Avatar

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    This kind of extremely restrictive regulations concerns me also, although I no longer grow. Many of these restrictions seem irrational and unreasonable.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by phredo: View Post
    My especial concerns regard cultivation of medical cannabis by the patient himself, ...
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  9. TopTop #6
    Endendros's Avatar

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    These zoning laws for Personal Medical use seem incredibly draconian to me. The 3/3 rules seem... acceptable for personal recreational growing, but are far off target for medical use. Not only do they go against the spirit of Prop 215, SB 420, and most likely the 2015 State Medical Marijuana guidelines, but Sonoma County's own 2006 cultivation guidelines, and even Prop 64 as it's written to not interfere with current Medical Marijuana laws! There are many patients that require far more than what 3 outdoor plants can provide them for their yearly medicine, and who may not have the means, ability or desire to grow an indoor crop. This is on top of the issue that this law is seeking to impose the Prop 64 "per parcel" restrictions on patients, many of whom cohabitate with other medical marijuana patients. This is getting to the point of cruelty if 3 outdoor plants are insufficient for one patient, how would that work if there were three living on the same property together? Absolutely without heart and thought.

    All of this rezoning business is fine for larger grows, and perhaps even for smaller but significant former-collective operations, but for personal medical use this is just obscene. It will just create multitudes of new infractions that will probably typically require neighbors to be turning in neighbors for perceived violations. It will be a nightmare for residents and code enforcers and will probably just end up creating a whole new slew of "illegal" activity - much of which is currently at least defensible under current laws and guidelines! The State of California has already established guidelines to help direct the current collective system towards a small-large scale commercial system, so Sonoma county can worry about that where it applies. However, personal cultivation for medical use already exists within a reasonable system and needs to be preserved for a the sake of patients and our community.
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  11. TopTop #7
    farmerdan's Avatar

    Re: Sonoma County Marijuana Land Use Ordinance

    You sound like the grape farmers who are trying to get Lynda Hopkins elected!!!
    Too much nonsensical regulation for growing things on your own property? Join the crowd.

    Personally, I think you should be able to grow as much weed as you want!
    Having some arbitrary limit is just creating a bureaucracy to hassle people with.
    It's not like the current ordinances are limiting the growing of weed, they are only criminalizing it.
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