The business of cannabis continues to be an issue in Sonoma. It shouldn’t be. After nearly five years of hard work by patients, advocates and the City Council, Sonoma now has an ordinance that permits two dispensary storefronts. However, in keeping with the issue’s history of being kicked down a rocky road, the process for permitting a second dispensary appears to be stalled by a mix of incredulity and less informed experiences of some local officials.
A certain amount of skepticism among city electeds and the community at large is understandable. However, we remind readers that Proposition 64 was supported by 62% of Sonoma voters, more than any of the other county’s cities, or the county itself.
There are several reasons why an additional dispensary contributes to the city and the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.
Dispensaries create tax revenue. The city’s consultant, HdL, estimated that between $250,000 and $500,000 could be generated for Sonoma. Aside from tax revenue, it also noted that for every $1 spent at a cannabis retailer, an additional $3 in economic benefit goes to the host city or county. The city should see a comparable economic gain from cannabis.
Dispensaries create jobs. Not