The Sonoma City Council adopted a pair of resolutions on Wednesday streamlining the application process for prospective commercial cannabis operators in the city limits.
The council voted 5-0 to amend the city cannabis regulations with changes city staff expects will result in a certification process about 10 weeks shorter than previous — largely by shortening the Request For Proposal (RFP) response time and staff review times.
Additionally, the council directed staff to eliminate the requirement for applicants to identify a location for their dispensary prior to certification, leaving approval of a site to the Planning Commission phase of obtaining an operating license.
The City of Sonoma currently allows for two walk-in dispensaries. The first, Sparc, was approved by the council in late 2020 and is expected to open in March 2022.
As part of the motion to streamline the process, the council also put a timeline on when that RFP process for applicants for a second commercial dispensary certificate might begin. The council directed staff to wait until six months after Sparc opens before considering the next RFP. The timeframe would allow city staff to evaluate the potential impacts on traffic and parking following Sparc’s opening, and in the meantime