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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

May 31, 2012 Update on "Crown Awards application" - The application has seen no activity for several months. It is still at the planning agency, and a 30 day notice has been issued to the applicant to either proceed or withdraw their application.

Currently, the planner would not support their application. If they do proceed, the matter will go through the planning process, and the Planning Commission first. If approved at the Planning Commission, then parties could appeal the matter to the Board of Supervisors for a hearing within 10 days of that decision.

Nov 1, 2011 Council Meeting - Final vote of 4-0 (Gurney absent) to implement the ordinance modification.

Oct 18, 2011 Council Meeting - with another 5-0 vote, Council approves waiving of further reading to introduce change into ordinance. Second reading and expected approval is on the Consent Calendar of Nov 1 meeting.

Sep 13, 2011 Planning Commission Meeting - included a public hearing on the proposed ordinance change (two dispensaries to one). Commission recommends approval of proposal to Council.

Sep 6, 2011 Council Meeting - A moratorium on any new dispensaries is on the agenda for discussion. Read more in this Sonoma West story on 8/31.

Aug 2, 2011 Council Meeting - resolution passed 5 to 0 to send ordinance change to Planning Commision for review including public input that would reduce number of allowed dispensaries from two to one. A Sonoma West story on 8/31 reports a moratorium for new clinics will

July 19, 2011 Council Meeting - A proposal for a medical marijuana dispensary just outside the southern city limits at 1225 Gravenstien Highway, previously Crown Awards, was discussed. As the city has no jurisdiction for the property, Sonoma County holds the legal authority and responsibility for permitting the dispensary; Sebastopol has only the power to make an advisory recommendation.

All 5 Council members (Wilson, Kyes, Gurney, Shaffer, Slater) voted to oppose the proposed dispensary. Mayor Wilson noted the irony that although it was within Sebastopol's "sphere of influence" the City could have no binding influence upon it at all. A letter was sent to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors asking them to deny the application. Another letter asking them to amend their medical marijuana policies to avoid situations like this will also be sent.

In related action, all 5 Council members voted to direct city staff to rework the existing ordinance that limits the maximum number of such dispensaries in Sebastopol from the current two down to one dispensary. Before the change can be finalized, it must pass through the Planning Commission and return to Council.