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News&Comment

Wine Country Fights Back in Weed Wars

© PANNA | Cannabis cultivation has ballooned in California and winemakers worry about its impact.Grapegrowers and wine producers are pushing back against the cannabis industry’s push into prime California wine country.By Kathleen Willcox | Posted Wednesday, 05-May-2021 California winemakers are scrambling for survival as the biggest cannabis farms on earth make their way into wine country, bringing…
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Real estate disclosure and Sonoma County cannabis

If the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors approves the draft cannabis ordinance, some permits will be ministerial with no notice given to neighbors and no way to object to site-specific particulars. Health and safety protections and notice to impacted neighbors will disappear. The presumption is that a cannabis operation is no different than a tomato…
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Re: Recent Sonoma West article, the bogus notion of Sonoma marijuana terroir

Following was recently posted on Sonoma West site, but apparently did not meet editorial guidelines. RE: Recent Sonoma West article Barnum & Bailey coined the phrase “there’s a sucker born every minute.” This seems to be the business model of pot promoters who proclaim grass grown in Sonoma County is somehow “better” or different,” prompting…
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Proposed cannabis regs ‘cookie cutter’ approach

There is a reason that of 58 California counties only 15 allow outdoor commercial cannabis. Impacts on neighborhoods are just too severe to offset with any mitigations. Sonoma County started out with a use permit process, which is what is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) but is now attempting to go to…
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Lack of planning?

Dear Editor: Sonoma County wants to be a mecca for outdoor cannabis cultivation, boasting that people prefer Sonoma County weed because of soil and climate. Yet they bring in external soil, discard spent soil, and shield plants from our natural climate in hoop houses or greenhouses. The proposed new ordinance will attract big players from…
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Strange bedfellows behind Sonoma County’s cannabis push

The North Bay Leadership Council endorsed an extreme cannabis ordinance that invites massive outdoor cultivation in Sonoma County. Friedman’s Home Improvement, Comcast, Redwood Credit Union, Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser Permanente, St. Joseph Health, and Sutter Health are on its letterhead.  The proposal eliminates health, safety, and nuisance protections for anyone subjected to noxious terpene pollution—the…
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Cannabis and water

EDITOR: The ad on the back page of the front section of the April 4 paper nailed the cannabis explosion in our county. In the 1970s we complained about vineyards taking over pear and walnut orchards to no avail; money speaks. Our water table dropped and some wells were affected, but new dams and reservoirs…
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Examine planning, economic impacts of cannabis ordinance (Sonomawest)

The new cannabis ordinance is not just planning policy; it’s economic policy. The Press Democrat has stated that 1 acre of cannabis yields $1,000,000 in revenues. If 15,000 acres go into cannabis cultivation, that is $15,000,000,000 in revenues for growers.  Cannabis might be a plant but its extraordinarily high market value places it in a distinct category…
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Where did my well water go?

The Community Voice Our supervisors are rapidly marching towards approving a cannabis ordinance that will significantly impact our wells and ground water at the same time that officials are asking for voluntary reductions in water use.  According to the Napa County 9111 report, published in 2020, cannabis uses at least six times the amount of…
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Looming water conflicts

EDITOR: Nearly every day I read another article about the severity of California’s drought crisis and how climate change compounds the impacts of drought. Many wells around Sonoma County are already critically low. Yet the public is receiving mixed messages from county leaders. Residents will need to conserve 30%-50% of water usage, Supervisor Linda Hopkins…
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