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County Administrator's Office

Sonoma County Cannabis Program

County Ordinances

Multi-Tenant Ordinance Update

On June 6, 2023 the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 6436 amending the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance. The ordinance permanently amends the multi-tenant provision in Section 26-88-250(f)(2) to only allow ministerial review of smaller-scale multi-tenant cannabis cultivation permits. 

Section 26-88-254(f)(2) has been amended to read as follows:
Multi-Tenant Operations. Multiple zoning permits may be issued on a single parcel provided that the aggregate cultivation area does not require a use permit per Table 1 A-D Allowed Cannabis Uses and Permit Requirements.

This change was previously established by Urgency Ordinance 6354 on September 21, 2021 and extended by Urgency Ordinance 6356 on October 26, 2021, until September 10, 2023. 

Cannabis Tax Update

On May 23, 2023 the Board of Supervisors adopted Ordinance 6433 amending the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance. The key changes are:

  • Updated reference to Chapter 26 of the Sonoma County code, to refer to correct section for definitions 26-04-020.
  • Amended the definitions of “Indoor”, “Personal cannabis cultivation”, and “Treasurer-tax collector” to make non-substantive corrections.
  • Amended the cultivation tax rates to the new rates approved by the Board on February 28, 2023 and removed all references to the temporary rate reduction. New cultivation tax rates effective July 1, 2023:
    • Outdoor - $0.75 per square foot
    • Mixed-Light - $3.00 per square foot
    • Indoor - $12.50 per square foot
  • Changed the language regarding reporting and remittance of tax, to clarify when cultivation area (cannabis canopy) verifications should be performed and who has authority over this process. Amended language aligns with existing County practice.
  • Changed the language regarding tax assessment hearing, application, and determination to align with existing tax-collector review processes in order to streamline cannabis assessment appeals for theoperator and tax-collector.
  • Changed the language regarding appeal hearing to explicitly reference the Board’s option to select the Hearing Officer, in line with current practice, and make the Hearing Officer’s decision final.

Information for Current Multi-Tenant Permittees:

  • Permit terms are extended for 5 years from the date the permit was issued. However, if use ceases for a continuous period of one year, the permit will expire.
  • If a complete application for a use permit is submitted within 3 years, the current zoning permits will not expire until there is a final determination on the use permit application. If an applicant does not submit a use permit application within 3 years, the zoning permits will expire at the end of the 5 year term.
  • Permittees must continue to pay the monitoring and inspection fees, and are subject to at least two inspections per year. The zoning permits remain subject to enforcement, including suspension or revocation as per Sonoma County Code Sec. 26-88-252.
  • Multi-tenant Ordinance (No. 6356) Section III(a) states “The expiration date for each zoning permit is hereby extended for 5 years from the date the permit was issued, except that a zoning permit will expire if the use ceases for a continuous period of one year.” Under this provision, if a multi-tenant cannabis operator wishes to forgo a growing season without expiring their permit, the operator must demonstrate the use has not ceased by maintaining their local cannabis cultivation permit and state cultivation license, maintaining title or lease of the land, paying inspection fees, allowing inspections, complying with BMPs, requesting canopy verifications as needed, and filing tax statements.