Yesterday Sonoma County voters approved Measure A, the medical cannabis tax ordinance. That means Sonoma County will begin accepting medical cannabis permits later this year, likely in June. So what can medical cannabis cultivators do to prepare?
- Review the Sonoma County Land Use Ordinance & Table, BMPs for Cultivators, Tax Ordinance and Health Ordinance found on the County’s website.
- Identify your land use and zoning to develop your medical cannabis permitting strategy.
- Work with an environmental specialist to get your plans started and address any water issues.
- Meet with a medical cannabis CPA to set up your business and maintain tax compliance – this is going to be a heavily audited industry.
- If you want our help, come meet with us to help develop your permit strategy and start prepping for your application.
At Canna Legal, we’re gearing up early to make sure our clients have the strongest applications prepared and ready to submit on day one. If you want Canna Legal, a Division of Beck Law P.C., to assist you with county permits, please let us know so we can start getting your application ready. We suggest that you schedule an appointment within the next two months. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Maintaining Medical Cannabis Compliance & the Transition Period
Current operators, remember to continue your collective compliance activities until you apply for a state license after January 1, 2018. The County will likely take a long time to process cannabis permit applications, so maintaining a compliant operation will continue to be important on a local level as well.
In Sonoma County, the new ordinance superseded the prior resolution, which allowed for 30 plants per qualified patient or reasonable doctor’s recommendation. That resolution is no longer in effect. The ordinance includes a transition period for cultivating collectives that were operating prior to January 1, 2016. If you plan on operating under the transition period, you cannot increase your cultivation area and you must follow the BMPs and the operating standards (listed in the land use ordinance). The transition period expires on January 1, 2018. Canna Legal has reached out to Sonoma County for clarification about the transition period, but as of today they have not responded with any information. We therefore, suggest a conservative approach for plant/patient count and rely on the state levels: 6 mature plants or 12 immature per qualified patient.
Our office has the compliance expertise to guide those planning to continue operations during this transition period. For further information on medical compliance matters please contact our office to arrange for a consultation.