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Cannabis Retail RFP

The Request for Proposals (RFP) process for applications for 1 x retail and 1 x non-store front retail Commercial Cannabis Business (“CCB”) is now closed.

As adopted and approved by the City Council, the City of Sonoma is opening a Request for Proposal process for applications for 1 - retail and 1 - non-store front retail commercial cannabis business. This application process is adopted pursuant to the Sonoma Administrative Regulations Implementing Ordinance No. 03-2019.The application process to operate a Commercial Cannabis Business (“CCB”) in Sonoma will open on January 3, 2020.

Applications are available online and from the Planning Department located in Sonoma City Hall. To be considered for issuance of a CCB, final applications must be submitted by February 21, 2020 to the City Clerk located at No. 1 The Plaza, Sonoma, CA, 95476 by 3:00 P.M.

Applicants should monitor the City’s web page for any additional information, FAQs or updates. It is the responsibility of the Applicant to stay informed of this information.

Proposed Schedule


The City Council has approved Administrative Regulations that implement Ordinance No. 03-2019 (Section 5.36 of the Sonoma Municipal Code) and Ordinance No. 04-2019 (Title 19).  Please review these regulations to understand the requirements and process for applying for and operating a commercial cannabis retail business in Sonoma.

Applicants must hand deliver a complete comprehensive initial application package digitally in a PDF format and other required related forms that require original signatures in paper format. The Application must respond to all requirements outlined in the “Administrative Regulations” and the “Application Procedures & Guidelines”. A flash drive containing the complete comprehensive initial application package, signed copies of the required application, attachments and agreements, etc., and the deposit for the initial application (fee) shall be submitted no later than February 21, 2020 at 3:00 PM.

If you have any questions or would like an update on the status of your application, please call the Planning Department at 707.938.3681 or by email at

See recent Cannabis Regulation news below and subscribe to receive automatic email updates when Cannabis Regulation & Cannabis Retail RFP Updates are posted:

Cannabis Retail RFP FAQs

The definition of “owner” is silent from Ordinance No. 03-2019.  However, for the purposes of the Commercial Cannabis Business Application, “owner” has been defined in the Administrative Regulations, Section 2, paragraph A. Ownership Information.  For additional information regarding ownership and financial interest, the City recommends applicants refer to the California Code of Regulations, Title 16, Division 42, Section 5003. Designation of Owner and Section 5004. Financial Interested in a Commercial Cannabis Business.  For more information, visit the Cannabis Retail RFP page.

When completing the Commercial Cannabis Business application, applicants will want to follow both the Administrative Regulations and the Application Procedures Guidelines.  In the event an applicant who is financed through a publicly-traded company is unable to disclose the personal information of those individuals with an ownership interest of 5% or more, said the applicant should provide a thorough description of the corporate structure and explain why those required individual have not been disclosed.  The City will review the material and handle the scoring on a case by case basis.

For more information, visit the Cannabis Retail RFP page.

To date, the Live Scan form has not been posted to the City’s website.  The form will be uploaded to the website as soon as the City receives authorization from the Department of Justice. Please check the City’s website periodically for updated information. In the meantime, you are required to complete and submit the owner/employee background application form that is posted on the Cannabis Retail RFP web page for each owner required to comply with this requirement which at the minimum be required by state law.

Yes, owners are required to complete the Live Scan process in addition to completing and submitting the supplemental owner/employee background application which is posted on the Cannabis Retail RFP page on the City’s website.

Background materials and responses to the RFP in total shall not exceed 125 pages”. If we have 10 owners, that would be 10 Owner Background\Live Scan forms included in application packet which reduces our RFP response to 115 pages.

  1. Is Background materials, additional information, exhibits, attachments excluded from the 125-page limit? The 125-page limitation does not include background related material.
  2. If no, may you please clarify what items in the RFP are not going to count towards the 125-page limit? Background and Financial related material are the only items which may be excluded from the 125-page limitation.  All other responsive documentation to the RFP: Commercial Cannabis Business Initial Application/Proposal, evaluation criteria found in Appendix A, exhibits and/or attachments are to be included in the 125 pages.
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