Final Selection of Cannabis Retail Operator Scheduled for August 17th Council Meeting

Posted on August 14, 2020

Selection Process for Commercial Cannabis

On June 1, 2020, the City Council selected two of its five “Finalist” proposers that it wished to progress to the next part of the evaluation process to operate a store-front retail commercial cannabis business in the City. Those two remaining proposers are Matanzas, dba “Justice Grown” and SOSPARC, dba as “SPARC”.

Pursuant to the City’s adopted application procedures and guidelines, each proposer had 45 days from June 1st to provide the City with a selected site it would like to operate its retail store-front business and also during that time period receive from the City a Zoning Verification Letter (ZVL). Both Justice Grown and SPARC provided the City with their chosen sites and received their respective ZVL within the 45-day “site selection” period.

The ZVL’s, issued by Planning Department staff on July 23rd, 2020, verified that each of the two chosen sites were in Commercial zoning districts that would allow a retail storefront commercial cannabis business to operate with a Use Permit and also verified that each site was not located inside one of the City’s four sensitive buffer areas per Title 19 of the Sonoma Municipal Code.

City Council will consider and possibly determine which of these finalists will be awarded a Conditional Certificate, entitling that finalist to apply to the City Manager for a Commercial Cannabis Business Permit which requires, among other things, that the finalist first apply for and obtain all applicable land use entitlements, including a use permit at their meeting on Monday, August 17th. More information is provided in the Supplemental Report in the Agenda Item Summary.

This meeting of the Sonoma City Council will be held virtually at 6:00 pm. View the full agenda including items on the consent and regular calendars on our CivicWeb Portal.  

In order to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the City Council Chambers will not be physically open to the public and City Council Members will be teleconferencing into the meeting via an electronic meeting platform. The City is providing multiple alternatives to viewing Council meetings and providing comments on items on the agenda. These alternatives allow the City to adhere to social distancing requirements, follow the Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20 (which suspends certain requirements of the Brown Act), and provide numerous ways for the public to provide public comment live during the meeting.


You are able to view meetings online here:


If you choose not to attend the City Council meeting but wish to make a comment on a specific agenda item, please submit your comment via email at at any time.

  • Prior to the Meeting as Public Correspondence — Per the City’s standard practice, any comments received prior to the commencement of the meeting will be uploaded to the public correspondence folder on the City’s CivicWeb Portal and available for review by the public and the City Council. It will not be read during the meeting.
  • During the Meeting as Public Comment — If you wish for your comments to be read into the record, please submit an email to after the Mayor calls the meeting to order and prior to the close of Public Comment on that item on the agenda.


The City of Sonoma is now offering the ability to view and participate in Council meetings via video meetings and telephonic conferencing via “Zoom” video conferencing computer technology. Instructions for participating via Zoom are provided below.

How do I join the City Council meeting via Zoom Video Conferencing?
Please visit: and either sign-up for a free Zoom account or continue as a guest. Once you have downloaded the app on your smartphone, joined from your web browser, or downloaded the Zoom software on your computer you will be ready for the Council meeting.

If you have previously signed up for Zoom, you can enter the following meeting ID to join the meeting: 949-4392-5973.

I don’t have a computer or smartphone; can I still use Zoom?
If you don’t have a smartphone or computer to access the meeting via Zoom, no problem! You can participate on the phone, by calling one of the following numbers: (669) 900-9128 or (253) 215- 8782 or (346) 248- 7799 or (301) 715-8592 or (312) 626-6799 or (646) 558-8656 and entering meeting ID 949-4392-5973.

How can I provide Public Comment on Zoom?
The Mayor will request public comment during the Public Comment period on the agenda and during each Public Hearing and Regular Calendar Item. Once the Mayor has announced the public comment period, please do one of the following.


  • Click on the “Raise Hand” feature in the webinar controls. This will notify City staff that you have raised your hand and you would like to speak.
  • City staff will unmute your microphone when it is your turn to provide public comment.
  •  A prompt will appear to confirm you would like to be unmuted. Once you accept the prompt, you will have three minutes to provide public comment.
  • Once your public comment has ended, you will be muted again.


  • Dial *9 (star 9), this will notify City staff that you have “raised your hand” for public comment.
  • City staff will unmute your microphone when it is your turn to provide public comment.
  • You will hear “you are unmuted” and then you will have three minutes to provide public comment.
  • Once your public comment has ended, you will be muted again.

I don’t want to provide public comment live; can I provide my public comment for the record another way?
Of course! Please submit all public comments via email at

I am having difficulties preparing for the meeting and learning Zoom, do you have any resources to help me?
Yes, please visit Zoom’s website support page on helpful tips to prepare for the meeting.

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