Sonoma County set to consider cannabis policy changes to ease dispute between growers, neighbors

Sonoma County supervisors will consider Tuesday revising the rules governing cannabis businesses, hoping to balance the competing interests of pot farmers and neighborhood activists who don’t want commercial growing operations near their rural homes.

The Board of Supervisors also is set to discuss opening the door to recreational cannabis sales in the county’s unincorporated areas, where dispensaries currently can only sell medical marijuana.

But the policy debate about outdoor growing operations will likely prove most contentious, as critics lobby for tighter restrictions and farmers push for more flexibility. Under a plan proposed by county staff, smaller pot farms would be subject to a more thorough permitting process than larger ones, while residents could seek special zoning designations to ban cultivation in their neighborhoods.

“I think the neighbors will walk away probably not as happy as they’d

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