Thanks for reading our update on cannabis in Sonoma County.

There is a lot still happening as the regulated cannabis industry market finds its footing, with updates to the county’s ordinance, education opportunities and the role of hemp. As these changes are considered, we hope this section will provide a base of knowledge that lets residents from all sides come forth and make their voices heard. Public workshops at the county are starting up for the ordinance and ideas are being refined as the hemp ordinance is crafted.

As we look ahead, we also have the opportunity to let our representatives know our opinions not only on the economics of cannabis, but its environmental impacts as well. Plastics have become a large concern and are especially impacting our waterways and oceans. We’ll need creative ideas from many minds in order to reduce plastic in cannabis packaging, as safety concerns are higher for any drug packaging.

We also recognize that the people trying to expand into these new markets are our neighbors, and like it or not, both sides have to come to the table ready to compromise so that we can maintain our diverse lifestyles with respect for one another. We hope this civil discussion can be something that is seen as an opportunity to know neighbors better, not something to be dreaded as an impending shouting match.

It’s clear we still have a ways to go before cannabis is on more solid ground. Until then, keep checking back with Sonoma West Publishers as we follow permit applications, new businesses and more in this exciting chapter of our county’s history.

— Andrew Pardiac,

managing editor

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