City re-ups strict regulations on cannabis grows – Sonoma Index-Tribune

“Grow your own” took on a more literal meaning two years ago when California voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing adult marijuana use in the state.

But in Sonoma, cultivation of cannabis remains largely in the closet – as long as that closet is a fully enclosed structure with adequate lighting, ventilation and security, according to new city regulations.

The Sonoma City Council on Monday voted 3-2 to ratify the city’s temporary limitations on growing cannabis for personal use within the city limits, as is currently set in its “urgency ordinance” passed last year as stop-gap measure while city officials considered terms of a more permanent set of cannabis regulations.

But despite the urging of Councilmembers Amy Harrington and Rachel Hundley to relax some of the current limits on outdoor cultivation, their colleagues on the dais were satisfied with what’s already in place with the urgency ordinance – limiting indoor grows to six plants and banning outdoor cultivation entirely.

Cannabis supporter Ken Brown perhaps spoke for the handful of other like-minded community members in the room when he sighed, defeatedly: “I’m flabbergasted.”

The allowance of up to six personally cultivated plants is the minimum to which a city can limit residents, according to state law.

Sonoma’s regulation also places several requirements on any cultivation of the six plants, including having an adequate security, ventilation and filtration systems, and written consent of the property owner. Other restrictions include grow lights be 1,000-watts or less, grows must take place on impervious surfaces in a single location within a residence, and there must be no “exterior evidence” of cannabis cultivation on a property.

Sonoma resident Jewel Mathieson worried that such restrictions on residential grows would be burdensome to those who need the benefits of cannabis most.

“What you’re in essence doing is making (cultivation) impossible

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