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Sonoma County supervisors to vote on easing permit rules for cannabis growers

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on a proposal to make it easier for cannabis growers to obtain a permit from the county and expand the area in which they’re allowed to plant crops.

The proposed rules would give the county’s agricultural commissioner more leeway to issue permits for cannabis cultivation and get rid of a 1-acre cap on marijuana crops for farms of 10 acres or more.

Some residents in the county’s rural areas have argued that easing the ability to grow cannabis would have multiple negative effects, including increased odor, crime and water use when the region is already suffering from critically low water supply.

A coalition of residents opposed to the proposal wrote earlier this month in a letter to the board:

“The solution is small cannabis grows away from residences, not in public view, and not spreading noise or odor. … This is not what is proposed.”

The board will meet virtually Tuesday starting at 8:30 a.m. The meeting agenda and a link to a live stream of the meeting can be found at https://sonoma-county.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx. Public comments were still being heard on the item as of 11 a.m.

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