Sonoma County has officially opened the door to the newly regulated cannabis industry, starting with a Sebastopol-area farm run by a married couple who has been producing marijuana and low-dose tinctures for nearly a decade.
The Fiddler’s Greens farm, founded by Shannon and Cameron Hattan, is a 10,000-square-foot cannabis cultivation operation on a property south of Sebastopol, producing flowers for a line of low-dose and nonpsychoactive tinctures.
On Monday, Sonoma County’s agriculture department officials gave Fiddler’s Greens an official cultivation permit letter, the first granted for a cannabis business other than a medical marijuana dispensary.
“We’re legitimate. We’re business owners. We’re part of society,” Shannon Hattan said.
The approval of the first cannabis farm is a benchmark moment for Sonoma County, which began accepting applications from cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and other businesses in July. Agricultural Commissioner Tony Linegar, whose department oversees farms of a certain size, said they aim to treat cannabis like any other crop — albeit one with a high level of regulatory scrutiny.
“We hope this is encouraging to other people who have been on the fence about applying for a county permit,” Linegar said. “It’s a complicated process, but the barriers are not insurmountable.”
Sonoma County’s agriculture and permit departments have received 127 applications from marijuana businesses: 107 cannabis cultivators, 10 manufacturers, three nurseries, three dispensaries, three distributors and one testing laboratory.
Tim Ricard, the county’s cannabis program manager, said staff expect to begin handing out more approved permits this week or next.
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