Special Coverage: Cannabis Commerce
More workers failing drug tests in Northern California
Marijuana is the most common culprit. A growing number of employers in Sonoma County are thinking about scrapping their drug tests.
Cannabis harvest heats up
The outdoor cannabis harvest has begun across the North Coast, marking the first year when the state will attempt to measure and tax the crop within a new regulated system.
Sonoma medicine man: Wine pioneer looks to cannabis, farming for healing
Mike and Mary Benziger find healing in farming Biodynamic food and marijuana.
Marin County adds time to cannabis ordinance
Prop. 64 already allows cannabis cultivation and consumption by private individuals.
Cannabis industry leads Santa Rosa industrial property boom
Since 2016, there have been 18 industrial property transactions worth more than $40 million, a real estate rush transforming warehouses and building space across the city.
Cannabis tour company offers industry highlights
Mercedes Sprinter vans will tour cannabis-cultivation sites.
Cannabis businesses get extension on permit deadline
By Oct. 31, operators must apply for relief from hefty land-use fines Sonoma County has delayed enforcing in order to entice marijuana growers to come out of the shadows.
SSU launches cannabis business series
An October event on investment in the cannabis industry marks the school’s foray into a new professional development field.
Popular downtown gym closes as relocation options go to pot
The building at 515 Fifth St. in Santa Rosa is being sold, purportedly to a furniture retailer, and Powerhouse Gym was said to have trouble competing with cannabis companies for space.
Pot pairs with passion fruit
Sonoma County startup Garden Society sells cannabis edibles to women consumers through home-based parties.
Wine and weed: An economic match made in heaven?
Wine professionals attended a one-day conference in Santa Rosa to explore ways to capitalize on the $7 billion cannabis industry.
Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group forms
Meet 20 Sonoma County residents who are advising lawmakers on the future of the cannabis industry.
Wine and weed leaders collaborate on Biodynamic Sonoma Valley pot farm
Sonoma Valley vintner Mike Benziger and San Francisco’s SPARC, which purchased Sonoma County dispensaries, are teaming on a Demeter-certified cannabis farm.
Wineries and weed: Friend or foe?
The North Coast’s wine and cannabis industries find themselves facing a common question: Are they competitors or collaborators? The answer is complicated and depends on who you ask.
Cannabis ignites Sonoma Co. industrial real estate; Marin office market slows
The call of Santa Rosa as a hub for legalized cannabis commerce is forcing longtime players in Sonoma County industrial real estate to adjust to the rush. And in Marin County, office lease renewals that have been driving market activity have slowed.
1st Sonoma Co. cannabis business permit applications filed
Karen Kohley was one of about 30 who took an important step Wednesday toward bringing their Sonoma County marijuana growing operations out of the shadows by becoming the first to apply for a county business permit.
Draft rules out for medical cannabis in Santa Rosa
City staff consider the draft ordinance one of the state’s most lenient, allowing most types of operators to locate in the city with as few restrictions as necessary.
Cannabis advocate leaving her post
‘Now, it’s time to evolve and embrace our position as a trade association,’ says Tawnie Logan of Sonoma County Growers Alliance.
Applications for cultivation permits open July 5 in Sonoma County.
Officials estimate the county has 7,000 cultivators.
Industry study on cannabis and car insurance claims
The study comes as California and other states prepare to legalize adult recreational use.
Cannabis deliveries to homes OK with state
State lawmakers and governor preparing regulations after voters approve recreational use.
Cannabis phoenix: Meet a change leader in North Coast commerce
Imprisoned and raided for his cannabis ventures, Dennis Hunter now is heralded as leader of CannaCom Valley’s shining business model at multiple operations in Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
Writing the rules for California’s cannabis industry
The chief of California’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation speaks in Santa Rosa about the roadmap to regulate adult use by January.
Cannabis investing attracting much interest
‘We’re getting referrals from investment-banking firms, hedge funds, sophisticated investors,’ says a Marin County-based cannabis-focused angel investor at a conference in Santa Rosa on the emerging industry.
How to overcome cannabis-regulation challenges
How does government regulate an emerging industry, especially if the industry deals in a product that was once illegal? Here are pathways through the uncertainty.
Cannabis growers overcome the powerful scent
The smell of marijuana during harvest time and in processing has been one of the major complaints. Here are how modern building systems are being employed to control it.
Citigroup unit fined $97M over suspicious transactions
Some wonder if the federal deal with Banamex USA, inked today, is a harbinger of coming action against the cash-fueled cannabis industry.
Citibank subsidiary to pay $97 million in suspicious-activity-report failures
Banamex USA had 18,000 suspicious-activity alerts but filed only 9 reports
North Bay hospitals to weigh medical cannabis
Unusual proposal to use the facilities of local hospitals as dispensaries for medical marijuana may be gaining momentum.
SSU offers second cannabis course
Sonoma State University will hold a workshop in cannabis regulation, policy and tax compliance in June.
Do cannabis businesses limit future housing projects?
Should cannabis-cultivation companies be allowed in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square district? Housing developers fret over an issue headed to the City Council.
CannaCom Valley banking crisis
Bankers scramble to serve a cash-based industry that is reshaping North Bay business.
Cannabis conference raises business issues
Leaders in the cannabis industry gathered in Santa Rosa for a conference on investing and permitting.
Cannabis industry rules are out: Here’s what we know so far
The draft California regulations would force Santa Rosa’s CannaCraft to pull a line of cannabis-infused chocolates called Satori.
Cannabis-banking group to meet in Santa Rosa
California Treasurer John Chiang formed the working group to address conflicts between federal and state laws governing cannabis.
Cannabis wealth rolls into construction
Cannabis cash flows to architects and contractors as Sonoma County projects emerge.
Sonoma makes way for cannabis wine
The open secret is out: Winemakers might be cultivating more than grape varietals in Sonoma Valley’s vineyards.
CannaCon is ‘heaven’ for the pot industry
Businesses ranging from heating and cooling to graphic design and extraction systems are among the exhibitors at the three-day Sonoma County Fairgrounds event.
Can cannabis and wine co-exist?
The emerging legal cannabis industry will have ‘substantial synergies in the long run’ with the fine-wine business in the North Coast, says a local booster of bud who came from the world of wine.
CannaCom Valley: Rise of the cannabis commercial cluster
Santa Rosa carves huge new business terrain for North Coast cannabis commerce.
Marin rejects medical cannabis dispensary requests
County Administration acts on 10 applications to set up medical cannabis dispensaries.
One more Sonoma County town may ban outdoor cannabis cultivation
Sonoma County town also plans to prohibit retail sales.
Brown moves to change cannabis regulations
California’s governor proposes cannabis law changes intended to clear up regulatory conflicts.
Cannabis business incubator closes after 3 months
BRIC Hive near Sonoma County’s Petaluma did not have proper permits.
For sale: Land to grow cannabis
Agents in Mendocino and Sonoma counties report getting calls every day for land to grow cannabis.
Santa Rosa delays outdoor-cannabis vote
Hours before a City Council vote, staff at Sonoma County’s largest city sent the proposed temporary outdoor-cultivation ban back for more review.
Santa Rosa may ban outdoor pot growing
The City Council on March 28 is poised to ban outdoor cannabis cultivation before backyard growers get too invested in gardens that could become illegal later this year.
California to feds: ‘Hands off our pot’
State lawmakers aren’t waiting for Washington to make the first move against California’s multibillion-dollar cannabis industry.
‘Green rush’ driving recent property buys
“A lot of people from all over are interested in Santa Rosa,” said attorney Joe Rogoway about purchases of property by those with cannabis-based businesses.
Sonoma County industrial real estate: Cannabis, investors, owner-users propel demand
2016 was a robust year for Sonoma County industrial real estate, and all indications are that the strong market will carry over into 2017, write Mike Flitner and Jim Sartain of Keegan & Coppin.
North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference focuses on regulation, finance
Registration opens on North Bay Business Journal’s first North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference on May 9 with speakers on finance. regulations and other marijuana-related issues.
Sonoma County pot tax passes
Voters approved by nearly 3-to-1 a cannabis business tax Tuesday, with no push by supporters but opposition from local marijuana growers.
California’s top pot regulator to speak in Santa Rosa
North Bay Business Journal’s first North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference on May 9 will include California’s regulatory chief for the industry plus speakers on finance and other marijuana-related issues.
Santa Rosa to weigh cannabis tax
The Sonoma County city’s proposed cannabis ordinance, which would go before voters June 6, is getting a mixed reaction from the industry.
Cannabis growers now qualify for reduced PG&E rates
PG&E will offer marijuana cultivators the same discounts on energy that it provides almond and tomato growers.
Cloverdale ponders pot business rules
Cloverdale, the only city in Sonoma County to have a tax in place on commercial cannabis businesses, is close to deciding where such marijuana operations should be located.
Cannabis tax snitches?
Will Sonoma County cannabis businesses turn in competitors who don’t pay the proposed new taxes?
New law imperils 3,000 local cannabis jobs
A new law — favored by many rural Sonoma County residents but strongly opposed by cannabis growers — could confound the county’s attempts to bring the once-outlaw industry into compliance.
Tax delay may stall California’s cannabis rush
Lawmakers fear they won’t meet a key deadline for collection of as much as $1 billion in legal-marijuana taxes.
Pot growers say no to taxes
Sonoma County cannabis cultivator group says tax on March 7 ballot would hurt profitability.
Wine to pot? Former Mendocino winery eyed for cannabis
Flow Kana is seeking to buy former Fetzer winery to grow cannabis.
SSU to offer cannabis course
The program at the Rohnert Park university is aimed at educating medical professionals.
Marin says ‘no’ to nonmedical cannabiz
Officials want to regulate medical cannabis first, so they ban nonmedical business activity in Marin County.
Cannabis business law tips for success
Cannabusinesses face challenges getting traditional funding and higher tax bills, says a top industry legal expert.
Marin cannabis dispensary reviews start
Marin County received 10 applications for medical cannabis dispensaries.
Cannabis on the job: Employer and employee rights
Employees have a right to use it, and employers have a right to fire them, say experts.
Cannabis 101: Where it’s legal and not
Here are the governments in Marin and Sonoma counties that red-light and green-light newly legal cannabis.
Many 2016 Emerald Cup winners disqualified for pesticides
About a quarter of samples in the concentrates categories were disqualified from the December festival, known for its focus on organic outdoor farming.
Top stories of 2016: Cannabis changes business landscape
No. 1: Real estate, health care and tourism are just a few of the industries being entered by medical, and soon recreational, marijuana.
Sonoma County bans rural pot growing
Sonoma County supervisors rejected a proposal to allow small-scale growers to farm marijuana in any rural residential zones outside city limits.
New Marin fund seeks cannabis startups
Newly launched CannaAngels in Marin County plans to link angel investors with cannabis industry startups.
Cannabis tax could burden business
Barely a month after California voters OK’d legalized adult-use cannabis, Sonoma County supervisors plunged ahead with proposed regulations.
All eyes on Sonoma Co. decision over marijuana regulation
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors holds its first hearing Dec. 6 on a proposed zoning ordinance that will determine where medical cannabis can be grown for profit.
Landlords face cannabis-tenant risks
Besides seeing rent paid in cash, commercial property owners and managers reckon with issues of zoning, safety and environmental compliance for cannabis industry tenants.
Pair wine and cannabis?
Professionals from the wine and marijuana industries turned out for a discussion Dec. 1 in Santa Rosa on possible collaborations between the two.
Petaluma hydroponics company expanding amid pot boom
Hydrofarm plans to move some of its operations into 80,000 square feet of warehouse and production space on Cader Lane.
Cannabis insurers fill growing need
As mainstream carriers remain wary, small and specialty cannabis insurers reap benefits.
Sonoma Co. planners OK rural pot gardens
Small-scale commercial marijuana gardens would be permitted in rural Sonoma County under an ordinance approved by planners Nov. 17, despite impassioned pleas from residents against the idea.
What to expect with legal recreational marijuana
Yes, Prop. 64 has legalized recreational marijuana in the state, but don't expect to be lighting up in public or opening your own pot shop yet. Here's what you need to know.
Mendocino voters snuff pro-pot measure but light up cannabis tax
Mendocino voters reject pro-cannabis Measure AF but approve Measure AI pot tax.
What’s next now that recreational pot is legal in California?
Prop 64 won a majority vote in the state. Here’s what that means for the state.
Opinion: Got cannabis cash? Consider Public Bank of Santa Rosa
If California voters legalize recreational marijuana on Nov. 8, Sonoma County needs to seriously ask what it will do with all the cash from cannabis cultivation and sales.
Cash dilemma plagues cannabis
Medical marijuana operators stash wads of bills to pay taxes and other expenses because banks shun the business.
Fast-changing cannabis industry twists, turns like bronco
As law firms jump into the expanding cannabis market to represent cultivators, processors, distributors and dispensaries, the Business Journal interviewed Aaron Currie, attorney at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Santa Rosa.
Cannabis market rockets higher
Despite promotion by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, local growers oppose Prop. 64 to legalize adult use of marijuana
Tech exec’s pot plot eyed for closure
Sonoma County officials are moving to shut down a marijuana operation near Cloverdale by arguing in court the operators are in violation of zoning codes and have created a public nuisance.
Santa Rosa OKs 1st pot processor
Santa Rosa has rolled out the welcome mat to the marijuana industry, and the first firm through the door is affiliated with none other than the godfather of ganja — Bob Marley.
Coming soon in North Bay cannabis commerce
‘Sonoma has an opportunity to be a thought leader and set a ripple effect globally.’
DEA: Marijuana to remain illegal
The Drug Enforcement Agency cited a federal determination that marijuana 'has a high potential for abuse' and 'no accepted medical use.'
Clearing the haze of cannabis real estate law
Legal uncertainties challenge the search for commercial property for medical marijuana businesses.
Mendocino cannabis appellations a first
Medical marijuana growers model Mendocino Appellations Project after successful American Viticultural Areas like Napa Valley.