Cannabis Businesses Seek Permits

  • Jim Brewer

NEW CITY HALL MEETING LOCATION: 637 First Street, Santa Rosa @ 7pm
The popularity of cannabis products among Oakmont residents is not going unnoticed. An application has been filed with the City of Santa Rosa to open a dispensary in the office building that formerly housed the OVA offices. A hearing and appeals process was to begin May 14.

Herbal Holistics Inc. wants to use a 1,492 square foot section of the building at 6575 Oakmont Drive to sell marijuana products along with smoking paraphernalia such as pipes and vaporizers. The facility plans six employees for the store, which would be open between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. A security guard will be on duty during all operating hours.

“We think, Oakmont is an undeserved community,” said Ted Meeker, who filed the application for the store with the city. “Seniors too can actually benefit from having a store close by.” Meeker said if all goes smoothly, the store could be open by the end of the year.

Separately, plans are in the works for a marijuana grow operation across Highway 12 from Oakmont, but don’t expect to see fields of bushy green plants or smell the pungent odor of the fall harvest.

That’s because Annadel Winery owner Dean Bordigioni and Jay Jensen of neighboring Novavine want to contain their operation to small “pot starts” less than a foot tall that will be sold for legal cultivation elsewhere.

“We’ve already got demand coming out of our ears,” Bordigioni told the Oakmont News. “We’re only interested in becoming a nursery. That’s the important thing.”
Most of the growing will be done in an enclosed 5,000 square foot building to be built on the site of a dilapidated turkey barn on the far side of the Bordigioni property. “It will be screened from the highway,” Bordigioni said. “There will be no way to see it unless you fly over it.”

Wells already in place on his property “are more than adequate” to support the project’s water needs, he said.

Right now, the project is in the permitting phase. It will be at least three to six months before work can be started on the building. “Maybe it will be done by the end of the year,” Bordigioni said.

Jensen’s Novavine is of the state’s largest wine nurseries producing prime specialty rootstocks. The partnership with Bordigiomi to produce prime marijuana stock on his property “makes perfect sense now that production has been legalized by California voters,” Bordigioni said.

Bordigioni said he is eager to meet with Oakmont residents to talk about the project. “It makes sense to support the legal industry because none of us like the illegal industry, which is all around us.”

Sue Millar, chair of the Oakmont Community Development Committee, said she believes there will be little impact on the community. “There’s no retail business involved,” she said. “So there will be little impact on traffic. Water is not an issue. And bench starts don’t have immediate profits to attract criminals.”