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Cannabis Is Coming to California Wine Country: First One-Acre Permit for Growing Craft Cannabis Has Been Awarded in Sonoma County


Located in the Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Hills Farm will usher in a new era by pioneering regulated craft cannabis cultivation in some of the world’s finest terroir

Petaluma, CA (October 1, 2019) – Marking a major milestone in wine country, Sonoma County has moved to turn some of its famous and quality land into craft cannabis cultivation. On September 30, Petaluma Hills Farm, located at Sonoma Hills Farm, was granted the first one-acre conditional use permit for a cannabis grow in Sonoma County. This license marks a significant milestone for cannabis cultivation in California wine country.

“This permit, and pending cultivation permits, demonstrates a huge step forward for California cannabis cultivators, wine country, and artisanal cannabis grows throughout the country,” said Sam Magruder, partner in Petaluma Hills Farm. “We are ushering in a new era that will allow small farmers of fine cannabis to equally participate, and ideally thrive, in Sonoma County.”

While Petaluma Hills Farm is the name for the cannabis cultivation, the entire property will ultimately operate under the name Sonoma Hills Farm. Sonoma Hills Farm strives to be a cultural and educational intersection of cannabis and traditional agriculture. Permaculturists and Michelin-starred chefs have already assisted the farm in designing a one-acre chef garden and fruit orchard to fully integrate the natural ecosystems of the occupied land.

Sonoma Hills Farm is nestled on 40-acres of naturally farmed land within some of the nation’s premier wine terroir and appellation. Tucked away in the famed Petaluma Gap, known for some of California’s finest pinot noir and chardonnay, its cooler temperatures and warm, dry autumns are a perfect growing climate for premium cannabis.

Cannabis cultivation at Sonoma Hills Farm will be a total of one acre of land split between two locations on the property: a 28,560 sq/ft outdoor cannabis garden farmed with dry farming techniques. The outdoor plot will occupy the old footprint of three large chicken barns, and a 10,000 sq/ft state-of-the-art closed environment agriculture (CEA) greenhouse for cannabis cultivation with an attached 5,000 sq/ft facility for indoor cultivation, plant propagation and strain development.

The farm is designed and will be built to exceed expectations for this type of operation, from farming methods and land preservation, to energy and water conservation. Using sustainability practices and by being good stewards of the land, Magruder hopes to lessen the stigma against cannabis and educate the community on the promise of the plant, as well as the important role it will play in the future of small agriculture in Sonoma County.

Added Magruder: “As pioneers in legal cannabis, we aspire to be a beacon for the industry, as well as a model for the world for growing finely crafted cannabis in wine country. Much like growing grapes for the finest wines, we plan to take an artisanal approach to cultivation through the cannabis we have been permitted to grow in this incredible terroir.”

The first harvest is planned for late 2020.

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