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Sonoma County

Sonoma County is located on California’s northern coast. The largest of the San Francisco Bay Area countries, Sonoma County had a population of 483,878 as estimated in the 2010 census. The largest city in the county is Santa Rosa, which also serves as the county seat.

Sonoma CountySonoma County Marijuana Laws

The Sonoma County marijuana guidelines were established by the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs Association, which is comprised of the county District Attorney, the Sheriff, and other Sonoma County police chiefs. These guidelines were later approved by the city councils of Santa Rosa and Sebastopol.


Possession of marijuana in Sonoma County is a non-arrestable offense under California law, provided that it falls under the 28.5 grams limit. For amounts of 28.5 grams of marijuana or less, the only offense is a civil infraction for which the offender will be charged a $100 fine. However, possession of marijuana in excess of 28.5 grams is an arrestable offense for which the offender may be sentenced to six months in jail and be required to pay a $500 fine.


The cultivation and processing of marijuana is illegal under California law, which means that it is illegal in Sonoma County as well. However, there are certain individuals that are exempted from this law: patients, caregivers, and owners of legal dispensaries. Patients that have been recommended medical marijuana by a doctor may be allowed to cultivate and process a maximum of 30 plants within a 100 square feet growing area. Patients are also allowed to possess as much as 3 pounds of bud, with the same limit imposed on caregivers for every patient under their care.


The sale of marijuana is illegal in Sonoma County as it is in most of California. The exceptions to this rule are medical marijuana dispensaries. All other sales are illegal, and may result in a 2- to 4-year prison sentence with a possible to 3 to 5 years for cases involving the sale of marijuana to a minor.

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