A group of 20 Sonoma County residents — some well-known, others who’ve rarely (if ever) seen the limelight —  have been chosen to represent a wide swath of interests in the local green rush. 

Working with County Supervisors, the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group was recently formed to provide “a diverse perspective on the impacts of cannabis and cannabis regulations and to provide information and feedback to the County for developing, amending, and funding local cannabis programs and policies.” (See more)

Why should you care? Because whether you’re a frustrated homeowner, a dispensary owner, a concerned parent, grower, business owner, advocate for justice or just canna-curious, hopefully there’s someone in this newly-formed advisory group to represent your interests to lawmakers.

Selected from more than 100 applicants, the group includes a doctor, two lawyers, real estate broker, homeowner associations and traditional agricultural, along with people intimately involved with the cannabis business who can provide context to a general public still sorting out their opinions about what commercial marijuana will look like at the Gateway to the Emerald Triangle. Though laws have already been written at the county level, a quickly changing landscape and state laws will require local lawmakers to stay nimble and flexible.

According to county organizers, applicants were identified by supervisorial district and organized to include voices from neighborhood and community leaders, health and human services providers, and educators along with business interests both inside and outside the cannabis world.  Applications were reviewed by staff and the Ad Hoc Committee, and further input was gathered from the Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee to recommend a group of individuals with a broad range of expertise and mixed geographic.

The group will decide its own agenda, but likely topics will include permitting, land use policies, enforcement, impacts and mitigation programs, tax policy and revenue expenditure. Members may be asked to assist with gathering data and input from their communities, reading research materials, and reviewing and providing feedback on documents. Serving on the committee is a two year uncompensated commitment, meeting monthly.

The group is advisory only, and will serve as a weathervane for the larger community as well as experts on the needs of their individual coalitions. Other county advisory groups for cannabis include the Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee formed by the Board of Supervisors, with Supervisors Susan Gorin and Lynda Hopkins appointed to serve on the committee. The Marijuana Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC), includes representatives from numerous County departments and agencies and their input.

The first meeting of the Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group is August 16th from 10:30a.m. to 12:30p.m.

Sonoma County Cannabis Advisory Group Members

Tawnie Logan

Tawnie Logan

Tawnie Logan Board Chair, Sonoma County Growers Alliance Representing: Industry/Cultivation District 4

Alexa Garcia

Alexa Garcia Owner/CEO, Luma California Representing: Cultivation District 4&2

Sam Edwards

Sam Edwards

Samual Edwards Owner/Operator, Cultura Crop Management Representing: Cultivation, Manufacturing District 4

Brandon Levine

Brandon Levine

Brandon Levine

Mercy Wellness Representing: Dispensary District 2

Lauren Fraser

Lauren Fraser

Lauren Fraser Founding Director, Cannabis Distribution Association President & Co-Founder, River Collective Representing: District 4

Jay Jensen

Jay Jensen

Jay Jensen Novavine Grapevine Nursery Representing: Nursery/traditional agriculture District 1

Julie Mercer Ingram

Julie Mercer-Ingram Attorney, Canna Legal / Beck Law Representing: Legal District 3


Omar Figueroa

Omar Figueroa Principal/Attorney, Law Offices of Omar Figueroa Representing: Legal District 5

Arthur Deike

Arthur Deicke Owner/Manager, Environmental Pollution Solutions LLC (environmental consulting) Representing: Environmental Consulting District 5


Paula Blaydes

Paula Blaydes Principal/Owner, Blaydes & Associates Representing: Consulting District 1

Dave Petersen

Dave Peterson Keegan & Coppin Company, Inc. Representing: Real estate District 3

Terry Garrett

Terry Garrett Managing Member, Sonoma County GO LOCAL Representing: Media/local economy District 3

Erin Lund

Erin Lund Family Physician, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers Representing: Health District 3

Steve Nielsen

Steve Nielsen School-Court Liaison, Sonoma County Office of Education Representing: Education District 3

Julie Terry Owner/Operator, West County Pride Representing: Cottage Cultivation District 5

Katherine Dowdney Co-owner, Earthen Farms Representing: Cultivation District 5

Richard Gunderson Willowside Homeowners Association Representing: Neighborhoods District 4

S Brantly Richardson Santa Rosa Neighborhood Groups Representing: Neighborhoods District 1

Sarah Shrader Chair, Sonoma County Americans for Safe Access Representing: Patients District 5

Shivawn Brady Director of Operations, Justice Grown Field Research Assistant, Stanford University Representing: Consulting District 1