The County’s cannabis conundrum; kickstarting Cornerstone; ‘Chorus Line’ and more

Posted on February 13, 2019 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma County projected a budding new source of revenue when cannabis was legalized. But it hasn’t gone as planned, at least not yet. Out of the gate, when hopes and ambitions were high, some 230 operators wanted in, and fee revenue was in the $3.5 million range. The County staffed a Cannabis Program office to facilitate and promote; life was cush. But then, like a cruel case of the munchies, reality set in. Meeting state and local requirements, including securing that all-important use permit, is hard, and the fees aren’t cheap. Now, with only about 70 businesses in play, the revenue is expected to go way down…. Do your part. Get stoned local.

The Kenwood Investments firm, led by real estate developer and media mogul Darius Anderson has sold off several of its Sonoma assets. Changing hands are Ramekins culinary center and the General’s Daughter event venue, both on Spain Street, and Cornerstone Sonoma, the nine-acre retail complex south of town on Arnold Drive. (But not the downtown hotel.) About the sale, Anderson, said in a statement, “It has been a fabulous ride over the last decade.” The buyer is LeFever Mattson, a property management and investment company that, like Anderson did a few years ago, is amassing quite a portfolio of local properties… A few years ago, Cornerstone publicized a Kickstarter campaign to help it build a pub and beer garden on the site. Your pledge of support for the multi-million dollar company would be thanked with logo swag like tee-shirts and hoodies. The pub was supposed to be open by now but it is as yet unbuilt. Maybe the new owners will see that through. More importantly, when does my shirt get here?

City Hall threw a party for Cynthia Tarr, Sonoma’s 2019 Treasure Artist. There’s no place like home, said the accomplished singer, musician and vocal coach. “Sonoma is a city that wants you to do what makes you happy.” Curtain call!

Speaking of singular sensations, to open its summer season at Jack London Park, Transcendence Theatre Company will produce its first full Broadway musical A Chorus Line. The three other shows on the Broadway Under the Stars schedule will be all-new revue-style shows, with large, hugely-talented casts of Broadway pros. But A Chorus Line, opening in June, is the full, as-seen-on-Broadway production. For Amy Miller, the company’s co-founder and artistic director, the show has special meaning — it was her first big outing as a professional performer. Jazz hands all around!

Bob Edwards liked The Sun story about the business that makes cannabis-infused chocolates, and sees huge potential. “Why not put it in toothpaste and toilet paper, too? And chewing gum? It would look especially festive as a topping for pizza. A neighbor sprinkled a little weed dust in his bird feeder, and boy, who knew bluejays could fly upside down like that?”

— Val Robichaud

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