Kenwood Press


Serving the communities of Kenwood, Glen Ellen and Oakmont

email print
News: 08/01/2020

SVCAC supports Glen Ellen cannabis operation



“It’s BenZIGer, not BenZINGer.” Margaret Spaulding’s clarification was one of the few comments for Mike and Mary Benziger at the July 22 SVCAC meeting prior to a unanimous recommendation for county use permit approval of the Glentucky Farms medicinal cannabis operation in Glen Ellen. The Benzigers have been seeking county approval for a 50-plant outdoor cannabis grow and indoor seedling facility on their Glentucky Family Farm for over three years.

Mike and Mary started Glentucky Farm in 2015 on 8.4 acres, adjacent to Jack London State Park and the Benziger Winery property, after the winery sold to The Wine Group for an undisclosed amount. Important in the mission of Glentucky Farm is to responsibly cultivate food and medicinal plants. According to Benziger, “Their focus is on biodynamic farming to produce the highest purity of product.” Benziger also raised the need to preserve family farms and said that cannabis cultivation can help boost revenue. He stated, “A small amount of cannabis in the quiver can save family farms.”

This year marks the Benzigers’ sixth vintage of cannabis with zero complaints from the surrounding community. All eight of their adjacent neighbors submitted letters of approval for their project to the SVCAC prior to the meeting. Jonah Raskin, who has published articles about cannabis locally and nationally stated that he wholeheartedly supports the application. He emphatically stated, “I believe that Jack London, who used cannabis, would support this application.”

According to Glentucky Family Farm’s website, “Biodynamics is a wholistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming, food, medicine and nutrition. Biodynamic Agriculture views the farm as a self-contained and self-sustaining organism. Its farmers strictly avoid all synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and transgenic contamination. Instead they stress farm-generated, living solutions to pest control and to fertility.”

Benziger’s presentation addressed the four key areas of concern for cannabis operation approval, which are typically fragrance, traffic, water, and security. Prevailing winds blow the sometimes pungent cannabis smell toward the winery property. They do not expect to hire any workers nor have any visitors at the property. They use rainwater, not groundwater for irrigation. They have a 10-foot fence surrounding the property, live on site, have extensive security cameras and a guard dog. The SVCAC committee members were satisfied with these conditions.

Additionally, Benziger requested a waiver for the size of the lot, which is 1.6 acres smaller than the required 10 acres, and for setback from the adjacent Jack London State Park. Benziger described the steep grade and thick forest that separates his property from any areas of the park accessible to visitors. He stated that they had never had a trespasser on the farm.

The next step for final approval of the Glentucky Family Farms cannabis use permit is review and approval by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Aug. 12.


Email: melissa@kenwoodpress.com

Recently Published:

08/01/2020 - SVCAC supports Glen Ellen cannabis operation
08/01/2020 - Tree Men at work
08/01/2020 - Concerns aired at groundwater public hearing
08/01/2020 - Property tax values available online
08/01/2020 - Mayacamas VFD seeking volunteers for board and fire council work
08/01/2020 - Virtual fundraiser for SV Mentoring Alliance
08/01/2020 - PG&E powering up...
08/01/2020 - Sugarloaf Ridge State Park events
08/01/2020 - Labor dispute likely behind golf exit in Oakmont
08/01/2020 - Oakmont’s general manager resigns
08/01/2020 - Long-term Bay Area planning – public workshop for Sonoma on Aug. 5
08/01/2020 - Kenwood Fire District ballot measure – confusing but necessary
08/01/2020 - Free food distributions in Kenwood, Glen Ellen
08/01/2020 - Protect open space at the SDC
08/01/2020 - Applications available for the 2020 Jack London Yacht Club Grants
08/01/2020 - We remember you: Notes from the Eldridge Cemetery
08/01/2020 - Agenda set for Aug. 3 Glen Ellen Forum meeting
08/01/2020 - New Soroptimists in Wine Country
08/01/2020 - Clarification
08/01/2020 - Kenwood school board, fire board election filing deadlines
08/01/2020 - Rebuild NorthBay awards grant to Glen Ellen Forum to benefit fire survivors
07/15/2020 - North Valley Municipal Advisory Council appointed
07/15/2020 - Fire Season 2020 top 10 tips
07/15/2020 - The witching hour
07/15/2020 - Political action alive and well in Oakmont...

Community Calendar

Glen Ellen Forum Meeting
08/03/2020
more...
Full Moon Sugarloaf hike
08/03/2020
more...
Plan Bay Area 2050 Workshop
08/05/2020
more...
Creekside Nature Hike
08/08/2020
more...
Sugarloaf Trail Crew
08/13/2020
more...
Night Sky Trails
08/15/2020
more...
Creekside Nature Hike
08/15/2020
more...
Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance Fundraiser
08/20/2020
more...
Forest Therapy
08/22/2020
more...
Economic Recovery town hall meeting
08/26/2020
more...