Plans move forward for Glen Ellen cannabis dispensary

A proposed cannabis dispensary in an old firehouse on Arnold Drive is making its move to set up shop just outside of Glen Ellen, at the corner of Madrone Road and Arnold Drive.

The proposed dispensary will be further vetted before the county Board of Zoning Adjustments on Thursday, April 8.

The Glen Ellen dispensary, which is applying to open in the old community firehouse at 15499 Arnold Drive under the name Loe Firehouse, filed for operation in 2017 in the first wave of applications under Sonoma County’s permitting process following the legalization of recreational cannabis. At that time the county set a limit of nine dispensaries in non-incorporated areas, of which six have received land use entitlement approvals. Firehouse could be the seventh; two others, both in Sonoma Valley, are in the queue for eighth and ninth.

Glen Ellen firehouse

Loe Firehouse is proposed as a two-level dispensary of approximately 1,891 square feet. A separate employee entrance and delivery will be on Madrone Road, while customer parking will be around the back of the building with entrance off Arnold Drive. Parking for about a dozen customer vehicles will be available, with an estimated 150 customers daily.

When the project’s application first saw the light of day in 2018, under the name Apothevert, a number of neighbors raised objections to having the dispensary near family homes, at the intersection of Arnold and Madrone. Neighbors also that year held a demonstration opposing the dispensary and voiced their objections to the Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission and the Glen Ellen Forum community group.

Current applicant John Lobro and his wife Samantha Smith of Sebastopol said they purchased the property, previously occupied by a medical device company, when forward movement on the dispensary was slowed. He said they had always been involved in the effort to open the dispensary, though he was not initially on the county’s permit records.

Last month, Permit Sonoma recommended that the Board of Zoning Adjustments approve a negative declaration of environmental impact, opening the door for 30 days for public comment that ended March 29.

The staff report on the application is available for review at; it includes travel impact studies and the county’s “negative declaration” that further environmental study is not needed. Public comments should be made by email to the project planner at

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