A public hearing on proposed medical cannabis dispensary will be held by the Sonora Planning Commission, 5:30 p.m. Monday, City Hall, at 94 N. Washington St.

A man with ties to multiple companies in Florida and Valley Springs, as well as a former marijuana processing site near San Andreas that was raided by law enforcement in 2016, is seeking permission from the City of Sonora to open a medical cannabis dispensary.

At a public meeting on Monday, the Sonora Planning Commission will consider an application for a development agreement and use permit from Raphael Calderon and 10 Calaveras, a limited liability company.

Public records show Calderon as chief executive officer of 10 Calaveras, LLC, which was formed in late November.

The company’s physical address is listed at 154 Golden Leaf Court in Valley Springs and a mailing address at 320 Sevilla Ave., Suite 201, in Coral Gables, Florida, which is near Miami.

Calderon could not be reached for comment on Friday, nor could City Administrator Tim Miller, who negotiated the agreement.

The dispensary would be located at 10 Calaveras St., near the former Tuolumne General Hospital, in a building that was previously a machine shop and foundry in the early 20th century.

Public records showed the building was purchased in December by 10 Calaveras, LLC, for $230,000 from descendants of the original owner, Frank Holman, who moved the foundry from the township of Tuolumne in 1900.

The 2016 Sonora Historic Resources Inventory stated the building is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as part of potential historic district for its association with the economic development and corresponding growth of the city.

Calderon and 10 Calaveras, LLC, are listed on the agenda for the meeting on Monday as the applicants for a use permit to operate the dispensary at the location.

Bract House, LLC, also associated with Calderon, is the name of the company that was formed in early December and listed on the agenda as the applicant for a development agreement with the city. The company’s physical address is registered with the Secretary of State’s Office as 10 Calaveras St., while the mailing address is also 320 Sevilla Ave., 201, in Coral Gables, Florida.

The three-year agreement would require Bract House, LLC, to pay the city no less than $10,000 per month, or 5 percent of gross monthly sales, whichever is greater, to offset or mitigate any potential negative impacts on the community.

Security cameras, an alarm system, odor control, insurance, and a waste management plan are also required under the terms of the agreement.

Calderon is also the chief executive officer of Mountain Farms, Inc., which previously sought a permit for indoor cannabis cultivation from the Calaveras County Planning Department at a site that was later raided by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office as an illegal processing site in October 2016.

The application for a cultivation permit was denied following the raid. An article by the Calaveras Enterprise from December 2016 stated that Calderon appealed the denial and told county officials that none of the people who were arrested in the raid were associated with him, nor was he subleasing the space.

County officials denied Calderon’s appeal.

Calderon’s voicemail said he is with Kinetik Industrial Group, a Miami-based construction company that previously touted over 15 years and $500 million in construction and development experience.

The website Corporation Wiki stated that public records connect Calderon with 26 companies, 12 of which were inactive.
If approved, the dispensary would be the second one to open within the three-square-mile city limits since the city council approved a three-year pilot program in January 2018 that allows medical-only cannabis dispensaries.

Hazy Bulldog Farms at 1243 Mono Way was the first medical cannabis dispensary to be approved under the program and opened earlier this year. It’s owned and operated by Jeff Muzio, of Sonora, and his father-in-law, Ron Baker, of Redwood City.

The city’s pilot program does not allow dispensaries to sell pot for recreational use. Commercial cultivation of any kind is also not allowed.

Miller has said the council may reconsider the ban on recreational sales because new regulations from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control now allow both medical and recreational cannabis sales via delivery, even in places where it’s banned.

The city is one of 25 jurisdictions that filed a joint lawsuit in April against the bureau over the new regulations, which they say takes away their ability to regulate the drug locally and undermines the voter-approved Proposition 64, which legalized recreational pot and promised local control over how it’s regulated.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

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