Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers title=
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers
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By edhat staff

Santa Barbara County Supervisors voted Tuesday to restrict marijuana farming on agriculturally zoned land with 20 or fewer acres (AG-1).

Agricultural Zone 1 (AG-1) is agricultural land that sits closer to urban development including schools and residences.

The 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Steve Lavagnino dissenting, will also require conditional-use permits instead of land permits for cannabis operations larger than AG-1 zoning. Cannabis growers will now have to request permits through the Planning Commission, lengthening the permitting process.

The supervisor meeting in Santa Maria lasted the entire day and into the evening with hundreds of public comments, some were in person while others commented via live stream from Santa Barbara. A possible countywide business licensing ordinance was tabled until next week, including discussions on odor control, limiting the number of cannabis growing acres and cultivation sites. 

Local residents, cannabis farmers, non-cannabis farmers, and mayors of local towns all participated in public commenting. They ranged from banning marijuana farming altogether to easing the current cultivation regulations. Many people spoke of the potentially harmful odor as well as breathing issues, especially being so close to schools and homes, and the negative economic impacts on local tourism.

Stephen Janes of Santa Barbara Vintners emphasized the local wine industry is not anti-marijuana, but fears the odor is threatening the wine and ecotourism of Santa Barbara County. "If more stringent regulations don't happen to prevent the odor from emanating, it will damage the wine industry and the tourism industry, and the taxes and revenues associated with it," he said. 

Others asked for fair and appropriate guidelines to function as farmers in an industry that was approved by voters.

Paul Kowalski, Chairman of the Cannabis Business Council of Santa Barbara County, explained the local cannabis industry is looking for support. "As you go forward we're asking that you enable us to compete [with bigger agricultural competitors] and provide us with a regulation that we can abide by and succeed."

The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for July 16 before the board takes a month-long summer recess.

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a-1568817167 Jul 12, 2019 11:23 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

The U.S. government is reportedly growing the largest crop of research marijuana in five years, meeting the demands of scientists who are interested in further studying the effects of THC and CBD. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says it plans to grow 4,409 pounds of marijuana this year at the University of Mississippi, enough for five million joints, according to The AP news site story.

a-1568817167 Jul 12, 2019 09:03 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

I don't mind smelling food like garlic (go to Gilroy OMG!). Or the other things like onions. Those things will also smell in your kitchen, and they constitute food. Pot however, is not used by a majority and is not food therefore, I don't want to smell it nor should we be subjected to such a rank odor - worse than a skunk! Onions and garlic however, smell good.

a-1568817167 Jul 12, 2019 09:19 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

at 9:03 - So, just because you like the smell of garlic and don't like the smell of pot, then we should somehow change the laws so you don't have to smell pot? I like onions too, but I also like the smell of pot. To each his/her own. Try not being so selfish.

a-1568817167 Jul 12, 2019 01:52 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Here are the factors that influence the cost to produce a pound of legal weed: 1) cost of materials, 2) cost of electricity, 3) labor costs, 4) cost of land, 5) cost of water, 6) government compliance costs. For Carpinteria, costs 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are much higher than almost anywhere else with the same amount of sun. This means that eventually Carpinteria will not be a competitive marijuana-producing region, compare to many cheaper regions.

Luvaduck Jul 11, 2019 09:51 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

I'd like to see the list of politicians and former politicians who've bought acreage for pot cultivation. I know Moldova did--he got in early, <very> early if you get my drift. Not saying he does, but wondering if Lavagnino owns ag land.

DBD Jul 11, 2019 03:08 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

According to wiki, Maldonado was born in santa maria, eldest son to mexican immigrant farm workers. He went to cal poly and studied crop science which helped expand the family farm to 6000 acres(that's a lot) with 250 employees. He ran for office at age 26 after trying to get a building permit and getting disillusioned with the process. I see a natural progression of a farmer trying to get into crops that make money, not a sleazy politician conspiring to get into the illicit crop business, and then purchasing land to do so.....Google Maldonado/hemp and you will find numerous articles.

Luvaduck Jul 11, 2019 02:19 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Yes, I was referring to Maldonado. My understanding is that he is growing the sort that has low THC but high CBD, and as I said, "got in early". If that is incorrect, please give me your reference so I can check it out. It wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about something controversial. It gets harder and harder to check. My source was a Times or a Mercury article, but not a recent one, so I apologize for being unable to reciprocate.

DBD Jul 11, 2019 11:37 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Luvaduck- I believe you are talking about Abel Maldonado? He is/was growing Hemp(might look the same as cannabis but its a different plant and not subject to all of these rules and regs). Hemp has no THC(the stuff that gets you high). Cannabis has THC(the stuff that gets you high). All the issues being brought up the past few years in our state and county are about the cannabis plant, not the hemp plant. #conspiracytheories

Flicka Jul 11, 2019 08:57 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

My gosh, what a major fuss. The anti-cannabis crew are following in Hearst's "Yellow Journalism" mode, coming up with altered facts to get their way. A docent on our tour of Hearst's Castle told us Hearst made marijuana the "devil's weed" with his yellow journalism because he and his cronies owned forests and since hemp can also be made into paper they didn't want the competition. "Reefer Madness", a laughable documentary with outrageous propaganda furthered the bogus dangers of marijuana.

pstarSR Jul 11, 2019 08:11 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

The smell? What a joke, every other ag product smells. I think stale wine and old beer smell gross but yet downtown and the funk zone eminate it. It’s ok for them cause they made a movie about wine tasting. This stigma of people that hate pot and make things up..... gezzus

ZeroHawk Jul 11, 2019 01:16 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

hey! I work in the funk zone and live down town. Let's talk about this ok? I walk my two daughters 11 and 12 downtown, we pass the wildcat. We step over a passed out 20 something. We sidestep puddles of vomit and dog feces on state street. In the funk zone, just this morning, there are 2 naked homeless guys fighting in our company parking lot. There are empty beer bottles and food containers and used condoms on the side walks and in the streets. I walk to the Metro Cafe for lunch and see more empty beer bottles in just 1/2 a block and the stench of stale wine and old beer are very strong. So again...maybe driving by at 65 mph you don't smell a thing aside of exhaust. I work here and am immersed in it and its a nasty stink. Do i wank about it and stomp my feet and cry like a little girl over it? Nope. Why? Because it's not my concern. Nor is it your concern that people are legally growing a crop in our county. Go bitch at the onion farmers next dude....FFS

ZeroHawk Jul 11, 2019 01:12 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

is it an issue to the people who live near the onion and broccoli fields in oxnard? I'm sure it is. Do the rest of us care? Nope! Not at all. I find it obnoxious that so many of the haters have so little valid and factual information and are so uninfomred and uneducated. Stating that the smell and ordor causes sore throats, etc is just f'n ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as being against it when it's organic, but the locals around there don't mind the drop dusters spraying the avo crops? Don't you think that spray gets into their homes and cars and their lungs and skin? It sure does. But yeah, let's ignore fact and keep up the hysteria and ill informed fools that cry foul when nothing is foul

PitMix Jul 11, 2019 12:43 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Try driving through at 6:30 am before the wind kicks up and with a high humidity. Good sharp smell almost everyday at Santa Claus lane. I'm sure the houses along there get to smell it all night in similar conditions. I can't believe people don't think it is an issue. Plus I hear it is very strong at the high school.

a-1568817167 Jul 11, 2019 09:08 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

PITMIX - downtown and the funk zone smell like bar rags and vomit, more than old beer/wine, so maybe PSTARSR's comparison was a little off. I've smelled "skunk" twice in the last 10-12 times I've driven through Carp in the last year, so it's definitely not EVERY time as some would have us think. And when I drive through, I am actively searching for the stink, so it can't be that bad. Also, I have the nose of a bloodhound and can smell a fart in a tornado, so I'm pretty sure I'm not "missing" the scent....

PitMix Jul 11, 2019 12:46 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

People's brains are wired to respond to emergencies and immediate threats. Some people are very sensitive to the pot odor. So it seems like an constant emergency to them and they are very upset about it. The pesticides may eventually kill you but generally the lack of odor or smell doesn't make it seem like an emergency to most people. This is why we can win WWII in 3 years but can't come up with a plan for climate change.

a-1568817167 Jul 11, 2019 09:12 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Pitmix wait a second..... so you admit the pesticides on avocado farms are more dangerous, yet you think it's the pot farmers that need to take action because the smell is a "reminder that they are there??" So what if people are reminded that they're there? It's better than inhaling pesticides, don't you think?

PitMix Jul 11, 2019 09:09 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

You are right that the pesticides from aerial spraying are probably more dangerous than VOCs from pot operations. But the odor from the pot farms is a constant reminder that they are there, whereas the human brain can ignore the threat from the pesticides because there is no overwhelming evidence that they are there. If the pot farmers want to stay in operation, they'd better get odor control equipment now.

420722 Jul 10, 2019 04:36 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Breathing issues? This is just too much..I miss when pot was illegal! It was much easier to get for a heck of a lot cheaper a lot less drama and no public meetings every week because the city council doesn’t know their head from their ass.

CoastWatch Jul 10, 2019 04:31 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Glad they revised their thinking- Having a commercial cannabis operation next door to residential properties that are 1-20 acres is ridiculous. I was talking with one resident who lives on a 5 acre parcel and the next door neighbor sold his house to a guy who was planning on building a 17,000 sq ft commercial operation right on his & the surrounding neighbors property lines... Lights, Security and high water usage- Glad this was shut down under the A-1 zoning.

DBD Jul 12, 2019 08:52 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Zenyatta- The security rules are not for the cash, they are for the cultivation/processing/nursery. An unfortunate side affect is that there tends to be a lot of cash(federally illegal crop, banks are FDIC/federally insured = cant bank at a traditionally insured bank which is almost all of them). I would hope people aren't keeping large quantities of cash on premises, seeing how nearly every premises exact location is available publicly.

DBD Jul 12, 2019 08:52 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Zenyatta- The security rules are not for the cash, they are for the cultivation/processing/nursery. An unfortunate side affect is that there tends to be a lot of cash(federally illegal crop, banks are FDIC/federally insured = cant bank at a traditionally insured bank which is almost all of them). I would hope people aren't keeping large quantities of cash on premises, seeing how nearly every premises exact location is available publicly.

Zenyatta19 Jul 12, 2019 02:22 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

DBD I wasn’t talking about the farmer misinterpretation of lighting requirements, I was talking about zoning enforcement. How policy is worded in the land use and development code is imperative. And people are not breaking in to steal the stash, they are breaking in to steal the cash. Until state financial institutions are readily available to open accounts for this all cash business, there will be this threat.

DBD Jul 11, 2019 09:55 AM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Pitmix- most motion sensor lights have a few sensitivity and time settings the choose from. look down by the sensor and see if you have a switch or a dial that can be adjusted. Zenyatta- i think its stretching it now to say a pot farmer would intentionally interpret 'should' instead of 'shall' to keep their lights on all night. even if they did keep them on all night(maybe they are afraid of the boogy man), the following 3 bullet points would prevent light pollution. These farmers are not trying to bring any extra attention to themselves. I also cant fathom a team of robbers breaking in and loading up 50lbs of wet untrimmed plant into their backpacks and then marching off. Its like stealing grapes, and then taking them back home to make $20 in wine.

DBD Jul 10, 2019 11:39 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

Coastwatch, please research the facts and don’t rely on secondhand information. You will see you are incorrect. The SB county website describes security lighting in its FAQ. Motion sensors are all that is necessary. Unless you have a family of raccoons outside your building constantly, there is no reason the lights would be on all night. #lightpolutionrumors

DBD Jul 10, 2019 05:15 PM
Supervisors Agree to Added Restriction for Local Cannabis Growers

They can still build a 17,000 sqft commercial operation with lights, security, and high water usage.....all day every day... The only difference is that they can grow many thousands of types of plants..except for this one plant. Please read above and understand this is the issue. Ag property being able to grow all ag, except for one plant. It does not prevent any building, water usage, security or anything else.

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