County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance title=
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance
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By the County of Santa Barbara

May 31, 2019
To the Residents of Santa Barbara County:

County government’s role is to balance numerous sides of a complex issue, not one side or the other, that ultimately will benefit the county long term. Developing a regulatory environment for a new industry takes time and requires patience. The County Board of Supervisors adopts policies and regulations through a robust public process open to all stakeholders – none more so than the cannabis ordinance with more than 30 public meetings with many hours of public comment.

We recognize that there are significant tensions among residents, cannabis growers, and some elements of other agricultural industries. We are committed to developing a regulatory environment to address concerns such as odor, enforcement, compatible land uses and eliminating the underground economy.

Every land use issue in Santa Barbara County is controversial, including greenhouses in Carpinteria for cut flowers in the 1990s. Cannabis is a contentious topic and one that stirs strong emotions, feelings and opinions.

Since 2016 with pending state regulations and passage of Proposition 64 to legalize recreational marijuana, the County has worked on building a local regulatory structure to reduce, if not eliminate, illegal grows and many of the negative effects identified around cannabis cultivation. Developing regulations has been conducted in a very public manner with hundreds of stakeholders across the county.

Protecting neighborhoods has been at the forefront of discussions. To that end, all permitted cannabis operators are required to meet strict development standards and conditional use permits are now required of cannabis operators in existing rural neighborhoods to help reduce further impacts. The County’s compliance and enforcement teams have been enforcing our regulations and those required by the State of California to put a stop to illegal cannabis activity and operations across the county.

Since August 2018, 30 criminal enforcement actions resulted in removal of 832,649 live plants and confiscation or elimination of 31,706 pounds of dry and wet harvested plants, illegal products and delivery services. In addition to criminal enforcement, the compliance team is actively pursuing civil and land use violations to enforce health and safety concerns.

Benefits of the County’s approach to the regulation of cannabis include:

  • Driving out bad actors and the illegal market that create public safety and health problems
  • Tax revenue to fund enforcement and regulation
  • Higher wage jobs with benefits for cannabis industry employees
  • Creation of a new regulated ag industry within a county that is 96.5 percent agricultural and forest land, and 3.5 percent urban.
We urge all residents to engage in local government and policy development. You are receiving this because you already made a choice to receive news and information from the County, for which we sincerely appreciate. Feel free to share this with others who may not be aware of how to stay connected to the many programs and services provided by their local county government. 

One County. One Future.
www.countyofsb.org

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Shasta Guy Jun 03, 2019 08:45 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

The news out of Oregon is that their marijuana glut is so large that it’s the equivalent of six years of supply. What’s next? Government joints stored along side the blocks of surplus government cheese and butter? Phantom Blot is right...learn to love life without getting high.

PitMix Jun 04, 2019 08:50 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

California is the same, most of the stuff we produce is exported illegally to other states that haven't legalized it yet. Of course the illegal stuff is not regulated so you don't know if you are smoking paraquat or roundup on your leaf. Not that a little pesticide ever stopped anyone.

a-1566810453 Jun 02, 2019 10:06 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Funny to see all the local cannabis industry folks gushing all over facebook reposting the “County”’s “open letter”—- it really was a love letter for all of their cash businesses...disgusting

Lucky 777 Jun 02, 2019 09:51 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

The poor grammar and buzz word catch phrases in this weak bit of government agitprop are so disappointing. Quite aside from content, the fact that our taxes fund public information officers with such a poor command of language is just the visible front for the inefficiency and corruption endemic in the entire system.

a-1566810453 Jun 02, 2019 09:13 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

What do you expect to happen when people like Graham Farrar (localol luminary and John Thayer (ex SBPD) are stakeholders in these carp operations.

Factotum Jun 02, 2019 09:08 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Not sure who in the country drafted this insulting and self-serving document, but the county list five (5) "communications" managers each costing taxpayers from $164,000 to $186,000 a year. Along with numerous other county "communications" specialists. Communications is a large county expense department, and the best we get is calling this ongoing pot disaster the work of "bad actors"? Anyone still claiming they can't afford to live in Santa Barbara. The county has plenty of well-paying jobs; competence or work skills not necessary as this self-serving pot hit piece demonstrates..

Rinconer Jun 02, 2019 08:16 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

The draconian regulation and administration of prop 64 has so far been an huge failure. If Colorado makes $2 billion/year from cannabis sales with a population of roughly 2 million, California should make close to $38 billion/year with a population of roughly 38 million. But instead, California says they made only $800 million last year in cannabis sales. That figure is around 2% of the market. 2% is a staggeringly low figure, in any other industry they would be a marginal player, especially when by law Californians are only supposed to buy from licensed dispensaries, if they do not grow their own. Why is the County and State failing to capture 98% of the cannabis market? It’s 30 or 40 percent more expensive than what they are used to paying after the feds, State, and county all pile on taxes in numbers way larger than any other commodity. Some growers seem to have it worse than the consumers, one friend has paid $65,000 in license fees over two years, but received no license in return from the County except requests for more money. The legalization of cannabis in California follows the modus operandi of the federal government; 1. Gain control 2. Grab as much money as possible. 3. Screw everything up.

CoastWatch Jun 02, 2019 08:08 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Simple- This is NOT just a crop. No one wants it next to or close enough to their home to smell it. Grow it in finite AG areas-NOT in rual / mixed AG/Residential areas.

a-1566810453 Jun 02, 2019 07:21 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

This piece of propaganda is not something a local government should call “public information”. It is an amalgam of phrases used by the local cannabis industry to negate any expression of impact or concern. The County sadly has lost any shred of credibility it might have had left on this issue.

Eggs Ackley Jun 05, 2019 07:44 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

If you "remember that the smell is minimal" you might want to see a doctor about that sinus infection. Suggest it's a real MD, not the fake doc who signed your cannabis card.

a-1566810453 Jun 03, 2019 10:47 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

This is a false statement. Folks opposed to cannabis grasp at straws to put pressure on public officials. "community health crisis." Reality on the ground is that the smell is minimal. Plant odors do not cause health impacts. Life is great in Carpinteria, unless you are scared of cannabis. Last weekend there was a youth football tournament at Carpinteria high school. No smell. There was a little league season closing ceremony at El Carro Park. no smell. These events happened within 1/4 mile of successful cannabis farms that are poised to do well as the world legalizes the plant. The notion that cannabis and its farmers are bad and incompatible with life in a small beach town needs to be corrected by media outlets who would rather prolong a fight that doesn't exist in daily life in Carpinteria. Folks who perpetuate the lie that there's a community in crisis are really the ones hurting Carpinteria. It's time to disengage with the drama.

a-1566810453 Jun 01, 2019 04:41 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Why not just get this show on the road and cut out the "bad guys"? If the shops were open and things were legal and convenient to the buyers and sellers all this drama would disappear. We have liquor stores on every corner for convenience.

a-1566810453 Jun 05, 2019 07:49 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

The liquor stores aren't there for convenience, duuuuh! Why are they there then, one might ask? (space case, stoner, pothead, why aren't there any positive nicknames for thc addicts?)

Thomas John Jun 02, 2019 09:02 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

One thing a liquor store has going for it is that use your credit/debit card. Since pot is still a no-no with the federal government I believe it is still an all cash affair. Hence the security guard requirements.

Big mack Jun 01, 2019 10:29 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Opps, i meant NO security guard requirements . If the owners want them.......fine but all this regulation drives the price up . Make the liquor stores have security guards . That's where they're needed . Look at, Mac's on, Anacapa . I get the creeps just driving near that place & the laundry mat next door is now closed due to all the deralics that hang out there .

a-1566810453 Jun 01, 2019 10:25 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

Speaking of liquor stores . There's a big difference between liquor and marijuana . One creates aggression, violence, drunk driving and stupidity . Marijuana is an opposite so quit lumping the two together . Secondly if we want Pot to be successful then we need the Cities requirement to have two security guards on premises and cut down on taxes along with all the red tape . This drives the price uneccessarily up making users go to the underground black market to purchase their weed . If any place needs security guards it's the liquor stores . There are more robberies at liquor stores then Banks, pot shops, businesses combined . Liquor stores are where the bums, transients, deralics hang out, not pot shops .

a-1566810453 Jun 01, 2019 04:06 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

“Driving out bad actors and the illegal market that create public safety and health problems”. It stinks driving through Carpinteria now. Either shut down the illegal grows, or enforce the laws on legal grows. How hard can this be?

Factotum Jun 01, 2019 02:35 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

County's self-interest goals are not my goals. BTW - no evidence "bad actors have been driven out. To wit: "Benefits of the County’s approach to the regulation of cannabis include: Driving out bad actors and the illegal market that create public safety and health problems Tax revenue to fund enforcement and regulation Higher wage jobs with benefits for cannabis industry employees Creation of a new regulated ag industry within a county that is 96.5 percent agricultural and forest land, and 3.5 percent urban."

a-1566810453 Jun 02, 2019 07:24 AM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

The whole “bad actor” rhetoric is a fiction created by the cannabis industry, and county. Ask this so called PIO what the current status is of the “big raids” on so called “bad actors”— she probably would find a way to avoid answering but the truth is, just about all of those locations are back in business...they change the name, faces of their “farms” and pay the county money and voila. Bad actor to good actor nothing more than a manufactured distinction without a difference

Factotum Jun 01, 2019 02:17 PM
County Writes Open Letter on Cannabis Ordinance

County supervisors serve at the will of the people. We are not victims of their personal agendas nor covering up their past fiscal mismanagement. Don't like the direction this current board of supervisors is going on the cannabis invasion, don't re-elect them. Vote in new county supervisors at the next election who will respond to the evolving wishes of the electorate. Same holds true for "the state" and its increasingly draconian and confiscatory mandates. Vote in new state legislators as well. County wants cannabis for new tax revenues. County representatives will bend the rules, cajole the residents, and respond willingly to all supervisor majorities who are in the back pocket of the cannabis industry. Never forget built into the recent "legalization" of cannabis was the provision to ban it entirely, like many other communities in this state have chosen to do. Elect new county supervisors, put this issue to a vote again, and get rid of this highly problematic new scourge affecting the quality of life in this county. The county's fiscal mismanagement needs a dose of old-fashioned medicine: reduce old county expenses; and not generate new injudicious county income streams.

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