Grand Jury Recommends Amended Cannabis Ordinances

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Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

The 2019-20 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury began an investigation initiated by concerns of residents over the actions taken by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors on the creation and passage of the cannabis ordinances. The action taken by the Board to certify the development of a robust cannabis industry as the primary objective of the Cannabis Ordinances has altered the quality of life in Santa Barbara County, perhaps forever.

The fulfillment of that objective dictated the actions taken by the Board from the excessive allowance of licenses and acreage, creation of an unverified affidavit system, ignoring widespread odor complaints, not acknowledging the conflict between cannabis cultivation and traditional agriculture, to rejecting the environmentally superior alternatives of limited cannabis development.

Instead of a balanced approach carefully evaluating how the cannabis industry would be compatible, both as to amount of acreage and location, the Board simply opened the floodgates. These Ordinances must be amended.

The complete report with agency responses are posted on the Grand Jury’s website: [and attached below]


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  1. I’ve grown tired of the ongoing ranting of the anticannibis crowd. If you are looking at ways to improve the ordinance, why interview a school district superintendent, a high school principal and a public school teacher? What do schools have to do with the ordinance? Methinks the Grand Jury reveals an irrational opposition to a cannabis ordinance that does not concern minors.
    This is not to deny that smoking dope is incompatible with doing well in school, something I experienced myself. I only quit partying when it became clear that the only way to succeed in life was to study and work hard.
    But this ordinance has nothing to do with school kids!

  2. “In January 2016, the Board approved the creation of a legal non-conforming use exemption for then
    existing medical marijuana cultivation operations that were in compliance with State laws. To be legal,
    the cultivation was limited to 100 square feet on a lot with a residential structure.” This is only true if you were growing for yourself. If you were a caregiver you are not limited to 100sqft. Seems to be a lot of bias and misinformation in this report.

  3. This report is a scathing indictment of Das Williams. If I lived in 1st district, I would have voted for him in the recent election but I think it is time for Das to get out of politics. He now seems better suited for lobbying. Laura Capps was not the solution. the only person on the BOS right now who is ethical and smart is Joan Hartmann. This County needs better choices. 2nd, 4th, and 5th districts have reps who were unopposed. Not a good situation at all and the County is suffering for it.

  4. That is an irrelevant detail because no one confirmed to this anyway. There is not one grower currently permitted or who holds a provisional state license who operated as a legal non conforming entity prior to 2016 and hasn’t expanded. You cannot expand under the legal non confirming ordinance. This is crap and they never should have been allowed to “ continue” growing while obtaining land use entitlements. We don’t even let property owners erect signs without a permit so why would the county allow these illegal operations to continue without permits? They didn’t follow their own rules and verify any affidavits. What government acts like this? Oh, never mind. I guess they are taking a page out of our current leaders book…

  5. Lucky for the cannabis millionaires that the Grand Jury recommendations are not binding. You just have to respond and make it look like you will address their concerns, then everyone forgets about it until the GJ investigates the same thing again in 5 yrs.

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