County Maintains Status ‘No’ for Medical Marijuana Shops

With time running out on their emergency moratorium preventing any and all new medical marijuana dispensaries from opening up in the unincorporated areas of the county, Santa Barbara County supervisors voted unanimously this week to extend the de facto ban for another year. Citing the usual suspects of confusing regulatory mandates and a stark uptick in alleged dispensary-related busts by the County Sheriff’s Department in the past year, the supervisors — extending the moratorium they first enacted last January for the maximum amount of time possible under the law — bought themselves some much needed time as staff works to develop a draft ordinance that would officially explain what the county’s policy is toward such cannabis clubs.

Interestingly enough, with a handful of grandfathered-in clubs operating in various parts of Goleta and Summerland under county jurisdiction, including two that have been the subject of investigations and arrests by authorites in recent months, Supervisor Salud Carbajal led the charge as the Supes expressed a certain amount of frustration towards staff in regards to how much or, more accurately, how little is currently known about what clubs existed prior to the moratorium, the nature of their business (especially as it pertains to ganja-charged edibles) and what, if any, clubs may have illegally opened up since the moratorium. Supervisor Janet Wolf took it even further when she, hinting at how she might vote on a potential ordinance on the matter, opined, “If I had my druthers I would like a complete ban.”

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