Although the California Supreme Court just ruled that cities have the legal right to ban medical marijuana dispensaries outright, it’s doubtful the ruling will any immediate impact in the City of Santa Barbara, once the site of a flourishing medicinal marijuana cottage industry. Although city ordinance allows for up to three dispensaries — each to be located in specific neighborhoods — no storefront dispensaries are currently in operation, having closed down in response to threats of legal action by the federal government.
Even so, medical marijuana customers can still obtain pot through numerous home delivery services. Mayor Helene Schneider, who has favored legal dispensaries, said any change to the city’s ordinance would require five votes, and she said there’s little interest from the council to tackle an issue that proved to be exceptionally exhausting and thorny in recent years. Schneider said she’s heard no complaints from medical pot customers that they can’t get marijuana nor any from law enforcement concerned about the subterranean trade taking place via the delivery services.