Santa Barbara took another step in its march toward a cannabis-infused future as two teams of would-be cannabis oil manufacturers made detailed presentations to City Hall in hopes of securing necessary permits. The first group was led by Ryan Howe, who for the past three years has been trying to win approval for a medicinal marijuana dispensary on Milpas Street, which he claimed will open in two weeks. Helping Howe with a new facility slated for 400 West Gutierrez Street is a team of tech-talking experts. One claimed to have worked with movie director James Cameron on a cannabis delivery system, and others described the software they devised to track every molecule of cannabis from seed to smoke. Howe is proposing to operate cannabis home delivery and wholesale transportation from the site. While the home delivery market is already saturated with unlicensed businesses, there’s currently no one in Santa Barbara County providing wholesale trucking service. Given that Santa Barbara has more licensed cultivators than any county in the state, that’s a significant void.
Proposing a similar but bigger operation on Reddick Street is the same Coastal Dispensary consortium seeking permission for a retail outlet on Chapala Street. Where Howe is proposing to use hydrogen-powered delivery vehicles, Coastal is proposing to use hybrids, and it too would manufacture oils and oil-based products. The two proposals will be further evaluated by City Hall’s five-person panel, leaving the final decision to City Administrator Paul Casey. A decision should be forthcoming by the end of the month, as well as which of the six retail proposals get chosen for three available slots.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that a Carpinteria growing operation was targeted by four male armed robbers. Initially, it appeared the would-be robbers were held at gunpoint by a security guard. It later turned out the robbers held the guard at gunpoint before getting away with unspecified material.