Cannabis Amendments to County Ordinance Now in Effect

Regulations within the Coastal Zone Pending Review and Certification by the California Coastal Commission

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Through a public process that began in early 2017, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the Land Use Development Code, Montecito Land Use Development Code, and Article II for land use in the Coastal Zone to address permitting of cannabis operations in the unincorporated portions of the County. The Board also adopted a Cannabis Business License Ordinance in May 2018. The land use amendments and business license ordinance became operational on Tuesday, June 5 for areas outside of the Coastal Zone. These regulations within the Coastal Zone are pending review and certification by the California Coastal Commission.

County regulations require commercial cannabis operations to obtain a zoning permit from Planning and Development under the local zoning requirements (including any necessary building permits), and a Business License from the Treasurer Tax Collector’s office once planning permits have been issued.

The County has developed a new website at that launched today with several easily accessible tools to assist in the land use permitting and business licensing of cannabis operations. The website features include:

· An interactive zoning map searchable by parcel address and links for zoning and permitting with descriptions of where and how one can start a commercial cannabis operation

· Business licensing descriptions and a checklist of required documentation

· Links to state licensing information

· A summary of tax requirements specific to cannabis

· A process to file complaints regarding commercial cannabis activities

Cannabis related activities will first need to go through County Planning and Development to receive a permit. Once permitted, individuals may apply for a business license. The intake of permit applications (building, zoning, ministerial or discretionary) will be conducted by appointment. Cannabis Zoning Review (Planner Consultations) for properties in the Coastal Zone under temporary state licensure will also be handled by appointment.

To schedule an appointment, call (805) 568-2057 or email to

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