Santa Barbara County Supervisors Postpone Cannabis Talks

Board Pushes Deliberations on Stronger Regulations to June 11

Steve Lavagnino (2019) | Credit: Paul Wellman (file) | Credit: Paul Wellman

Deluged with nearly 170 public comments on cannabis cultivation and processing from Carpinteria to the Lompoc and Santa Ynez valleys, the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday postponed deliberations on stronger regulations for the industry until June 11.

The Planning Commission had unanimously recommended that the board require a conditional-use permit for all cannabis operations to ensure that the projects were “compatible with the surrounding area” and “not detrimental” to the health and safety of the neighborhood. But in brief remarks before the start of public comment, only Supervisor Peter Adam signaled support for that idea.

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“I just think that we need the maximum amount of flexibility so that we don’t get forced into placing these things in inappropriate places,” he said, adding that there had been “so many unintended consequences” from cannabis.

Supervisor Steve Lavagnino briefly expressed an interest in creating buffers between wine tasting rooms and cannabis operations, and Supervisor Das Williams suggested that the county could keep an eye on growers’ odor-control systems through their business licenses.

“While the efforts of most growers have been very productive,” he said, “there have been instances of odor spikes because somebody’s system was offline.” There still remain 40 public comments to be read into the record at the continued hearing on June 11, the board said. The board is scheduled to hold budget hearings for the 2020-21 fiscal year next week.

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