I am writing to urge the community and the Santa Barbara Planning Commission to “Just Say No” to Cresco Labs’ industrial pharmaceutical pot operation in Carpinteria.

As a neighbor and avocado rancher, I strongly oppose Cresco’s proposed mega-factory. Cresco, a Michigan-based giant of the cannabis industry, wants to transform our beautiful neighborhood by turning Rene Van Wingerden’s dilapidated flower greenhouses into an industrial pot factory, complete with armed security guards, barbed wire, and 24/7 security lights. It’s like we went to sleep next to a few flower greenhouses and woke up next to a Pfizer factory growing opium poppies. With over 17 children directly nearby and many elderly residents nearby, this makes no sense, not here, not now, not ever.

Set right on the banks of Arroyo Paredon Creek, these greenhouses should never have been built there to begin with and would never pass full environmental review now, as a new project. Located at 3561 Foothill Road, the property’s driveway and land repeatedly floods and towers above the beautiful, delicate riparian habitat of the Arroyo Paredon Creek, home to endangered frogs, raptors, and mountain lions.

Cresco want to make a false-equivalency argument that building a new, two-story office building and pot processing building (with two septic tanks, 71 paved parking spots, and 85 workers) is just like its past use as a flower nursery. They’re wrong. Half a dozen, 1950s era flower greenhouses are not a giant processing and office building for cannabis, a controlled substance.

And can we talk chemicals? Cresco Labs just submitted their long list of fungicide, herbicides, fertilizers, and more, for their pot operation, in their planning application. During the next inevitable flood, those chemicals will all end up in the Arroyo Paredon Creek, which washes out to the ocean right in front of Padaro Lane and Santa Claus Beach.

The plan also outlines how Cresco will be spraying mystery mist 24/7 to cover up the skunk smell. The problem? Their mystery mist (used previously on industrial dumps) has not been studied for long-term effects on the lungs of children, adults or animals. And the S.B. County Air Pollution District has refused to analyze or study the effects of cannabis terpenes, the mystery mist, or the interactions between them (and traffic pollution) on the lungs. So, local residents just have to cross their fingers that raising their kids next to Cresco Labs won’t give them cancer in 20 years. This is all an environmental disaster waiting to happen and why? So one massive corporation can make some fast bucks?

Just say, “No.” This project, like the Foothill Road air reeking of pot every day, stinks. The neighbors who are working to oppose this project have launched a community petition. If you care about local creeks and clean air, please help us out by showing your opposition for this Cresco Labs project here: https://tinyurl.com/y6bqyngh

Editor’s Note: The writer requested anonymity for personal reasons, and the Independent has agreed to the use of a pseudonym.


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