Andreas “Dre” Neumann of Beyond / Hello. | Credit: Daniel Dreifuss (file)

After a months-long process to select six storefront cannabis dispensaries in Santa Barbara County, the undertaking is about to wrap up.

The county selected six separate unincorporated areas of the county that one retail storefront can occupy each. There are 20 applicants who have made it to the final round and are vying for the six spots. The county is now going to rank them based on “neighborhood compatibility” and site inspections. Only the top-ranked applicant in each area will be able to apply for a cannabis dispensary business license. 

Out of the six areas — Orcutt, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, Isla Vista/Goleta Valley, Eastern Goleta Valley, and Toro Canyon/Summerland — Isla Vista, a college community, is the most popular. Eight of the 20 applications alone were for Isla Vista. Coastal and The Farmacy, two dispensaries that already have locations in Santa Barbara, were among the eight that applied in Isla Vista. 

Other already existing local dispensaries were among the applicants. The Farmacy had a second application in on a Santa Ynez address, and Jushi, the company behind the Beyond / Hello dispensary on upper State Street, has an application in Orcutt. Brittany Heaton, principal analyst for cannabis at the county, said that nearly all of the applicants operate cannabis retail somewhere currently. She said a handful operate in the county (Lompoc, Goleta, and City of Santa Barbara), some in the state but outside of our county, and others in other states.

Carpinteria’s Santa Claus Lane has been a point of contention throughout the selection process. Concerns were raised early on from members of the public that the street, folded into the Toro Canyon/Summerland area, would be changed forever if a dispensary was put there. During public comment hearings, many claimed that the dispensaries would allow crime into the area. There are two applicants who have proposed dispensaries on Santa Claus Lane — 3823 SCL and Haven XV.

A full list of the 20 applicants and their application addresses is available here. The preliminary ranked cannabis retail storefront list is scheduled to come out this week and will be posted at the same link above. 


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