The Bloom Is Off the Bud: Santa Barbara County Taxes on Cannabis Hit New Low

Trend Reflects Dramatic Oversupply of Legally and Illegally Grown Product Glutting the California Market

Credit: Paul Wellman (file)

First-quarter county taxes on cannabis hit a new low this year, plummeting to $1 million. That’s down from $3.1 million the year prior and $4.2 million the year before that. This trend reflects the dramatic oversupply of cannabis — both legally and illegally grown — glutting the California market. 

According to a report submitted to the county supervisors on Tuesday, there are now 79 cannabis operations doing business in Santa Barbara County. Of those, 39 reported gross receipts, 16 reported no gross receipts, and 21 simply did not report.

Enforcement activity is down as well. During the first quarter, four actions were initiated — as opposed to eight the same time the previous year, with 300 plants confiscated as opposed to 3,250 the year before. During the first quarter, law enforcement seized $77,500 worth of dried cannabis; in the first quarter the prior year, it was $1.8 million worth. This also reflects the drop in value for cannabis.


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