CA: County Supervisors To Consider Fixing Recently Approved Cannabis Ordinances At Tuesday’s Meeting

Photo Credit: Mike Hodgson

Amendments to the Land Use and Development Code as well as the Coastal Zoning Ordinance to regulate cannabis operations in Santa Barbara County will be reconsidered by the Board of Supervisors when it meets Tuesday.

They may also authorize staff to write a ballot argument supporting approval of the cannabis tax schedule going before voters in the June 5 primary election.

Supervisors will be asked to approve amendments to two subsections in the Land Use and Development Code and two in the Coastal Zoning Ordinance that established regulations for cannabis operations and were approved by the board Feb. 6.

As approved, a subsection in each document specified that outdoor cannabis cultivation on property zoned Agriculture II that’s adjacent to an existing developed rural neighborhood or rural urban boundary would require a conditional use permit.

Supervisors will consider correcting the subsections so the CUP requirement will apply to indoor and mixed-light as well as outdoor cultivation.

The ordinances adopted Feb. 6 also require cannabis cultivation, nursery, manufacturing, microbusiness and distribution operations to implement an approved odor abatement plan so people in residential areas can’t smell the marijuana.

However, supervisors provided an exception to the requirement for cultivation operations on land zoned Agriculture II unless a CUP is required, in which case the odor abatement plan also would be required.

Because initially the subsection requiring the CUP only applied to outdoor cultivation, the exception also only applied to outdoor cultivation. So the change to add a CUP requirement for indoor and mixed-light operations will allow the odor control exemption to apply to those operations as well.

Another amendment supervisors will consider will add a footnote specifying that nursery operations cannot be located within 600 feet of a school, day care center or youth center that was omitted from a subsection in the Land Use and Development Code and the Coastal Zoning Ordinance.

How that distance is measured — from the property line of the school or center to the closest point of the nursery premises, without regard to intervening structures — is also specified in the footnote.

In addition, the amendment will correct misnumbering of the footnote in some of the tables specifying what permits are required in various zones.

In a separate cannabis-related hearing, supervisors will be asked to authorize the chairman to sign and submit to election officials an argument supporting the cannabis operations tax going before the voters in the primary election.

The board will also consider authorizing Chairman and 1st District Supervisor Das Williams and Vice Chairman and 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino to draft and submit rebuttals to any argument opposing the tax.

At least 50 percent of the electorate plus one voter must approve the tax for it to be imposed by the county.

Placing the cannabis operations tax question on the June 5 ballot will cost the county somewhere between $50,000 and $130,000 for its share of the ballot preparation and printing costs.

But if the cannabis tax earns voter approval, supervisors expect to see an annual increase in county revenues ranging from $5 million to $25 million, which will go into the General Fund to pay for services as needed.

The meeting also will be live streamed online at