Santa Barbara County Supervisors approve marijuana regulations and taxes

Cannabis compromise and tax plan...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara County Supervisors voted in favor of cannabis regulations and taxation following a marathon meeting.

Supervisor Das Williams called it a "Great Compromise."

"If you are in a greenhouse with odor control then is it 750 if you don't it is 1,500," said Williams.

That's 750 or 1,500 feet away from sensitive areas such as schools and homes. People are Carpinteria have been anxious about the issue. The school is almost surrounded by greenhouses. 

The Principal said he often has to explain to guests why the classrooms and campus smell like marijuana.

"We have to tell them yes it is, and we will notify them that it is probably not someone smoking," said Principal Gerardo Cornejo.

Williams said, "It will get better than what it is right now because of the odor control requirement and additional setbacks." 

He said most people in Carpinteria won't be able to legally grow pot outdoors because of the setbacks required.

Students can't get high off the smell but they have complained of headaches. 

Some teens said they are now used to the smell that is usually noticeable in the morning and evening and when it is hot outside.

Williams said the board also approved a four percent taxes on cultivators and six percent tax on retailers, but the taxes must be approved by a majority of voters on the June 5.

"Between the state tax and the local tax, you're talking about an effective tax rate over 20 percent, the reason we are not pushing it higher is because the Police Chief Association has said if we will push it higher we will push a lot of people back into the black market and we know that is not working, we want this to be regulated and transparent and we don't want more criminal activity," said Williams.

Supervisors asked county staff to make sure the language on ballot states that the money will be committed for law enforcement, public health and other agencies that deal with the repercussions of voter-approved marijuana use.

If they had voted to specifically ear-marked the tax money raised it would take a two-thirds majority to pass.

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