Santa Barbara's Planning Commission reviews cannabis ordinance

Santa Barbara Planning Commission...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara City officials are trying to figure out the best way to handle the growth and sale of recreational cannabis. 

Regulating cannabis will open a new source of tax revenue that could bring in big bucks to the city. 

Medical Cannabis dispensaries are regulated by the City's Zoning Ordinance. Business owners must obtain a permit from the city in order to operate. Dispensaries ae allowed only on parcels within Santa Barbara which are zoned for commercial uses and are in one of the following areas: Outer State Street Area, Upper De la Vina Area, Mission Street Area, Milpas Street and West Pueblo Medical Facility Area. Only one dispensary is permitted in each of the five areas. Santa Barbara may not issue a total of more than 3 dispensary permits at one time.

Santa Barbara City staffers are proposing to allow indoor cultivation of up to 6 cannabis plants within a private residence, with the possibility of having one plant outdoors. 

“Currently the code allows for 100 square foot indoor and outdoor cultivation for personal use," said Anthony Wagner, public information officer for Santa Barbara Police Department.

The proposal also deals with commercial cannabis businesses like dispensaries, weed deliveries, manufacturing and testing. The police department has already seen issues involving deliveries.

"Right now there is a gray area we aim to make it completely unlawful and the reason being is we want opportunity to regulate the safety of those operators and ensure they’re paying their fair share of the tax," said Wagner.

The proposal was approved by the ordinance committee and planning commission. Santa Barbara City Council members will vote on the proposal at the end of the year. 

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