SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Local groups are weighing in ahead of Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday morning in Santa Maria.
One group, Concerned Carpinterians, wants to see the local commercial cannabis ordinance aligned with the state; the other, FreeSB.org, wants college students to reap benefits of the cannabis tax.
Maureen Claffey and other members of Concerned Carpinterians have a list of changes they'd like made to the County's cannabis ordinance and plan to advocate for them at Tuesday's meeting.
"We'd like to ban stacking on permits and we'd like to limit the amount of acreage," Claffey said. "We'd also like to have Ag 1 parcels in alignment for both the coastal zone and the inland zone."
They also added smell control to that list. And they want to clarify their stance.
"I think the biggest misconception that's out there is these groups, these grassroots groups, are looking at a prohibition or a return to criminalizing cannabis, which is absolutely not the case," Claffey said.
Claffey comes from a family of longtime avocado farmers. She said that she and other members want Supervisors to nip some of the ongoing problems with commercial cannabis in the bud, no pun intended.
"Some in the county erroneously see cannabis as a 'crop' -- and it's not. It's considered an agricultural product," Claffey said.
Another group, savvy getting its message out, is FreeSB.org. The site is gaining both popularity and criticism for some of its wording -- "racist waste of taxpayer dollars" -- and its mission statement: 'Free College for Santa Barbara County."
At least one former UCSB student is behind the effort.
"He's making a claim that the $25 million dollars in revenues raised by cannabis could be used to make school free for everybody," Claffey said. "Unfortunately, the Board of Supervisors is only projecting a $5 million dollar bump in their tax revenue, based on cannabis."
Claffey said as it stands, that financial "bump" is going back into enforcement and licensing. The tax revenue from cannabis is not enough to pay anyone's college tuition.
We reached out to members of FreeSB.org but have not heard back.
Santa Barbara County supervisors meet Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. in Santa Maria. The meeting will live-stream in Santa Barbara.
For more information on Concerned Carpinterians, click here.
For more information on FreeSB.org, click here.