Santa Barbara Adopts New Grow Restrictions But Stops Short of Countywide Conditional Use Permits

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal last week requiring conditional use permits (CUPs) for all commercial cultivation operations. Instead, the Board voted 3-2 to require CUPs for grows in North County and to ban cannabis cultivation in developed rural areas. The ban will require a second reading.

The Planning Commission had recommended CUPs for cultivation countywide. Cities like Carpinteria had hoped supervisors would adopt that plan.

The vote still represents the strictest requirements in Santa Barbara to date.

“I’m going to say I was wrong, and now is the time we can rectify some of the mistakes we’ve made,” said Supervisor Peter Adam. “We have to allow ourselves, as the policymakers that have to make peace in our county, to go out and fix some of these things.”

Santa Barbara’s permissive cultivation policies have led to complaints from residents, winemakers, and city officials. Complaints range from noise and odor to interference with pesticide use.

Read more about last week’s vote and how it will impact the county’s commercial cannabis industry here