Santa Barbara Sees Pot Revenue Shortfall

Santa Barbara County officials are projecting that cannabis cultivation revenue for 2021-2022 will come in $6.6 million below expectations.

In June, the county projected cannabis cultivation revenue at $18.4 million. The actual revenue will come out to $12.4 million this fiscal year.

The shortfall “is attributable to the oversupply of wholesale cannabis product and resulting price compression that continues to persist locally and statewide, much as it did early on in other states that legalized adult-use cannabis prior to California, such as Colorado and Oregon,” according to the quarterly budget status report CEO Mona Miyasato presented to the Board of Supervisors last week.

Retail tax revenue is also paltry ($58,000 versus a projected $625,000). Operators for the six cannabis storefronts in unincorporated Santa Barbara are still trying to obtain zoning permits and business licenses. Only one will open this year.

“On the plus side, the county is projecting a $2.7 million boost in property transfer taxes over what was forecast when the 2021-22 budget was adopted, driven by historically low mortgage rates and the high demand for homes,” according to KEYT.


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