Pixel Tracker

Friday, December 14 , 2018, 6:28 pm | Fair 58º


City’s Medical Marijuana Ordinance to Get a Fresh Look

The revision process will continue, but with new members on the council and Ordinance Committee

The new Santa Barbara City Council and Ordinance Committee will join the city’s debate over medical marijuana on Tuesday.

The ordinance revision process will return to the dais — but to new eyes — after heading to the Planning Commission late last year.

Of the former Ordinance Committee members, only Councilman Grant House remains with Councilmen Das Williams and Dale Francisco moving to the Finance Committee. House will be joined by Councilman Bendy White — who addressed the issue as a planning commissioner last year — and Councilman Frank Hotchkiss.

The process to date has taken about six months, and new perspectives could push back the revisions.

The legality of medicinal marijuana is difficult to navigate for municipalities, and the language alone can be confusing.

For-profit storefront businesses are considered dispensaries, and are considered illegal statewide. Collectives are legal under state law, including Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420, and involve patient-provided inventory and a nonprofit model. Some storefront collectives could be considered legal.

After months of discussion, the Ordinance Committee crafted recommendations for the new ordinance, including a citywide cap of seven exclusionary zones around schools and recovery areas such as Casa Esperanza. Increased security and operational requirements include yearly reviews by police and the city Planning Department’s staff hearing officer.

After the public’s negative reaction to The Farmacy, which was scheduled to go in the ground floor of Paseo Chapala, the committee suggested banning the shops from existing mixed-use buildings.

The Planning Commission suggested a lower cap and agreed with the need for exclusionary areas.

The city passed a moratorium — or suspension ordinance — in December regarding dispensaries, and the City Council will vote on extending the moratorium on Tuesday. There are three permitted storefronts that made it through the approval process before the moratorium.

Santa Barbara County also passed a moratorium last week, and can extend it to two years.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are banned in every other jurisdiction in the county as well as in the city of Ventura.

The Ordinance Committee will hold a hearing on the issue at noon Tuesday in the Council Chambers, followed by a 2 p.m. City Council meeting, at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.