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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 3:51 pm | A Few Clouds 67º


With Election Over, Marijuana-Related Prosecutions, Permit Processing Resume

City and county officials go with the status quo after voters rejected Prop. 19 and Measure T

In the atmosphere of uncertainty before the Nov. 2 election, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and the City of Santa Barbara delayed court cases and applications for medical marijuana storefront dispensaries. The status quo was upheld as voters rejected Proposition 19 and Measure T, so everything has started up again.

The Green Well and The Green Light dispensaries must close under the city’s revised marijuana ordinance, so two dispensary permits will be up for grabs by the end of the year.

The Pacific Coast Collective, at 331 Milpas St., is in the unique position of being allowed to stay, but its owner, Charles Restivo, is awaiting trial for felony cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

It’s one of four dispensaries in the city that has been raided by authorities. Owners of the other three — Hortipharm, The Healing Center and Humanity — are also working their way through the court system.

Six applications have been submitted so far, two of which were initially approved but can’t open under the revised ordinance. The Santa Barbara Patients Group, which wants to move to 16 S. La Cumbre, updated its application this week and has a hearing with a staff hearing officer scheduled for December.

Dispensaries at 2915 De la Vina St. — The Compassion Center of Santa Barbara County — and 211 W. Carrillo St. also have active applications.

Joshua and Dayli Rose Braun, owners of Hortipharm on Upper State Street, have been arrested for money laundering connected to their Pizza Guru business, and Joshua Braun with possession of marijuana for sale. They’ve since withdrawn their application for a city permit, according to city planner Allison De Busk.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota is prosecuting all of the cases linked to the arrest of Glen Mowrer III, who is accused of producing and selling concentrated cannabis to local dispensaries. Those cases include Restivo, Humanity’s owners, the Santa Barbara Care Center in Goleta and the Miramar Collective in Summerland.

Cota said the big issues that separate a collective from illegal marijuana sales are the nonprofit business model and having members cultivate the marijuana.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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