Thursday, October 18 , 2018, 8:43 pm | Fog/Mist 61º

 
 
 
 

Goleta Considers Allowing Up to 15 Recreational Marijuana Storefronts

In Goleta, we could soon have more recreational storefront marijuana dispensaries than the number of Starbucks and large grocery stores — combined. 

The Goleta Planning Commission this week recommended a draft marijuana ordinance that allows for up to 15 marijuana stores in the city.

The Goleta City Council is set to vote on the ordinance on Tuesday. 

The commission struggled a bit on whether to put a cap at all on the number of storefronts

Commissioner Katie Maynard said she was concerned about gentrification in Old Town Goleta. She pointed to the city of Santa Barbara as an example of what could happen when certain retail establishments go unchecked. 

"I look at the development of the Funk Zone, and how many artists and nonprofits have been pushed out of the area," Maynard said. "And I worry about Old Town Goleta and I worry that Old Town Goleta could become the Funk Zone or the equivalent of that in terms of gentrification, so my primary concern about limits is protecting Old Town and the culture of the space."

Commissioner Anne Lynn agreed that a limit is necessary. 

"I am concerned about the number of operations," she said. "It seems to me at the beginning it would be easier to say there’s a certain limit, and later you can make it bigger if there’s a need. It’s a lot easier to start out with the restrictions and then liberalize it."

Commissioner Ed Fuller had a different perspective, asserting that demand will drive the number of storefronts.

"We don’t know if this is going to be a problem or not," Fuller said. "If we are going to allow it, we are going to allow it. The amount of demand should be what drives the amount of storefronts. Just let the market determine it at this point."

Fuller said he had not heard anyone from the public suggest a maximum number of storefronts.

“I don’t see the effects much different than a grocery store or a convenience store where people are coming by and leaving," Fuller said. "They are not consuming on-site. Where they consume is where they consume, it but it is not necessarily there."

The commission also debated whether to allow Goleta residents to grow marijuana outdoors. State law says that residents can grow up to six plants for personal use, but cities have the power to determine whether those plants are grown inside or outside.

If cities choose to grow plants outside, they are eligible for state grant dollars to help fund law enforcement. 

Lynn said that residents should be allowed to grow at least one plant outdoors so the city could be eligible for the state grant money. 

"I know there’s odor concerns, but one plant does not seem to be onerous," Lynn said. 

Maynard disagreed.

"It’s a double-edged sword," Maynard said. "You can get grants to help with security and to help with police enforcement if you have it outdoors, but then you need more police and security if you have it outdoors."

Maynard said she is also concerned about marijauna plant exposure to youth if plants are allowed outside.

"I think it is still important to keep cannabis away from youth," Maynard said. "I think when you put it in backyards in neighborhoods and outdoors, you are going to get folks not of age to be participating in cannabis, taking advantage of that."

Also contained in the ordinance is a requirement that recreational storefronts be at least 300 feet apart, to discourage aggregation. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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
Email
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.