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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 9:10 am | Fair 41º

 
 
 
 

City of Santa Barbara Tackles Marijuana Sales, Cultivation Regulations

The city of Santa Barbara might prohibit outdoor cultivation of marijuana and allow commercial cultivation in the airport manufacturing zone, as it looks to create a set of rules for marijuana sales and growing in the city.

The state’s laws go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, so the city is rushing to pass its own local ordinances that regulate the sale and growth of marijuana. Santa Barbara city staff has proposed the following:

» Limit the location of commercial cannabis businesses, including storefront retail sales, retail delivery-only, manufacture, distribution, testing, and indoor cultivation, to within the M-I zone.

» Allow for indoor cultivation of up to six cannabis plants for personal use within a private residence, or its accessory structure, by persons 21 years or older within any zone of the city.

» Outdoor cultivation would be prohibited.

Although it wouldn’t happen by 2018, the city may also investigate the feasibility of commercial cannabis businesses being placed in the Airport Manufacturing zone, which would require an amendment to the Airport Specific Plan.

The city’s ordinance committee, made up of Cathy Murillo, Randy Rowse and Mayor Helene Schneider (Schneider filled in for regular member Frank Hotchkiss, who was absent), discussed the range of proposal at a Tuesday meeting.

The issue will next go to the Planning Commission before the council is set to vote later this year.

California voters passed Proposition 64 in November 2016, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. California plans to issue licenses to establish businesses for both recreational and commercial sales beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Cities throughout the state are looking to regulate marijuana sales because it would open a new source of tax revenue to the tune of potentially millions of dollars.

The city cannot ban marijuana businesses, but it can set operational standards, zoning/distance requirements, and set a max number per component.

Rowse supported the ban on outdoor cultivation at the meeting, raising concerns about the potential odor, particularly at a time when the city is building more rental housing, some of it in established neighborhoods.

Murillo wants the city staff to allow outdoor cultivation, but regulate it to address concerns about smell and line of sight.

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.

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