Santa Barbara Independent, October 21, 2020

Judge Thomas Anderle rejected a lawsuit filed by the Coalition for Responsible Cannabis that challenged the adequacy of the environmental review conducted as part of the County of Santa Barbara’s controversial new hoop-house ordinance, passed by the Board of Supervisors last year.

Traditionally, hoop houses have escaped the scrutiny of county environmental review on the grounds that they are agricultural implements and ag is generally exempt. But in recent years, the county has seen a significant proliferation of hoop houses — not just more, but bigger, too — fueled by an increase in berry production as well as cannabis cultivation.

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Santa Barbara News Press, October 6, 2020

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is expected to deny an appeal filed against Castlerock Family Farms’ land-use permit application for cultivating 23 acres of cannabis in the Santa Ynez Valley.

According to the board letter for today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, county staff recommends the appeal filed by the Santa Barbara County Coalition for Responsible Cannabis be rejected on grounds that none of the issues it raises are of merit.

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Santa Maria Times, August 29, 2020

“Since the stay-at-home mandate was imposed, the cannabis industry has experienced a sharp increase in consumer demand at the retail level, which in turn impacts the supply chain, creating an increased demand for product supplied by growers,” says the report, authored by fiscal and policy analysts Reese Ellestad and Steven Yee.

“Additionally, new operators are successfully navigating the county’s and state’s regulatory processes, and are therefore entering the market, thus generating new sales and new tax revenue,” the report says.

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Bloomberg,  July 19, 2020

Cannabis farmers and cannabis businesses, we don’t have access to unemployment, small business loans. We don’t have access to any of the rescue money that came for other businesses that were struggling so there’s no safety net for our business. — Sara Rotman, Wellfounded Botanicals

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Green Entrepreneur,  July 7, 2020

We are very fortunate in Santa Barbara. When they first drafted the ordinance, they allowed us to consider ourselves from an agricultural scale perspective. But even with that, we have a structure in our county where the appeal process is forgiving for any opponent and extremely arduous for someone to make it through. And it is possible for someone to bankrupt a small independent farmer in order to prevent them from coming online in a fully compliant way.

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Santa Barbara Independent,  July 2, 2020

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Santa Barbara County’s agro women forged ahead, adjusting their approaches to reflect a fast-changing crisis much like their predecessors had done almost four decades earlier. Farmers with wildly diverse productions described similar challenges or sources of inspiration: agricultural teachings to help fuel the industry for generations to come.

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Wine Industry Network,  July 1, 2020

Dr. George Sellu, Ph.D. Scientifically Assesses the Danger of Grape Taint from Hemp

[Dr.] Sellu suspects that some may not understand the plant terpenes responsible for aromas and flavors. Two examples, linalool in lavender and pinene in raspberries, carrots and pine trees, are both in hemp and grapes. “If you find pinene in wine grapes,” he says, “you wouldn’t blame someone growing carrots nearby.”

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View Dr. Sellou’s Presentation here

Marijuana Business Daily,  June 26, 2020

Under the proposed California regulations, growers can’t deem their cannabis as explicitly organic but can apply the OCal seal if they adhere to the rules, including proper use of approved pesticides and fertilizers.

California would join Washington state as two of the state-legal cannabis markets to consider an organic certification for marijuana products.

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Forbes,  May 27, 2020

If you don’t know Sara Rotman yet, you will soon. She is an outspoken advocate for the legal cannabis industry and is launching a new brand, Wellfounded Botanicals, in California this summer. Together with her husband, Rotman owns an outdoor cannabis organic farm that has been described as the gold standard by state compliance officers, community leaders and fellow farmers alike. In addition to day-to-day farming, Rotman has become a local and statewide advocate for the cannabis industry.

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Santa Barbara Independent May 19, 2020

With the COVID crisis hammering county coffers — an estimated $50 million for additional costs and lost revenues combined — cannabis sales remain about the only revenue source where the numbers are going up.

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