Santa Barbara Independent March 19, 2020

Yes, the county Board of Supervisors said this week, voting 4-0 to uphold a land-use permit for Busy Bee Organics, allowing cannabis cultivation on 22 acres along Highway 246, west of Buellton. The scenic highway is the gateway to the Santa Rita Hills and Santa Ynez Valley wine country.

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Voice Magazine March 13, 2020

Together they’re the husband and wife duo behind Busy Bee’s Organics, one of the largest, most successful commercial cannabis farms in America. They agreed to talk with VOICE about their latest side-project, developing agritoursim offerings built around the combination of fine cannabis, fine wines, and great food, all in a beautiful location. 

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Santa Barbara Independent, March 8, 2020

Hoping to combat that noise and increase education around cannabis farming, Rotman co-founded an organization called Good Farmers, Great Neighbors. “It’s about advocacy and education,” she says. “With regulations being a moving target, cannabis remains the focus, but the organization is all inclusive.”

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Lompoc Record, February 27, 2020

Admittedly, terpene smells are strong. But on the other hand, strong agriculture aromas are fairly common in and around North County communities. Santa Maria residents and anyone with decent sensory equipment passing through on Highway 101 are familiar with the pungency of broccoli and other vegetables in our fields. Similar smells waft through the Santa Ynez and Lompoc valleys — a point made quite clear in a recent letter to the editor from Lompoc Valley winemaker Stephen Pepe.

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Santa Ynez Valley Star, February 18, 2020

The program, “Growing Possibilities,” was organized and sponsored by the EconAlliance, a nonprofit alliance that targets industry, innovation and the workforce in northern Santa Barbara County. Kevin Walthers moderated a panel with representatives from the agriculture, growing/shipping, viticulture and cannabis industries. The panel, titled “Land Use, Water, Housing and Labor,” included John De Friel, CEO of Central Coast Agriculture. Walthers asked panelists to outline future goals. Of the cannabis industry, De Friel noted the challenge of “exiting an illegal market and moving to a legal one.”

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Santa Ynez Valley News Editorial Board

It was clear from the start of the push to legalize cannabis growing and marijuana use that it would be a big, booming industry. But it seems that reality has overtaken expectation, and government agencies are scrambling to meet the demands of both the legal and illegal markets. At the same time, policy makers now own the responsibility of making sure the cannabis industry functions properly and legally, at every level, and pays for itself through taxes and fees. Not a simple assignment, and a task not likely to succeed if local authorities can’t get control of the illegal black market.

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Santa Maria Sun, February 6, 2020

The Sun met with Rotman and Diaz, along with another owner of one of the larger cannabis farms in the Santa Ynez Valley, to talk about how they navigate these challenges and run their respective businesses. As is the case in all industries, different business owners have their own objectives as they carve out their own niches, but there are similarities. The farmers highlight the importance of relying on sound science and data when measuring nutrient levels in the soil or the plant tissue. And this ties into their larger point, that—setting aside the politically charged rhetoric and years of prohibition—cannabis is just another plant being integrated into the county’s robust agricultural industry.

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Santa Maria Sun. February 6, 2020

The farmers highlight the importance of relying on sound science and data when measuring nutrient levels in the soil or the plant tissue. And this ties into their larger point, that—setting aside the politically charged rhetoric and years of prohibition—cannabis is just another plant being integrated into the county’s robust agricultural industry.

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The Wall Street Journal, February 4, 2020

The past decade has been difficult for American cities and states, where tax revenues and public-worker pension funds took massive hits as a result of the 2008 economic crisis. Even when the stock market recovered after the financial crisis, superlow interest rates have also weighed on the pension plans. With recreational cannabis now legal in 11 states, public officials are looking to marijuana tax revenue to help shore up government finances and address funding shortfalls. California local governments collected a total of $1.86 billion in revenue from cannabis sales during calendar year 2018 and nearly as much in the first three quarters of 2019, according to Brea, Calif.,-based HdL Cos., a consultant to local governments and public agencies.

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On Thursday, February 6th join Santa Barbara County farmers to discuss the future of agriculture in Santa Barbara County. Good Farmers Great Neighbors Co-Chair John De Friel, will be a featured panelist in an important discussion on land use, water, housing, and labor.

Learn more and join the conversation.