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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here

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.

Read more here

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

Watch full coverage here

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.

Read the full article