Amy Steinfeld and Jack Uciferi

Cannabis—whether you support or oppose it, you certainly can’t avoid this topic. But due to the patchwork of local regulations and its status as a Schedule I drug, there’s still confusion over how cannabis is regulated. This article aims to clarify the regulatory regime governing cannabis farms in Santa Barbara County (“County”). Our hope is that with greater understanding of the cannabis industry’s regulatory burden, there will be greater support for policies that allow legal cannabis cultivators to remain viable vis-à-vis extremely sophisticated black market operators who ignore their regulatory and tax responsibilities. Two years after legalization, it’s increasingly clear that a properly regulated market benefits the public, the environment and consumers. In fact, the County, aided by millions in cannabis taxes, has shut down over 40 black market operations and is using the balance of funds to support local public services.

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Cannabis Wire, January 10, 2020

With Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020-21 budget, big changes are coming for the state’s nascent, legal cannabis market — also the nation’s largest. 

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During the most recent Santa Barbara County Planning Commission hearing where Blair Pence, CEO of the Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis, submitted documentation claiming that cannabis terpenes have an adverse effect on grapes for wine production. His statement was met with a strong rebuttal by opposing counsel presenting the results of an independent study showing no trace of cannabis terpenes in wine.

December 4, 2019, Santa Barbara County Planning Commission Meeting

Watch the presentation from the hearing (1:35 min) and read the lab results:

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in a Veterans Day message that “protecting care for our wounded warriors and giving vets recovering from PTSD and chronic pain safer alternatives to opioids through medical cannabis should be a top priority.”

Read Rep. Blumenauer’s White Paper Rethinking Marijuana Policy

Santa Ynez Valley News, November 7, 2019

More than a year after Prop. 64’s passage, marijuana rules are a patchwork throughout the [Santa Barbara] county.

We’re not sure how this problem can be resolved, other than somehow unifying the rules. We are sure that something must be done, if state and local governments want to eliminate black-market operations.

If they don’t, the tax-revenue benefits of legalizing marijuana will be devoured by black-market profiteers undermining the legal market, and law enforcement agencies spending big bucks trying to stop them.

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