During this time of unprecedented social and economic upheaval, our farmers are doing everything in their power to continue supporting our community. They are working tirelessly amid the pandemic to ensure we can emerge from this crisis together, and that means bolstering our local economy and sustaining good jobs for local residents.
Taxes collected from the cannabis industry are one of the few stable revenue sources that Santa Barbara County can depend on as we continue to navigate this economic hardship. Next fiscal year, the county expects to bring in $10.6 million in cannabis taxes alone. This dependable source of revenue is being used to address budget shortfalls in essential public services throughout our community, especially for vulnerable populations such as seniors, communities of color and families struggling with food insecurity issues.
Supervisors Steve Lavagnino and Das Williams have been among the strongest supporters of our right to farm, standing in support even amid external pressure and misinformation campaigns. At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Lavagnino once again stood with our farmers, stating that “it’s been controversial, it’s been messy, but this budget without cannabis revenue would have been an unmitigated disaster.”
Supervisor Williams later stated …”we’re going to be able to help keep people safe and employed during what is becoming the worst economic downturn in our lifetime.”
The Board of Supervisors meets again this morning to discuss further changes to the cannabis ordinance. Let Supervisors Lavagnino and Williams know that you also stand with them and appreciate their efforts to spur the local economy, create sustainable jobs and stabilize the cannabis cultivation community in Santa Barbara County.
Santa Barbara County Total Agricultural Employment 25,400 (State EDD Data)
Cannabis Jobs Created to date – 6,100 (UCSB Economic Study)