Supervisors to discuss marijuana regulations

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will discuss the impacts related to legalization of recreational marijuana in California and possibly direct staff to return with an urgency ordinance prohibiting cultivation when the board meets Tuesday in Santa Maria.

If county staff is directed to draft an urgency ordinance, the new rules could be adopted and put in place at a future meeting while a permanent ordinance prohibiting or regulating marijuana and activities related to adult use of cannabis is developed, according to a staff report.

In November, voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing marijuana for recreational use, although the state has yet to begin issuing licenses for adult-use pot shops and other commercial activities. It's expected the earliest the state will start the licensing process is January 2018.

Under the provisions of Prop. 64, local governments retain the ability to regulate and establish licensing requirements for marijuana commercial operations, such as dispensaries and cannabis lounges, where individuals can consume marijuana onsite.

The supervisors also will be asked to provide staff with direction on developing new rules for a potential ban on certain types of state marijuana licenses in unincorporated areas of the county, such as Santa Ynez and Los Olivos.

Additionally, staff will ask for direction on developing an ordinance for a local business license for certain types of state marijuana licenses as well as establishing rules to tax marijuana and/or marijuana activities subject to voter approval.

Also, the supervisors will discuss possibly establishing and appointing board members to a temporary, advisory ad hoc subcommittee on marijuana regulation and taxation.

"This item will provide the board with an opportunity to consider options and direct staff on next steps," county Executive Officer Mona Miyasato wrote in a staff report.

Medicinal marijuana has been legal in California since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996, and in 2011, the county prohibited medical marijuana dispensaries in all unincorporated areas.

Early last year, the supervisors also banned medical marijuana cultivation in all land-use zones except for limited personal medical cultivation and legally conforming grows that existed prior to the prohibition.

The supervisors meet at 9 a.m. at the County Government Building, Board Hearing Room, 511 East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria. The meeting can be livestreamed at

April Charlton covers Santa Barbara County for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow her on Twitter@WordsDawn.

Recent Posts