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SANTA BARBARA CO. HOLDS NOSE AS CANNABIS BOOMS

Working closely with cannabis interests, Santa Barbara County has become California’s legal growing capital. The world’s largest (147 acres, about 130 football fields) and second largest (83 acres) pot farms will soon be producing bud in the wealthy seaside county. But the L.A. Times reports a backlash is underway.

  • Santa Barbara attracted grows by establishing relatively loose regulations, and taxing them based on revenue rather than square footage. So far, tax revenue has fallen far short of expectations.
  • Residents and vintners object to cannabis odors. And avocado farmers worry spraying their crops with pesticides could leave them liable for contaminunsellable pot crops.
  • County supervisor Das Williams, once an industry ally, said the area is “painfully divided about how to bring this industry under control.”
  • Hezekiah Allen, former head of the California Growers Association, said the county’s supply is “either going to leak into the informal market or rot in warehouses.”
  • He estimates 1,100 acres could supply all of California. Growers in the county have applied to plant more than 1,400 acres.

????In the latest issue of WeedWeek California, Donny has a dispatch from Meadow’s industry retreat in Mendocino County. PLUS:

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Quick Hits

  1. S.F. Weekly spoke to Marisa Rodriguez, a former prosecutor who now leads the city’s Office of Cannabis. In her first months on the job, equity has been her main focus. The city has yet to award any equity licenses.
  2. Two bills designed to support licensed businesses died in the California legislature.
    Cannabis Wire
  3. Canna Law Blog suggests six ways California can combat the illegal market.