Cannabis Grows Allowed on Santa Barbara's Protected Ag Land

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Vote 3-2

Paul Wellman (file)

Santa Barbara County supervisors voted 3-2 to allow cannabis cultivation on agricultural lands that are protected from development with special property-tax breaks designed to keep open space open and ag lands agricultural. In the same action, the supes also voted that cannabis cultivation is not protected under the county’s Freedom to Farm ordinance, which allows farm owners to switch from one agricultural crop to another. As a practical matter, this second action has no legal impact but was designed as a political palliative to placate those uncomfortable allowing pot cultivation on ag lands protected with a property-tax subsidy. About 300 of the nearly 900 temporary cannabis permits in Santa Barbara County are on land with such protections.