As “opening day” for State cannabis licensing approaches, local governments are scrambling to develop effective local regulations. Cities and counties up and down the coast have recently addressed a flurry of proposals, often with mixed results. In Santa Barbara County, where many cultivators are exempt from the 2016 moratorium on commercial cannabis because of prior operations, the Board of Supervisors recently voted to put on hold approval of a process that would allow those cultivators to have their legal non-conforming status officially determined. The Board postponed voting on the proposed amendments to Article X, and instead directed staff to return with additional options and inputRead More →

New proposed amendments to the Santa Barbara County Code could significantly impact existing medical cannabis cultivators whose operations are legal under the County’s legal non-conforming use exemption. Legal nonconforming uses are those medical cannabis cultivators within the unincorporated portion of the County that were in existence on January 19, 2016, and legal under State law. The purpose of the new amendments is to establish a process by which the County may determine the non-conforming status of a medical cannabis cultivation site existing as of January 19, 2016, and to create a “sunset” date by which all legal nonconforming sites must either cease operations, or applyRead More →

With State licensing approaching in January for medical and non-medical cannabis, local authorities have begun embracing the possibilities available to them under the State’s newly reconciled Medicinal and Adult Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). It seems that the “green wave” may have hit the Central Coast at last. Recent actions from San Luis Obispo to Grover’s Beach to Santa Barbara and Port Hueneme show that local governments are warming to the idea of cannabis industry. Grover’s Beach and Port Hueneme both recently began offering applications for medical cannabis operations within their jurisdictions. The city and county of Santa Barbara are working to developRead More →

The amendment has been successfully applied in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals In recent years, staunch cannabis supporters in Congress have passed a budget amendment to disallow the use of federal enforcement funds against the implementation of state medical cannabis laws. Originally called the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment after Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R) and Rep. Sam Farr (D) of Monterey County, the amendment prevents the Justice Department from using funds to prevent or impede the implementation of a state’s medical cannabis laws, effectively preventing the DOJ from prosecuting operators of businesses for violations of the federal Controlled Substances Act, if those businesses areRead More →