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US (CA): Santa Barbara County recommends more stringent permit process for cannabis cultivation

All cannabis cultivation projects in Santa Barbara County will face a more rigorous permitting process if supervisors back a recommendation the county Planning Commission made at a recent meeting.

Last year, the county Board of Supervisors directed staff to work with the Planning Commission on potential changes to the county’s existing cannabis cultivation ordinances to address issues that have popped up over the roughly two years that the regulations have been in place. 

During the commission’s fourth meeting on the topic, March 25, it unanimously approved a resolution that recommends all cannabis cultivation projects be required to obtain a conditional use permit. Previously, depending on their locations, many projects only required a land use permit. 

One of the more significant differences between the two permit types is that land use permits can be approved by the director of the county’s Planning and Development Department, while conditional use permits always go through the commission. Commission Chair Laura Bridley said switching to the latter could actually save time because most projects end up at the commission through the appeal process anyway. 


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