In just two weeks, zoning permit approvals for outdoor cannabis “grows” will likely reach the 1,575-acre cap that was set by the county Board of Supervisors for unincorporated areas outside the Carpinteria Valley — if the growers with permits are able to get their business licenses, authorities say.
That will leave 1,560 acres, mainly in the North County, that have been proposed for cannabis cultivation, are under county review, and won’t make the cap. County Planning & Development Director Lisa Plowman told the board on Tuesday that these projects can be approved for permits. But, she said, the applicants won’t get their business licenses or be allowed to start operating unless a grower who qualifies for a license under the cap fails to get one or lets it expire.
Signaling a dramatic change from past policy, the board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to direct planners to draw up a cannabis ordinance amendment that would require a more stringent permit, called a conditional-use permit, for any outdoor cannabis operation that doesn’t make the cap. The amendment would apply to all unincorporated areas except the Carpinteria Valley, where the board has set a 186-acre cap on cannabis grown in greenhouses.
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