Santa Barbara County Supervisors Considering Cut to Marijuana Dispensary Cap – Noozhawk   Recently updated !

By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Managing Editor | @magnoli | November 9, 2019 | 6:22 p.m.

Santa Barbara County supervisors want to select marijuana dispensary operators using a merit-based system instead of a random drawing, and they might change the county’s business license ordinance.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday asked County Executive Office staff to come back with ordinance changes in January, and several members said they wanted to reduce the number of allowed dispensaries from eight to six.

The business license ordinance took effect in June 2018 but has been changed at least twice since then.

Dennis Bozanich of the County Executive Office said that the dispensary cap of eight, as outlined in the ordinance, includes one maximum in each community plan area (Orcutt, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez, the eastern Goleta Valley, Isla Vista/Goleta, Summerland/Toro Canyon) and two countywide outside those areas — places with commercial zoning, such as Vandenberg Village, Casmalia and Cuyama.

The supervisors may eliminate the two “wild card” locations, outside community plan areas. Several of them supported the idea during Tuesday’s deliberations.

Board members want to implement a scoring system to rank dispensary operators who apply for the limited spots, which may include reviewing an applicant’s business and neighborhood compatibility plans.

The City of Santa Barbara ranked candidates to pick three operators, and Goleta has a first-come, first-served model, although the City Council slashed its cap of 15 retail marijuana dispensaries to six over concerns about them being concentrated in Old Town — where there were already two operating as of June.  

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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