Friday, February 28, 2020     Volume: , Issue:
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Santa Maria Sun / Cannabis Corner

An ag panel discusses present challenges, potential for the future

By ZAC EZZONE

Labor shortages and government regulations tied to groundwater usage continue to hinder local farmers, but technological advancements could ease some of these concerns, according to a panel of agriculture experts who spoke at a recent event in Santa Maria. The panel met as ......


Just a plant: Farmers stress that cannabis is another agricultural commodity

By ZAC EZZONE

From continuously changing regulations to scrutiny from some local groups and the threat of the black market, farmers at the forefront of the cannabis industry have to be adept at navigating a number of challenges. As of Jan. 15, Santa Barbara County has received applicat......


Ag commissioner talks cannabis, pesticide issues

By ZAC EZZONE

During the county Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 22, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner Cathy Fisher presented the findings of a working group that was charged with identifying solutions to issues some farmers have encountered when applying pesticides to cro......


Buellton City Council asks county to tighten cannabis ordinance

By ZAC EZZONE

Geographically located between northern and southern Santa Barbara County, the Santa Ynez Valley is also at the center of much of the area’s debate over cannabis cultivation. Some opponents of the plant point to what they see as a concentration of pending cannabis f......


The first cannabis testing lab in Santa Barbara County is opening in Lompoc

By ZAC EZZONE

Despite the number of cannabis farms dotting hillsides throughout Santa Barbara County, there’s currently no local laboratory for farmers to take their plants for state-required testing or other cannabis-related scientific needs.  But that’s set to change......


Cannabis farm applicant presents cannabis terpenes study, county looks for additional information

By ZAC EZZONE

Among the concerns Santa Barbara County residents have raised in opposition to cannabis is the fear that certain organic compounds released by the plant will taint nearby grapes, changing the flavor of the wine produced.  Much of this fear is rooted in a 2012 study com......


County changes framework for cannabis retail stores application process

By ZAC EZZONE

Following a year of nonstop conversations over cannabis cultivation, residents and stakeholders in Santa Barbara County will have a new marijuana-related topic to discuss in 2020: The actual sale of the stuff.  Currently, cannabis dispensaries are only located within t......


County Planning Commission gives two cannabis projects the go-ahead

By ZAC EZZONE

After numerous hearings, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission recently approved two cannabis cultivation projects and denied one. On Nov. 6, the commission discussed winemaker Blair Pence’s appeals filed over the county’s approval of the Santa Rita Valle......


Cannabis planting is taking over the Santa Ynez Valley

By JB Baker, Buellton

I live in Buellton and have lived in the Santa Ynez Valley for more than 50 years and have never been so sick with allergies as I have this fall. Thanks, cannabis growers who never quit planting, harvesting, and planting again. The “wet skunk” odor permeates our ......


Planning commission chair asks for significant changes to cannabis project

By Zac Ezzone

After a nearly nine-hour meeting on Oct. 30, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission delayed making a decision on an appeal of a land use permit for a cannabis farm in Buellton after the commission’s chair requested significant changes be made to the project. Com......


Anti-cannabis sentiments are rooted in bigotry

By ERIK HUBER

It has become evident that local NIMBY watch groups (arguing against land-use rights) need an education on the history of cannabis as a medicine in America and as a modern weapon of bigotry. I’m happy to oblige. Spanish colonists with trading ties to the African conti......


County holds preliminary hemp regulation discussion

By Zac Ezzone

While the federal government is still crafting a regulatory framework for industrial hemp, Santa Barbara County is beginning to figure out how the crop will become part of the local agriculture industry. Hemp is a variety of cannabis with a THC concentration of less than ......


Planning Commission gives green light to Nipomo cannabis grow

By KASEY BUBNASH

Cannabis will continue to be farmed on a 29-acre lot in Nipomo after a fervent debate over the project’s proximity to a local elementary school. At a meeting on Sept. 12, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission voted 4-1 to approve a conditional use permit fo......


Farm groups hold first cannabis, wine panel to promote tourism

By Zac Ezzone

Despite the tension between the wine and cannabis industries in some parts of Santa Barbara County, the two share many similarities, from their customer bases to regulatory burdens.  More than 100 vintners, farmers, and interested residents packed the event space at ......


County delayed cannabis-permit appeal hearings

By Zac Ezzone

It will be almost another two months before the county Planning Commission hears appeals filed over two cannabis cultivation projects.  The appeals, filed by winemaker Blair Pence over the proposed cannabis projects off Highway 246 in Buellton, had been continued to Se......


Advisory Council opposes cannabis grow near Nipomo school

By Kasey Bubnash

A local agricultural company wants to grow cannabis on a 29-acre lot in Nipomo, but the project is facing scrutiny because of its proximity to an elementary school. At its meeting on Aug. 26, the South County Advisory Council discussed the proposed grow, which would be ru......


Dispensary applicants in Solvang have one building to choose from

By WILLIAM D'URSO

Solvang dipped a toe into the marijuana industry last year when the City Council voted to welcome in medical dispensaries. The catch, Mayor Ryan Toussaint said, is that the city ordinance relegates potential dispensaries to just one area called the “Allowable Zone&rdq......


Sonoma's cannabis cap created compatibility

By Sharyne Merritt, Buellton

So why is cannabis cultivation compatible with wine in Sonoma County but not in Santa Barbara County? The cover story of last week’s Sun (“Struggling to get along,” Aug. 22) about conflicts in Santa Barbara County between cannabis and other crops points ou......


Cannabis farmers argue their crop is compatible with other crops, despite winemakers' concerns

By ZAC EZZONE

In the early morning, low-lying fog rolls into the Santa Rita Hills, obscuring the view of the vineyards and farms dotting the countryside. Quails, rabbits, and squirrels scurry to safety as the occasional car zips by on Santa Rosa Road, which cuts through the area, connecti......


Supervisors change directions on cannabis retail plan

By Zac Ezzone

Santa Barbara County scrapped its plan for rolling out cannabis retail stores throughout the county, weeks after it was supposed to be implemented. The county plans to allow a maximum of eight retail stores to operate. One store is allowed in each of the county’s si......


County covers library deficit with cannabis revenue

By Zac Ezzone

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors filled a roughly $68,000 gap in funding for three of the county’s libraries at a recent meeting, but questions over the long-term sustainability of the libraries remain unanswered. During discussions about the county&rsquo......


Santa Barbara County sees spike in farmers seeking to grow industrial hemp

By ZAC EZZONE

While cannabis has been the subject of much debate in Santa Barbara County over the past year, there’s been less discussion on hemp, a variety of the plant. That may soon change, however, as farmers’ interest in the crop grows and as the county awaits federal cul......









Weekly Poll
What's the top issue you'd like to see the candidates in the 3rd District Supervisor race address?

What they're going to do about cannabis in the Santa Ynez Valley?
The lack of parks in northern Santa Barbara County.
Their plans for fossil fuel and renewable energy production.
How they'll improve road safety on the district's major highways.

| Poll Results






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