Wednesday, February 8, 2023     Volume: 23, Issue: 49

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 18th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 2

Planning Commission pursuing stricter cannabis odor control

By Zac Ezzone

After spending numerous meetings over the last few months discussing possible changes to the county’s cannabis regulations, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission made its first move toward pursuing stricter odor control requirements. 

Last July, the county Board of Supervisors directed staff to work with the county Planning Commission on various ordinance amendments to mitigate cannabis odor and other potential conflicts that have emerged where cannabis operations are located near urban areas and existing agriculture. 

During a meeting on March 4, Dan Klemann, deputy director of the county’s Long Range Planning Division, presented the commission with a list of 15 changes that commissioners have recommended over the course of the last two meetings on the subject. Klemann said staff planned on the commission going through each item and deciding whether it should be included in a package of ordinance amendments that could then be passed on to the board for approval.

The commission wasn’t satisfied with this route. For most commissioners, their priority was an ordinance change that requires cannabis growers to prevent odor from leaving their property. At the beginning of the discussion, Commissioner Dan Blough said he wanted to see this issue pursued separately and quickly, and then the commission could work through the remaining issues. 

“I have no damn idea why I’m sitting here today doing any of this if we’re talking about going to go through this little bit of a project, and you’re going to spend the next year before you modify the ordinance, before we send it off to the [Board of Supervisors],” Blough said. 

The rest of the commission supported Blough’s position. Rather than discuss every recommendation Klemann presented, commissioners directed staff to request that the Board of Supervisors allow this odor control measure to be fast-tracked and for the work to write the ordinance amendment to be funded. The commission voted to resume discussing the remaining recommendations during its March 25 meeting.

A few commissioners remarked that the Board of Supervisors turned down a similar odor control requirement when it first passed the county’s cannabis ordinance in early 2018, but Blough said that asking the board to consider this requirement again gives the board the chance to correct a mistake.

“I realize the board turned down the odor sequestering issue before, well they were wrong,” Blough said. “And now we’re going to give them a chance to do it right this time.”

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