Recently, farmers gathered in the County Administration Building to voice their support for the progressive approach county supervisors are taking toward production of legal cannabis. Cannabis business in Santa Barbara is about to explode, but some remain ultraconservative about how it will work. That meeting embodied the end of California’s prohibition of recreational marijuana use.
The effort appears bipartisan in Santa Barbara. Even those who once opposed the use of cannabis for recreational reasons are now begrudgingly accepting of voters’ wishes. Attitudes have and are changing toward marijuana in Santa Barbara since the passage of Proposition 64 in November 2016. Now the issue is regulating cultivation. After all, farmers will need to supply the demands of pot users.
Register Cannabis Growing Businesses in Santa Barbara
For this reason, county supervisors approved an online registry for cannabis growers. This website will launch soon, and it encourages marijuana cultivators to register their operations. Farmers must provide detailed information spanning seven pages, including their locations, number of plants they are growing, how they get and use water, nearby schools, libraries, or treatment facilities, and much, much more.
Confusion about Marijuana in Santa Barbara
Everyone appears in unanimous agreement about building an online registry for marijuana cultivators. All except one: County Supervisor Janet Wolf is the sole dissenter, and she has good reason for her argument. Few cannabis growers would willingly want to out themselves. Federal law still considers marijuana illegal. There is potential for enforcement agencies to use the information insidiously.
There are few true incentives for growers to register their details. They would be admitting that they are cultivating now, knowing that they are violating a recently passed ordinance prohibiting the cultivation of cannabis for the moment. Although there are many illegally growing marijuana in Santa Barbara, any attempts to create a database for legalization could threaten their safety, as growing is still illegal.
Currently, the law only permits those who were already growing medical cannabis before January 2016, to cultivate weed legally. Estimates of cultivation sites range from 300 to 1,000, but nobody is certain about these figures. The registry aims to answer this question, but it has other purposes, as well. The law is in flux. People are nervous to advertise their activities, let alone put their names on a registry.
Future of Cannabis Business in Santa Barbara
The state aims to thrust the marijuana industry into the spotlight. This, along with the registry, will aid in both setting up local regulation and forcing compliance with it. The Santa Barbara City Council is giving farmers an incentive to comply in the form of state permits, which are otherwise unavailable to those resisting government, state, and city control of cannabis.
While many farmers remain steadfast in their resolution not to ever grow weed, others are just waiting for the rules to stop yo-yoing. At this point, the law could close the doors to cannabis business in Santa Barbara. Although this is unlikely, many are not willing to take risks until laws are firmly set and no longer subject to drastic changes.
Incentives for Marijuana Growing Registry
To be competitive and have an advantage over others in Santa Barbara’s marijuana industry, farmers should get their affairs in order and become compliant as soon as possible. However, a county ordinance does not yet exist. The registry is only among the first regulatory steps of many to come. At this exact point in time, growers have until June 30 to put their names on the registry. This is the deadline for it.
To apply for a growing permit from the state, which will be possible from January 1, 2018, farmers will need authorization from Santa Barbara County. At the County Administration Building on April 25, farmers will be able to discuss the ordinance in an open forum. There are many points of order on the agenda. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
Critics are bemoaning the amount of water needed to cultivate cannabis. However, since cannabis became the hottest crop of the year, growers are in fact reducing the amount of water that they use. Drip irrigation systems and hydroponics are only some of the innovations saving water.
Crop changes have a huge environmental impact. To grow avocados, you need approximately 141 gallons of water. One broccoli head will need five gallons. The agriculture sector is simply embracing a new crop, which happens often throughout history for economic reasons. It was lima beans a century ago, but now it is time for cannabis.
The use of pesticides is a controversial matter. Regulation is proving a complete failure. The Environmental Protection Agency has no guidelines at all for the appropriate use of pesticides on cannabis crops. They need federal approval, and since it is illegal federally, this is unlikely. Recently, California introduced interim guidelines permitting the use of neem oil, used to treat mites.
Regulatory activity is bustling around cannabis business in Santa Barbara. Because voters demand legalization, the state has no choice but to develop a commercial strategy. The decision to register cannabis business in Santa Barbara is a step perhaps in the right direction. At the very least, it will provide the information needed to tighten regulatory authority.
The choice to sign up remains a personal one. If you do not, then you will not be able to get a cultivation license from the state. It will also force you to comply with upcoming related guidelines and ordinances, such as water consumption, pesticide use, and more. For now, it may be easier to make use of cannabis delivery services in Santa Barbara. If you plan to cultivate seriously, then now is the time to start.