County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Nonmedical Cannabis

NOVEMBER 8, 2016
The Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA)
On November 8, 2016, the voters of the State of California approved Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act (also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act or AUMA). The AUMA establishes a comprehensive system to legalize, control, and regulate the cultivation, processing, manufacturing, distribution, testing, and sale of nonmedical cannabis, including cannabis products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the growth and retail sale of cannabis. It also sets forth provisions for the cultivation of industrial hemp.

The AUMA requires a state license to engage in commercial nonmedical cannabis activity and requires the state to start issuing licenses on January 1, 2018. To obtain state licenses nonmedical cannabis operators will have to comply with state laws and regulations as well as County ordinances and regulations.  (Business & Professions Code sections 26055(e), 26200.)

The AUMA does not limit the authority of a local governing body to adopt and enforce local ordinances regulating or completely prohibiting state-licensed cannabis operations. Moreover, local jurisdictions may regulate or ban outdoor cultivation and may impose reasonable regulations on personal cultivation (Health and Safety Code section 11362.2(b)(3)).

February 14, 2017
County of Santa Barbara

At the February 14, 2017, hearing, after receiving the staff report and public testimony on the changes to state law regarding the AUMA, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to return with an interim urgency ordinance to temporarily prohibit cultivation and other activities associated with nonmedical cannabis. 

The Board of Supervisors’ adopted the Nonmedical Marijuana Interim Urgency Ordinance at the April 4, 2017, hearing and extended it on May 2, 2017, for 22 months and 15 days. The purpose of the interim urgency ordinance is to protect public health, safety, and welfare while the county considers comprehensive regulations, along with the appropriate environmental review, for cannabis activities in the unincorporated area of Santa Barbara County.  This interim urgency ordinance prohibits any activities associated with the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), including the cultivation, distribution, transportation, storage, manufacturing, processing, and selling of nonmedical cannabis, nonmedical cannabis products, and industrial hemp, and on personal outdoor cultivation.

Nonmedical Marijuana Interim Urgency Ordinance

As the County of Santa Barbara reviews and considers the AUMA and other information about how the new cannabis industry will be permitted locally and by the State, updates will be posted on this website. Please also sign up for the interested parties list and check the links which are provided below for the latest information available from the State of California.

Please contact staff with any questions or comments.

Questions regarding the Medical Marijuana Regulations:

Mindy Fogg, Supervising Planner
Long Range Planning Division
(805) 884-6848
mfogg@countyofsb.org

Jessica Metzger, Senior Planner
Long Range Planning Division
(805) 568-3532
jmetzger@countyofsb.org

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive updates on the Nonmedical Cannabis and any future meetings, hearings, or other activities.

Review recent actions of the Ad hoc Committee and registration information here.

The County has recently received various questions from the public regarding non-medical cannabis. The "Frequently Asked Questions" below are intended to help answer these questions.  

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is the County of Santa Barbara drafting a Cannabis Ordinance?

Staff is currently drafting potential medical and nonmedical cannabis ordinances that will ultimately be submitted to the Board of Supervisors for consideration and adoption, following environmental review. These ordinances will likely address cultivation, processing, manufacturing, distribution, testing, and sale of nonmedical cannabis, including cannabis products, for use by adults 21 years and older, and to tax the growth and retail sale of cannabis. They also could set forth provisions for the cultivation of industrial hemp. After the draft is reviewed internally, the environmental review will be conducted pursuant to the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

2. What changes occurred with the passing of Proposition 64?

Personal recreational use: Adults 21 years or above may use cannabis and grow cannabis for personal use within a private residence. Cannabis use is not allowed in public places, and personal growing of cannabis is limited to six plants per private residence.

Commercial cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, or sales operations:  To obtain state licenses nonmedical cannabis operators will have to comply with state laws and regulations as well as County ordinances and regulations (Business & Professions Code sections 26055(e), 26200.) The AUMA requires (1) a state license to engage in commercial nonmedical cannabis activity and (2) the state to start issuing licenses on January 1, 2018. Nonmedical cannabis operators will have to conform to all AUMA regulations and the issuance of these licenses will also require the local jurisdiction’s approval when the County adopts regulations. County staff is currently developing local regulations for commercial nonmedical cannabis activities (e.g., cultivation, manufacturing, and sales) in compliance with the AUMA, for the Board of Supervisors’ consideration in early 2018. If the Board of Supervisors adopts an ordinance to allow commercial cannabis activities, the county will review license/permit requests based on the provisions set forth in the ordinance.

3. Which State agencies will issue licenses for cannabis businesses in 2018?

CA Bureau of Cannabis Control will be the State agency licensing the cannabis sales

CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing

CA Department of Public Health will be issuing licenses for manufacturing

CA Department of Food and Agriculture will oversee licenses for cultivation

CA Industrial Hemp Program

4. Can commercial cannabis be cultivated in the County of Santa Barbara?

No. Currently, there is a moratorium on the cultivation of cannabis for commercial sale in the County unincorporated area while regulations are being developed. To see the County’s current ordinance on medical cannabis please visit: http://longrange.sbcountyplanning.org/programs/medicalmarijuana/medicalmarijuana.php

5. If the County of Santa Barbara does not currently allow the commercial growing and selling of cannabis, can I buy cannabis from another county or a city?

Yes. Under the AUMA, adults 21 years and older can buy and possess cannabis from a licensed facility. Cannabis purchased in another jurisdiction where commercial growing and/or sales are permitted can be possessed by an adult 21 years and older within the County of Santa Barbara.

6. Do I need a license to grow cannabis for personal use?

No. The AUMA allows individuals to grow cannabis for personal use (up to six plants per private residence) without a license. The AUMA allows the County to establish additional restrictions and/or requirements for unincorporated areas. The County has adopted an urgency ordinance which only allows the growing of cannabis plants for personal use inside the structure. The Board of Supervisors will have an opportunity to reconsider this limitation on personal use, when it considers an ordinance to regulate cannabis activities.

7. Can I sell home grown cannabis plants or cannabis products to others?

No. The AUMA does not allow the sale of homegrown cannabis, whether whole plant, clippings, clones, or any product derived from any part of the plant.

8. What should I do if I am staying at an apartment complex or hotel and I smell cannabis from my neighbor's unit?

The AUMA does not allow smoking cannabis in locations where smoking tobacco is prohibited. Contact your property manager if you have a complaint.

9. What should I do if I smell cannabis from my neighbor's house?

The AUMA allows the use of cannabis within one’s private residence.

10. Can I smoke cannabis or consume cannabis products while driving?

No. The AUMA prohibits driving under the influence of cannabis. It also prohibits smoking or ingesting cannabis, or even possessing an open container or package of cannabis, while driving or riding in a motor vehicle

11. Can I smoke cannabis or consume cannabis products in public places?

No. The AUMA does not allow smoking or ingesting cannabis in public places.

12. How much cannabis can I carry for recreational use?

Under the AUMA, adults 21 years and older can possess, transport, or purchase up to one (1) ounce of cannabis and up to eight (8) grams of cannabis concentrates.

13. Can I grow industrial hemp in California?

The cultivation of industrial hemp is currently prohibited in the County of Santa Barbara. The Board of Supervisors will have an opportunity to reconsider this prohibition when it considers an ordinance to regulate cannabis activities.

14. How do I register to cultivate industrial hemp with the state/county?

The cultivation of industrial hemp is currently prohibited by the interim urgency ordinance in the County of Santa Barbara. The Board of Supervisors will have an opportunity to reconsider this prohibition when it considers an ordinance to regulate cannabis activities.

15. What are the laws and regulations regarding the production of industrial hemp in California?

California's industrial hemp law can be found in Division 24 of the California Food and Agricultural Code (FAC). The cultivation of industrial hemp is currently prohibited in the County of Santa Barbara. The Board of Supervisors will have an opportunity to reconsider this prohibition when it considers an ordinance to regulate cannabis activities.

Please see the link below for the complete text of Proposition 64:
https://www.oag.ca.gov/system/files/initiatives/pdfs/15-0103%20(Marijuana)_1.pdf?

Please click the link here for the complete text of SB-94 a cannabis trailer bill to the 2016 state budget to streamline medical and adult use cannabis regulations and permits at the state level.