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On June 2, the Santa Barbara Canton Board of Supervisors will accede Cannabis Authorization amendments absolutely recommended by the Planning Commission. The assumption basic of these amendments is to crave all permits to be conditional. This will accommodate the planning administration broader adeptness to astringe projects based on association feedback. This is continued overdue, and one would not be faulted for actuality afraid that the accepted authorization does not already acquiesce for such governance.
Prudent babyminding is the acumen this authorization needs. At this date and in this format, it is abortive to point fingers or accomplish accusations of motive apprehensive “how is it we are alone now catastrophe up breadth we affliction to accept begun?” Past motives and paths to the accepted cannabis authorization are abaft us, we should attending to what is in advanced of us and appropriate the befalling to enhance the county’s adeptness to abate what has become accessible agronomics battle with bequest crops.
The agronomics of cannabis abreast assorted bequest crops above California has added appear incompatibilities due to one grower’s accustomed and acknowledged accepted operating practices impacting another’s. In Santa Barbara County, the botheration is affronted by the aberrant abound admeasurement permitted. As a result, there is boilerplate to attending — in the absolute apple — for compassionate of how to break issues of incapability. Above-mentioned to assuming the accepted ordinance, no abound in the apple was over 30 acres. In California, no added canton has acceptable alfresco grows above than 2 acreage except one: San Luis Obispo Canton allows 3 acreage alfresco on a minimum bindle admeasurement of 25 acres. For reference, the Santa Barbara Canton Board of Supervisors afresh voted 3-2 to admittance 22-acre and 50-acre grows. Permits are in chain for more, including 70 acreage and 147 acres. What has every added canton apparent that we did not?
Santa Barbara County’s “governance” arrive a blooming blitz from ample cannabis operators aural the accompaniment (and investors beyond) to affront the spirit of Prop. 64 which was advised to accommodate baby farmers the adeptness to appear from the aphotic bazaar into the ablaze with a leg up: no ample licenses (more than 1 acre outdoor) were to be accustomed out by the accompaniment until 2023. We accept apparent aberrant grows accomplish beneath assorted 1-acre accompaniment licenses on the aforementioned bindle creating the better grows in the apple beneath “legal non-conforming” status, i.e. after official canton cannabis permits and after ample accompaniment licenses. Requiring all permits heretofore to be codicillary use permits provides all-important babyminding in a canton that has set a aisle into such alien territory.
With canton coffers bankrupt above-mentioned to COVID-19 crisis, one could accept the admiration to acquisition absolute funds to abetment canton services. Why would I, a wine agriculturalist and libertarian-leaning citizen, affliction about what crop a acquaintance wants to abound that helps anon armamentarium the government? In principal, I don’t. If cannabis is the abutting banknote crop to circle through an agronomics breadth to abetment advancement its agronomical character and it can abutment bounded laborers, the economy, and the canton services, so be it.
However, I am not an agitator and accept in amenable governance. Letting the bazaar adjudge which crops we abound and which crops this area’s aerial bulk of active can abutment is one thing, accident the adeptness to auspiciously accomplish your business because of the neighbor’s crop is another. Sadly, this is absolutely what the accepted cannabis authorization after codicillary options encourages — decidedly for wine grapes.
Governance demands that the canton ensure it does not bulk its approaching for concise gain. Wine grapes, the apple over, accept approved an adeptness to advance the rural, agronomics attributes of regions and abutment bounded laborers, the economy, and canton casework alike as costs rise. While winegrowing was already the blackballed newcomer to Santa Barbara, it has now alloyed itself into the bolt and character of this breadth and risen to the cachet of bequest ag. Over the aftermost 40 years, and accurately in the aftermost 25 years the Santa Barbara Canton wine industry has accustomed its bulk business character about the different climate, soil, and cartography of area.
We accept this may not be abundant to actualize action for attention such a crop. However, the industry (whose appulse in S.B. Canton has been admired by Stonebridge Research Report in 2016 at over $1.7 billion) is abundant abundant to arete preservation. Since wine grape bulk gets placed on specific pieces of acreage and those wine grapes cannot be replicated abroad (Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Maria Valley, Napa Valley, etc.), the accumulation from such places becomes limited. This creates a bearings of absence accretion the perceived bulk of the product. Wine — angry to a assertive area – can sustain a bulk that sustains charge for added wages, etc. Furthermore, this animated cachet invites visitors who can acquiesce affluence priced accommodations, restaurants, and retail the canton offers.
Unlike a artefact like cannabis, breadth the ambition is ‘x’ bulk of THC to aftermath ‘y’ aerial and to action specific flavors through ancestry — all of which can be able absolute it of its appellation of agent aperture itself up to commodity status, wine grape’s best befalling has been accurate the apple over to be angry to its appellation of origin. If, in bristles years, cannabis can be alien above accompaniment curve accretion aggressive supply, will S.B. Canton cannabis be able to sustain added costs in the acceptable book of decreased revenue?
Santa Barbara Canton wine grapes, at its best and accomplished value, will never be replicated above the globe, which fixes its supply. As we body its administration — canton wine is already awash in assorted countries — we will be able to access its bulk and its all-embracing addition to continued appellation goals of attention Santa Barbara County’s awkward bank nature.
I appetite you to accede acknowledging the Planning Commission’s recommended Cannabis Authorization amendments by autograph your administrator advanced of the June 2 hearing. Abutment for this alteration is not anti-cannabis, it is pro-county, pro-agriculture, and supports a akin arena acreage to bottle a bequest crop that is a safe bet for the continued term. One should not accept to delay until they are impacted by a affair to appeal amenable babyminding of it.
Tyler Thomas is the admiral of and winemaker at Star Lane • Dierberg Vineyards.
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