Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams’s comments in the Santa Barbara Independent and at the Carpinteria City Council’s special meeting on June 17 concerning the massive cannabis operations in the county struck many constituents as insult to injury. We are weary of his claims that he is trying to “make it better” when, in fact, he created this situation.
Within weeks of taking office in January 2017, Supervisor Williams advanced the idea of an ad hoc committee with Supervisor Steve Lavagnino to draft a Cannabis Ordinance. He then proposed a registry for self-declared existing growers to be given preference, and establish an unverified baseline that would later be used as justification for the sham affidavits used to obtain state licenses with no verification of pre-2016 compliance. Those 2017-18 meetings are accessible online and show Williams aggressively advocating for the cannabis industry’s wish list: no limit on state licenses nor acreage, and allowing for license stacking and multiple licenses on a single parcel. The marijuana lobby continues to dictate policy through today. Exhibit A: a letter from the just-created “North County Farmers Guild” for Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to mirror some of the meaningless, insignificant changes being put forth by Supervisor Williams and staff.
After Prop. 64, all other counties in the state either banned marijuana cultivation or adopted strict policies requiring growers of “medicinal marijuana” to prove legal nonconforming status of parcels; the requirements included compliance with mitigations in order to keep growing and the obtaining of state licenses.
Published: June 07, 2019