Caution: Timing of State Annual License Application Submittals
In order to conduct commercial cannabis business in the County of Santa Barbara (County), business entities must obtain the appropriate State license issued by one of the State's three licensing authorities (Bureau of Cannabis Control, Cal Cannabis, and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch). However, prior to submitting a State license application to any of the three licensing authorities, new cannabis business entities must first obtain local authorization from the County, which consists of 1) an issued land use entitlement and 2) a cannabis business license.
Should a cannabis operator submit a State license application prior to having obtained both a land use entitlement and/or a cannabis business license, the operator assumes the risk of the State licensing authority processing their State license application prior to the operator having obtained local authorization. Should this occur, the State may notify the applicant of their lack of local authorization and may provide applicants up to 90 days to cure this deficiency. Should the operator fail to cure the deficiency within the specified timeframe, the State license application may be disqualified and the associated fees paid by the applicant, may be forfeited.
It is important to note that State Assembly Bill 97 was approved and effectuated on 1/1/20. One key component of this Bill removes the previous requirement that operators must have held a State Temporary license in order to obtain a State Provisional license. However, the County firmly opposes this aspect of the Bill and maintains its policy to only approve State Provisional licenses for those entities that were operating prior to 1/19/16 under a legal non-conforming use exemption. Business entities that began operations after 1/19/16 are considered new operators and therefore must first obtain local authorization, then a State Annual license (as mentioned above), prior to commencing commercial cannabis activities.
Updated 4/10/20: At the Board of Supervisor's meeting on January 14, 2020, the Board adopted an ordinance amendment to the Cannabis Business License (Chapter 50) which amended the cannabis retail storefront licensing process to establish a merit based criteria scoring system, rather than the previously adopted random drawing system. This ordinance amendment became operational on February 13, 2020.
Per the newly adopted ordinance, the merit based selection process will commence with community engagement meetings held in each of the identified six community plan areas to gather input from each community on application criteria that will ultimately be incorporated into the Neighborhood Compatibility Plan portion of the retail storefront application.
Staff had initially scheduled community engagement meetings to begin in April 2020, but due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, these meetings have been cancelled out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the public and staff. Staff will be monitoring and assessing any developments relating to COVID-19 and will re-schedule these community meetings once it is deemed safe to do so. Staff will update the County's cannabis website with information on community meetings as soon as new updates develop.
Accela On-Line Cannabis Business License Application Now Active!
The Accela on-line public facing portal is now active and replaces the cannabis business license application fillable-form PDF that was formerly available on the County's cannabis website. This new on-line application allows applicants to submit an application and any required supporting documentation on-line and allows for increased transparency as the applicant will have access to the status of the application at all times. The Accela software is also utilized by the State of California's three cannabis licensing authorities and the County's transition to this software will provide applicants with a more consistent and familiar application format at both our local County level and the State.
Eligible Business Applicants List: UnincorporatedCap: 1,575 acres
[cannabis cultivation, nurseries and microbusinesses]
Date Placed on
|Supervisorial District||Acreage Requested||
Acreage Issued in
|Acreage left in cap|
|2||Dreamland Nurseries, LLC||420002||9-27-19||D2||0.06||0.06||1,567.94|
|3||Healy & Associates, LLC||420004||9-27-19||D4||39.60||39.60||1,528.34|
|4||Cuyama Ventures, LLC||420009||10-3-19||D1||0.23||0.23||1,528.11|
|5||Sierra Botanicals, LLC||420008||10-3-19||D3||3.50||3.50||1,524.61|
|6||Chips 18, Inc||420014||10-7-19||D4||60.00||Pending||1,464.61|
|8||Busy Bee's Organics, Inc||420019||10-22-19||D3||22.33||Pending||1,435.28|
|9||Central Coast Chronic, LLC||420015||12-23-19||D3||15.85||Pending||1,419.43|
|10||EVO Gardens, LLC||420030||5-22-20||D1||2.06||Pending||1,417.37|
Eligible Business Applicants List: Carpinteria Agricultural Overlay DistrictCap: 186 acres
[cannabis cultivation, nurseries and microbusinesses]
|Rank||Operator||Internal Code||Date Placed on List||Acreage Requested||Acreage Issued in License||Acreage left in cap|
|2||G&K Produce / K&G Flowers||420005/420006||10/1/19||8.17||8.17||177.80|
|3||CVW Organic Farms||420020||11/20/19||5.50||Pending||172.30|
Cannabis Cultivation Caps – Effective in the Unincorporated Area 9/26/19 (all Unincorporated Areas Outside of the Carp Ag Overlay)
*ADVISORY REGARDING CARPINTERIA AGRICULTURAL OVERLAY DISTRICT AREA A AND AREA B*
County Code Chapter 50 Section 50-7 Limits on Cannabis Business Licenses allows for NO MORE THAN 186 acres of cannabis cultivation, nurseries, and microbusinesses with cultivation shall be licensed at any one time within the boundaries of Area A and Area B of the Carpinteria Agricultural Overlay District as defined in County Ordinance 4529.
County Planning & Development has received applications of Cannabis Cultivation Land Use Entitlement for more than 186 acres. Upon completion of the land use permitting process, business license applicants should contact Steven Yee at firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the status of a business license application or the acreage of cannabis cultivation that has been granted a business license. A Land Use Entitlement does not guarantee the Issuance of a Cannabis Business License.
It is the intent of the Board of Supervisors, in enacting Cannabis Business License regulations, to:
- Encourage a well regulated cannabis industry,
- Eliminate illegal cannabis operations and access to illegal and untested cannabis and
- Protect the health, life, safety and general welfare of residents, particularly vulnerable minors.
Any person who intends to engage in a commercial cannabis operation in the unincorporated area of the County is required to obtain a cannabis business license. A separate cannabis business license is required for each person or entity, for each fixed location in which the commercial cannabis activity is to occur and for each licensed activity noted below. A cannabis business license shall be obtained before the commencement of business or, if the business is in operation and a license possessed, prior to the expiration of such license.
All cannabis business licenses shall be valid for 1 (one) year from the date of issuance by the Treasurer-Tax Collector, unless suspended or revoked by the County pursuant to Section 50-27 of the County Code.
It is unlawful for any person to conduct, engage in, or allow to be conducted or engaged in a commercial cannabis activity in the unincorporated area of the County, unless the County has issued such person a business license under this Chapter 50 of the County Code and the license is in effect.
Any person who seeks or obtains the following State licenses is also required to obtain the corresponding Santa Barbara County Cannabis Business Licenses as identified below:
|State License Types*||Santa Barbara County Cannabis Business License Required|
|Cultivation Licenses - Type 1, 1A, 1B, 1C, 2, 2A, 2B, 3, 3A, 3B, 5, 5A, 5B & Processor||Cultivator|
|Cultivation Licenses- Type 4||Nursery|
|Manufacturing – Type 6 & 7, N (edibles/topical) & P (packaging)||Manufacturer|
|Testing – Type 8||Testing|
|Retailer – Type 9 & 10||Retailer|
|Distributor – Type 11||Distributor|
|Microbusiness – Type 12||Microbusiness|
* Pursuant to Business and Professions Code § 26050, as may be amended.
Additional application forms will be available soon
- Property and Premise Diagram Checklist
- Criminal History Checks and Security Plan Requirements
Site Security & Background Check FAQs
County of SB Live Scan Request Form
- Inventory Control Plan Checklist
- Indemnification Agreement – Cannabis Business License
Cultivation Plan Checklist
- Quality Control Plan
- Transportation Plan Checklist
Environmental Health Services Cannabis Business License Checklist
- Fire Department Review Criteria
- Energy Conservation Plan (Excel Spreadsheet)
- Disability Access Requirements and Resources
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPDES) Compliance Form
Declarations and Final Affidavit