Updated: 8/6/19: The County of Santa Barbara has not yet initiated its cannabis retail storefront licensing process and the timeframe in which it will be commencing is indefinite at this time. To receive updates as they become available on the retail storefront licensing process or key dates and deadlines, please visit our cannabis website or Sign Up Here to receive e-mail notifications on cannabis-related news from the County of Santa Barbara.

On April 9, 2019, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted amendments to the cannabis business license ordinance that provided an alternative cannabis storefront retail license allocation methodology in the County's unincorporated area. Per the cannabis business license ordinance, no more than eight storefront retail cannabis operations may be licensed by the County with a cannabis business license at any time. To avoid excessive concentration of storefront retail operations within the County, the County's Board of Supervisors established that a maximum of one cannabis storefront retail operation may be allowed in each of six community plan areas: 1) Orcutt, 2) Los Alamos, 3) Santa Ynez, 4) Eastern Goleta Valley, 5) Isla Vista/Goleta, and a combined 6) Summerland & Toro Canyon, plus up to two countywide for all sites in areas not covered by the six community plan areas listed above. This limitation also applies to microbusinesses seeking to operate a storefront retail as part of the microbusiness. The amended cannabis business license ordinance became operational on May 9, 2019. Please click the following link to view the amended business license ordinance in its entirety: Ordinance

Key Dates & Deadlines
To Be Determined  Noticing to prospective applicants of the forthcoming availability of cannabis storefront retail licenses and selection process of pre-qualified applicants.
To Be Determined Pre-qualification applications submittal period. Pre-qualification applications are not yet available. To receive e-mail notification of when the application becomes available and to receive other cannabis-related e-mails please sign up here
To Be Determined Pre-qualification Retail Storefront Applicants List for each community plan area and a list for all non-community plan areas will be made available on the County's website and a copy of the list will be available in the County Executive Office.
To Be Determined A random drawing will be held to select eight pre-qualified applicants at a public location and time to be determined.

For more information detailing the cannabis retail storefront license process please see attached PDF

Please direct any questions regarding the retail storefront license selection process to Steven Yee at

For more detailed information regarding zoning or permitting, please click the following link: or send questions to


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 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.

Business Licensing

View the complete Ordinance regarding the licensing of commercial cannabis operations, as amended on April 9th, 2019

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.

View and download the Business License Application Checklist

Additional application forms will be available soon

  1. Cannabis Business License Application
  2. Property and Premise Diagram Checklist
  3. Updated 3/22/19!  Criminal History Checks and Security Plan Requirements 
  4. County of SB Live Scan Request Form 
  5. Inventory Control Plan Checklist
  6. Indemnification Agreement – Cannabis Business License
  7. Cultivation Plan Checklist
  8. Quality Control Plan
  9. Transportation Plan Checklist
  10. Environmental Health Services Cannabis Business License Checklist
  11. Fire Department Review Criteria
  12. Energy Conservation Plan (Excel Spreadsheet)
  13. Disability Access Requirements and Resources

Upload Completed Forms and Documents 

Please do not upload any Cannabis Business License Applications or supporting documentation until a Land Use Entitlement has been Approved and Issued by the Planning & Development Department!

Use this form to send completed materials to the County.