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April 19, 2018:
NEW: Board of Supervisors Hearing Tuesday April 24, 2018 1:30 PM Board of Supervisors Chambers
Proposed Final Ordinances Released for Santa Cruz County Code (SCCC) Chapters 7.128 and Amendments to 13.10 Non-Retail Commercial Cannabis Businesses

The County has assembled proposed final draft ordinances for the consideration of the Board of Supervisors to regulate the commercial cannabis supply chain involving cultivation, manufacture and distribution:

SCCC Chapter 7.128 NON-RETAIL COMMERCIAL CANNABIS BUSINESSES establishes regulations for cannabis cultivation, manufacture and distribution.
SCCC Chapter 13.10 Zoning Ordinance Amendments for NON-RETAIL COMMERCIAL CANANBIS USES establishes land use permitting requirements and restrictions for cannabis cultivation, manufacture and distribution.

These two proposed final ordinances work in partnership to regulate the non-retail cannabis supply chain. While proposed SCCC 7.128 serves to establish operational restrictions and a cannabis licensing program for non-retail commercial cannabis businesses in Santa Cruz County, Amendments to SCCC 13.10 Zoning Ordinance have been proposed to establish zoning restrictions and land use permitting requirements for the industry. These partner ordinances are intended to be read in tandem to determine potential cannabis business site eligibility and operational restrictions for non-retail cannabis businesses.

Tuesday April 24, 2018 starting at approx. 1:30 PM, the Board of Supervisors will reconvene to consider the proposed ordinance amendments to Santa Cruz County Code Chapter 7.128, 13.10, 16.01 and related amendments to the Santa Cruz General Plan/Local Coastal Plan, regarding a Cannabis licensing, regulatory and land use program for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution activities. This item follows a special Board of Supervisors hearing that was held on April 9th where the Board gave staff direction to modify the ordinances in response to Planning Commission recommendations received in March.

Board Letter and Proposed Ordinances (with strikethrough and underline tracked changes) for April 24th hearing click HERE.

If you have comments you would like to submit, attend hearing and you may speak during public comments or scroll to bottom of Board Letter (link above) and add your comment under "Discussion".


April 13, 2018:
SAVE THE DATE! Local and State Agencies-Cannabis Workshop 6-9 PM Thursday April 26th, 701 Ocean St, Board Chambers, Santa Cruz.

Following the scheduled Board of Supervisors hearing on April 24th, the Cannabis Licensing Office plans to hold a workshop on the 26th to update those interested in cannabis business licenses on final proposed regulations, the license/land use permitting process to come, as well as have State agencies provide guidance on application requirements. Fish and Wildlife and the State Water Board officials will return to give more detailed explanations on what you need to do for State licensure. It will be an evening full of important information for you!


APRIL 9, 2018:
On Monday April 9th the Board of Supervisors met to review proposed final non-retail cannabis business regulations. After considering all Planning Commission recommendations, the Board gave direction to staff to update the ordinances for the upcoming FIRST reading of the final draft regulations to be heard on April 24th. Included in the Board decision was to:

  1. add a Cottage license for small grows not exceeding 500 sf;
  2. establish January 2013 as the date after which cannabis sites are considered "new" (as related to RA, SU, and TP zones);
  3. bring back SU zone district for cannabis business eligibility with Mountain Residential or Rural Residential General Plan designations; and
  4. provide for a "provisional" license process for existing, long-standing operators to stay in operation pending approvals of their land use permit and cannabis business license.

Several other changes were made and staff is working diligently to incorporate all these changes.
To listen back to the April 9th BOS hearing, please click here.

The public will be able to review all updates to the proposed ordinances in the Board packet to be made available Thursday April 19th.
See you all April 24th!


Newsflash March 20, 2018: There will be a special Board of Supervisors hearing to consider final non-retail cannabis business regulations. The Board will meet at 9 AM April 9th to hear from staff and weigh the recommendations made by the Planning Commission in its March 14th meeting. The Board will give staff direction on final ordinance adoption at this meeting. Barring any substantive changes that would require the Planning Commission's review once again, or some other unexpected delay, the Board is likely to hold another meeting in later April to adopt final regulations. Once the Board adopts the regulations, there must be a second reading of the ordinance at a subsequent hearing for the regulations to come into effect.


On March 14, 2018, the Planning Commission reviewed staff information and public comments on the proposed non-retail commercial cannabis regulations, as a part of a continued hearing from February 28th. They arrived at a list of recommendations that will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) for their consideration at a public hearing on either April 9th or 10th (date pending). The upcoming BOS hearing will likely be one of the last hearings before the legislation is adopted. We will advise as to the schedule when we know more. Hearing link available here (starting at minute 17:35).


Wednesday March 14th starting at approx. 9 AM, the Planning Commission will reconvene to consider the proposed ordinance amendments to Santa Cruz County Code Chapter 7.128, 13.10, 16.01 and related amendments to the Santa Cruz General Plan/Local Coastal Plan, regarding a Cannabis licensing, regulatory and land use program for cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and distribution activities. This item was continued from the February 28th hearing due to the large volume of new material and public comments received.

Staff Report for March 14th hearing click HERE.

Agenda information and older staff documents and ordinance info may be found HERE.

If you have comments you would like to submit, attend hearing and you may speak during public comments OR email: PC2.28CannabisItemComments@santacruzcounty.us


The Board of Supervisors held a special meeting to consider the revised proposed non-retail cannabis ordinances and staff’s recommendation to use the State’s CEQA statutory exemption rather than certifying the Draft EIR. Links are now available to the hearing and the public comments made during the environmental review process which were considered during revisions to the proposed ordinances.



Older Materials

Videos

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) on the proposed program to regulate commercial cannabis cultivation and manufacturing is available for review. The 60-day comment period closed as of 5 PM October 31, 2017. All comments will be addressed prior to the release of the Final EIR. A public hearing before the Planning Commission is expected in December and a Board of Supervisors hearing will follow in early 2018. Click here for more information regarding environmental review of the proposed cannabis regulations.


Dan Peterson and Loretta Moreno joined Christopher Carr on The Cannabis Connection for a conversation on Santa Cruz County Cannabis Policy. Listen to the interview by clicking here:

http://thecannabisconnectionshow.com/index.php/2017/06/29/dan-peterson-loretta-moreno-santa-cruz-cannabis-policy-06232017/


On November 8, 2016 the voters passed a Cannabis Business Tax. Information on the tax ordinance and how to pay your tax is available here.


On August 2, 2016, The Board of Supervisors adopted the Cannabis Dispensary Licensing Ordinance, adding Chapter 7.130 to the Santa Cruz County Code. A copy of the final ordinance can be viewed here.