Authorities say they’ve broken up an illegal cannabis growing operation that had links to a number of communities on the Central Coast. Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators say they first learned of the operation about a month ago. They got a number of search warrants, and over two days served them at locations which included Santa Maria, Nipomo, and Arroyo Grande.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors reaffirmed a cap on cannabis cultivation Tuesday.

That cap applied to the unincorporated areas of the county, with limits at 1575 acres. They also strongly recommended requirements to have odor controls and merit-based applications for licensees.

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)

A massive raid on a cannabis growing operation on the Central Coast led to the seizure of 350,000 plants, with an estimated value of $20 million dollars. Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s investigators learned about the possible operation near Buellton a month ago. They gathered enough information to get four search warrants.

(San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office photo)

A crackdown on some unlicensed cannabis operations on the Central and South Coasts has resulted in the seizure of thousands of marijuana plants, and hundreds of pounds of the drug packaged for sale.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Cannabis Compliance Team served search warrants in Los Olivos, Lompoc, Montecito, and Carpinteria.

Photo by Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

Santa Barbara County public health officials are launching an initiative to educate the public about the potential dangers of marijuana.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s digital and social media-based cannabis education campaign includes a series of videos that uses science-based research to target teens and their parents.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s cannabis compliance team has been cracking down hard on illegal cannabis grows where operators are not following local rules or getting proper permits.

“Since August, the county sheriff’s department has seized over 775,000 plants and that's tens of thousands of pounds of product,” says County Supervisor Das Williams.


Some 35,000 cannabis plants were seized in what Santa Barbara County Sheriff's detectives say was an illegal indoor commercial cannabis site.

The plants were at a large scale facility on the 5800 block of Via Real in Carpinteria.  Investigators aren't releasing details of the seizure, but say it was operating with an invalid cannabis license.

(Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office photo)

Authorities say they’ve raided an illegal marijuana growing operation on the Central Coast, seizing some 14,000 pounds of cannabis in the process.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s investigators say they received information about a possible unlicensed cannabis facility near Buellton.

via Florabundance Instagram (@florabundanceinc)

A big conversion has come to the South Coast in recent years, where almost all the greenhouses in Carpinteria moved from flowers and vegetables to cannabis.

Still, at least three greenhouses remain that sell and grow flowers on a regular basis.

They say they were caught off guard.

Longtime residents of areas including the Carpinteria Valley and near Solvang say new cannabis farms have popped up, bringing with them new concerns.

Business license fees have been given a preliminary approval by Santa Barbara County, to cover the costs for several departments to review cannabis operations.

The board of supervisors says there could be 150 applications coming in.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors Tuesday are set to consider creating some taxes on marijuana production and sales, which could potentially generate from five to $25 million dollars a year in new revenue.

The county will look at options including creating a general tax, or special tax on cannabis. The proposed tax rates range from 1% on nursery operations to 6% for retail operations.

A bill by a State Senator who represents part of Ventura County which is intended to help keep edible cannabis from children has passed a key hurdle.

The State Senate approved SB 794, which would require single serving of edible cannabis to be sold in child-proof packaging. It would also mandate that the packages be marked with a yet-to-be designed symbol to indicate they contain marijuana products.