Goleta Considers Cannabis Use Within City Limits

Beginning in 2018, commercial recreational cannabis businesses will be allowed in the State of California. The State has outlined a regulatory system for various commercial activities associated with the legalization of cannabis and local jurisdictions may prohibit or allow various cannabis uses, including cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and retail. As a result, Goleta, like other cities, is facing some important questions. What uses should be allowed and where? How will the City process applications? What will the enforcement process look like? 

On September 7, 2017, the City Council instructed staff to develop a cannabis ordinance that allows and regulates recreational adult-use cannabis uses. On October 23 and 30, the City’s Planning Commission held public workshops to discuss cannabis uses within the City. The purpose of the workshops was to provide the Planning Commission and the public with information on the range of cannabis uses that the City may allow and to seek feedback from the Planning Commission and the public on the potential land use regulation of these cannabis uses. The discussions focused broadly on what cannabis uses the City should allow, where the City should allow those uses, and how the City should process applications for those uses.

At the October 30 meeting, the Planning Commission also voted to recommend Council approve a ban on all commercial marijuana activity in the city while an ordinance creating rules for growing and cultivating is developed.  The Planning Commission recommended that the ban include a sunset provision for some specific date in the future and also that it exempt the two existing, grandfathered medical marijuana businesses in the City and allow them to sell recreational cannabis in addition to medical marijuana. The draft ban will be heard by the City Council at the November 7 meeting. (The agenda for that meeting will be posted here by Thursday, November 2.) 

City staff will continue drafting cannabis land use regulations based on the feedback received to date. Additional opportunities for public input will be available in the future. For further information on the City’s development of cannabis regulations and to sign up for email notifications, please visit the project website: http://cityofgoleta.org/projects-programs/studies-and-other-projects/cannabis-regulations.