The County’s Cannabis Situation Continues to Stink in New Ways

••• Please read Melinda Burns’s update on Newsmakers on the county’s cannabis mess. It details how a statewide glut means lower prices, which means lower revenues, which means lower tax revenues. And as if that’s not bad enough, “compounding the problem is the self-reporting tax system for cannabis in Santa Barbara County. […] Growers here are assessed a four-percent tax on their gross earnings; and it’s been hard to collect. […] In the second quarter of the current fiscal year, only 40 of 71 cannabis operators in the county, reported their gross earnings for the second quarter [….] Fifteen reported zero earnings, and 12 did not file a report. Previous budget updates have painted a similar picture; those ‘missing’ growers could be scofflaws, or they could be simply fallowing their land.” In other words, the county sold its soul to the cannabis industry—and isn’t even getting paid what it’s owed.

••• From a Noohzawk interview with Santa Barbara Airport director Chris Hastert: “The airport currently is involved with preliminary design work on the terminal expansion, with construction not expected until at least 2026, Hastert said, with completion likely taking a couple years. […] Within the next six months, the airport expects to add some parking on the south side of the terminal, Hastert said, but the ultimate plan is to build a parking structure at that location.” More parking is great; in the meantime, SBA could free up spaces by raising prices, which would encourage more people to get a ride.

••• “The City of Solvang fell victim to a phishing scam, leading to a $538,000 loss, [almost half] of which was covered by insurance,” reports Noozhawk.

A routine financial report during the Feb. 27 meeting prompted a question from Councilwoman Elizabeth Orona, which led to a staff response that mentioned “fraud.”

An audience member asked about the fraud reference.

“That’s something that happened awhile back. It was brought up at a prior council meeting, but we are not going to address your question directly and give you an answer,” Mayor Mark Infanti said.

••• The buyer of the Hedgerow property that Oprah Winfrey recently sold is “film producer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber (Red Notice, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, We’re the Millers), who will helm the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons live-action series for Paramount+.” —Dirt

••• From a press release on Edhat: “The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has issued a ‘beach closure’ for all recreational water contact at Butterfly Beach within one-quarter mile of the storm drain outfall in response to a spill of untreated sewage reaching ocean waters along this beach shoreline.”

••• “Grace Fisher Foundation Inclusive Arts Clubhouse Opens in Santa Barbara [….]  Located at La Cumbre Plaza […], the Grace Fisher Foundation Inclusive Arts Clubhouse is a safe and welcoming space for children of all abilities to explore and express themselves through a variety of artistic mediums.” —Independent

••• “The Santa Barbara Pickleball Shop opened recently […] at 835 N. Milpas St., Suite B.” —Noozhawk


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Andrew P.

Nextdoor servers are gonna spontaneously combust here once the airport expansion gets going.

SB Democrat

Tax revenues are lower because the rich republitards do not pay their fare share. They are FoxNews watching idoits who drive around in their large SUVs and emiting greenhouse gases that are heating the planet. I will not stand for there stupidity and I will always vote Democrat.

Normal Person

SB Democrat, are you aware we’re like 60-70% Dem here in SB, and the Democrats control a super majority in our State legislature and the governors office? Those watching Fox News aren’t the idiots – those who resort to name calling and regurgitating DNC talking points/generalizations without an ounce of independent thinking on the other hand….