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Medical Marijuana Storefront Collective Dispensaries PermitsPlanning Central

As of March 6, 2017, the City has two approved Medical Marijuana Dispensaries; one in the Outer State Street Area at 3617 State Street, and one in the Milpas Street area at 118 N. Milpas Street.  The City also has two pending applications; one in the Upper De la Vina Area at 2609 De la Vina Street, and one in the Mission Street Area at 128 W. Mission Street.

Medical Marijuana Storefront Collective Dispensaries are regulated by Chapter 28.80 of the Zoning Ordinance, (Medical Cannabis Dispensaries).  The major provisions are as follows (scroll to bottom of screen for maps and documents):

1.      Maximum of three (3) storefront collectives (Citywide).
2.      Allowable locations limited to the following areas:
            Milpas, MissionOuter StateUpper De la Vina, and West Pueblo Medical.
3.      Prohibition of storefront collectives in existing, mixed-use buildings with residential condominiums.
4.      Storefront collective membership limited to Santa Barbara County residents.
5.      Require 24 hour waiting period to join a storefront collective.
6.      Cultivation, membership and financial record required to be maintained, with inspection by City staff.
7.      Medical records may be inspected by City staff with a search warrant or inspection warrant.
8.      Dispensary inspection by City staff with limited notice.
9.      Security provided by a separate, “Private-party operator” security company, which is licensed by the State.
10.    Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
11.    Applications are appealable to the City Council.
12.    Annual review of the storefront collective operation by the Police and Community Development Departments.

Applications submitted will be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the ordinance.  These applications will be processed one-at-a-time until the open spots in their respective areas are filled.  It is possible that some of these applications will not be approved.  If this is the case, then newer applications will be processed in the order that they are deemed complete.

As part of the application, you must prepare a document that shows how your dispensary complies with the operational requirements AND the criteria for approval in the Ordinance.  For your convenience, the requirements and the criteria for approval are in this Medical Cannabis Dispensary Permit Application Document.

Staff recommends the following steps before beginning the process:
1.    Read the Medical Cannabis Dispensaries Ordinance SBMC 28.80.
2.    Contact Danny Kato, Senior Planner, at to get an update on the progress of any pending applications.
3.    Find a location that meets the requirements of the ordinance. 
4.    Develop your collective operational plan, with as much detail as possible to show that the storefront collective is not a retail business. Information to consider includes: compliance with Proposition 215, SB 420 and the Attorney General’s Guidelines, location of cultivation in SB County, methods to ensure a closed loop between cultivator-members and non-cultivator-members, and compensation for cultivators and other members.
5. Review the Council Agenda Report for the most recently approved dispensary at 118 N. Milpas Street, which is available here.

6. Review the videos of the Staff Hearing Officer (January 20, 2016) and Planning Commission (March 17, 2016) hearings for the most recently approved dispensary at 118 N. Milpas Street.

Last Updated: Mar 7, 2017
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