At the “Growing Possibilities” Ag Forum held Friday afternoon by EconAlliance at the Santa Maria Fairpark, Santa Barbara County Agriculture Commissioner Cathy Fisher spoke to local farmers and agriculture leaders about the challenges and opportunities they might face in the coming year. 

Among many issues highlighted at the forum was cannabis cultivation, and that the large number of applications for cultivation could create a new reality for Santa Barbara County farmers.

Adult use of cannabis became legal Jan. 1, and the state recently reported it has already issued 175 temporary licenses to would-be cannabis operations in Santa Barbara County.

That places the county second in the state for the number of licenses issued — right behind Humboldt County, Fisher said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

 “It looks like we’ll be part of the new emerald triangle,” Fisher joked.

 
 
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