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Ten northern Santa Barbara County storefront cannabis applicants advance another step
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Ten northern Santa Barbara County storefront cannabis applicants advance another step

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Old Town Market

An application for a cannabis retail store in the Old Town Market building in Orcutt is not on the list of those that advanced from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of Santa Barbara County's process for selecting storefront operators in community plan areas.

Ten companies that want to operate retail cannabis stores in Orcutt, Los Alamos and the Santa Ynez Valley made it to the third phase of Santa Barbara County’s selection process, according to a list posted on the county’s cannabis website this week, but only one shop will be allowed in each of those areas.

Five of six applicants for stores in Orcutt, two applicants for Los Alamos stores and three applicants for stores in Santa Ynez moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3 in the process and now will be scored and ranked, said Brittany Heaton, the county’s principal cannabis analyst.

Heaton said only the company ranked No. 1 in each of the community plan areas will be allowed to apply for a use permit and business license.

She said the county expects to have the rankings completed by the end of March.

Companies seeking stores in Orcutt that made it to Phase 3, and their proposed locations, include Strategic Golden LLC at 155 E. Clark Ave. and Haven IX LLC at 235 E. Clark Ave., both locations in Old Town, and East Clark SB OPCO LLC at 1604 E. Clark Ave., Building B, Suite 1, a block west of Highway 101.

Helios Dayspring’s application for a storefront in the Old Town Market location at East Clark Avenue and North Gray Street is not on the Phase 3 list.

The remaining two Orcutt applicants are SLO Cultivation Inc., doing business as Cresco California, at 3550 Orcutt Road, Building C4, in the Evergreen Center, and JCSB Ventures LLC, doing business as Beyond/Hello, at 3596 Orcutt Road, currently occupied by Medina Tire.

Star Drugs

The location where Star Drugs operated for 20 years before closing its doors in April 2020 is one of three sites where a cannabis retail store is proposed in Santa Ynez. The applicant just moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of Santa Barbara County's process for selecting storefront operators in community plan areas.

Companies that want to open stores in Los Alamos and their proposed locations are Honalee Management Cottonwood Roots at 315 Bell St. near St. Joseph Street and Haven X LLC at 520 Bell St.

The three companies seeking stores in Santa Ynez and their proposed locations are Haven XI LLC at 3640 Sagunto St., Unit 100, east of Faraday Street; MOM SY LLC at 3561 Numancia St., across Edison Street from Harrison Hardware; and Sbdank LLC doing business as The Farmacy SY at 3576 Madera Drive, in the former Star Drugs building.

Heaton said the retail storefront applications have not been posted for public review because the scoring and ranking is in process and the top-ranked applicants have not been determined.

“Until that time, the county believes it is in the public interest not to disclose applications so as to preserve the current scoring and ranking process similar to how the county engages in public works contracting,” Heaton explained.

Scoring and ranking based on a review of their Neighborhood Compatibility Plans and a site inspection is being done by a committee consisting of an assistant county executive officer and two senior staff members, as specified in the county’s cannabis ordinances.

In addition to visiting the proposed sites, the committee is reviewing applicants’ Neighborhood Compatibility Plans that must include customer education, community education, community involvement, odor control, parking and neighborhood design compatibility plans.

Companies ranked No. 1 must apply for use permits and business licenses within 90 days after the rankings are released.

If an applicant is disqualified or otherwise fails to obtain a use permit and business license, the applicant who ranked second for that community plan area will be able to submit permit and license applications.

Companies moved from the Phase 2 portion of the process to Phase 3 based on a review of their background information, proposed activities, products and operating procedures as well as financial, product procurement and delivery, communication and marketing, labor protection, employee training, quality control, inventory control and site security plans.

Retail storefronts in the unincorporated areas of the county were limited by the Board of Supervisors to one in each community plan area to avoid concentrations of cannabis dispensaries throughout the county in response to public fears about criminal activity.

Supervisors initially approved a random-selection process for awarding permits and licenses for retail storefronts, but after hearing complaints from the public and cannabis operators alike, the board adopted the current merit-based selection process.

This story has been updated to correct a business name.

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