Cannabis farmers are extending an olive branch to viticulturists in hopes of bringing the two groups together, diffusing vintners’ animosity to cannabis cultivation and combining the attraction of their individual fan bases to boost agritourism.

A panel of vintners and cannabis growers is scheduled to convene Wednesday to discuss the merits of a partnership between the two industries to promote a new tourism resource in Santa Barbara County.

Dubbed the “Together We Thrive Community Forum,” the panel discussion is slated for 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, in the Industrial Eats Grand Ballroom at 181 Industrial Way in Buellton.

The North County Farmers Guild and Good Farmers Great Neighbors are sponsoring the free panel discussion to improve communication and foster relationships between vintners and cannabis cultivators.

Good Farmers Great Neighbors is a collective of Santa Barbara County cannabis cultivators and advocates who believe cannabis farming is good for county jobs and the local economy.

Members of the group say the county’s unique climate and terroir produce ideal conditions for both wine grape and cannabis cultivation, and they are working with community residents and businesses to find new ways to enhance Santa Barbara County agritourism, a group spokeswoman said.

They believe Sonoma County tourism promotions could provide a model for this county, the spokeswoman said.

“Our ‘Together We Thrive Community Forum’ is the first in a series to learn and understand the best practices and strategies that will promote tourism and economic growth for both the wine and cannabis industries,” said Sara Rotman, co-chair of the North County Farmers Guild and Good Farmers Great Neighbors.

“Sonoma County is already doing it,” she said. “We can do it here and we can do it better.”

Cannabis and wine promotions for Sonoma County include Happy Travelers Wine & Weed Tours, Wine Country Weed Trips and the Sonoma County Experience, which offers cannabis, wine and cannabis, and craft beer and cannabis tours.

For more information and to reserve a seat at the forum, visit

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

Load comments