WE Watch will sponsor an informational lecture for all Santa Ynez Valley residents titled “Cannabis: Present and Future in Santa Barbara County” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17.
The lecture is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Bethania Lutheran Church Parish Hall at Atterdag Road and Laurel Avenue in Solvang.
The organization’s goal is to help Valley residents better understand how cannabis is being regulated after legalization in California, a WE Watch spokeswoman said.
Dennis Bozanich, deputy executive officer for Santa Barbara County who is considered the most knowledgeable person about cannabis in the county, will give the lecture and answer questions from the audience.
In addition to providing background information, Bozanich is slated to discuss such topics as the compliance plan for licensed operators, the enforcement plan for unlicensed operators, state licensing, county land use permits and business licenses, taxes and challenges facing the county.
He will be joined by Sgt. Frank J. Vasquez and Det. Charles Anderson of the County Sheriff's Office, County Planning and Development Department Director Dianne Black and Deputy Director Dan Klemann.
WE Watch, which focuses on land use issues, takes no position on the use of cannabis, said Nancy Emerson, WE Watch president.
But in December, the group asked the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to consider reviewing and revising portions of the Cannabis Land Use Ordinance, which could take place as soon as mid-February.
“Those living in the Santa Ynez Valley already know we have cannabis growing near Highway 246 west of Buellton and along Santa Rosa Road,” Emerson said. “Applications for county permits and licenses have surfaced in additional neighborhoods.
“If your neighborhood is not yet involved, it may well be in the near future,” she continued. “You need to be well informed so we can work together effectively on this issue.
“This is your opportunity to learn more about what is and will be happening in our Valley and all unincorporated areas of the county regarding cannabis cultivation, nurseries, microbusiness, distribution, manufacturing, testing and retail.”
There is no cost to attend the lecture.