The Cannabis Kings Meet Yom Kippur
By Jana Zimmer   |   September 7, 2021

I am not a religiously observant Jew, but on Thursday, September 16, I have an appointment with God. Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement — is a once-a-year thing, a standing appointment, and it is important to me. I have kept it on the steps of a temple in France, on a Greek Island, […]

Santa Barbara Launches Probe in Wake of Corruption Allegations
By Nick Schou   |   March 17, 2021

On Monday, March 16, Santa Barbara Interim Police Chief Barney Melekian issued a statement responding to a March 12 Los Angeles Magazine article that raised allegations of corruption and undue influence involving Anthony Wagner, the department’s public information officer, who previously helped run the city’s cannabis dispensary licensing process. Melekian’s announcement stated that he was […]

 

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Summerland Cannabis Survey
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

Decisive Opposition to New Dispensary Despite 70 percent of Summerland voters in the state election voting in favor of marijuana legalization, residents and business owners are overwhelmingly against the establishment of a cannabis dispensary in town. So says a recent survey with a sample that comprises 25 percent of residents and almost all business owners […]

Cannabis Under Fire, Part Three
By Nick Schou   |   July 23, 2020

Ever since the Santa Barbara Grand Jury issued its damning report last month on the explosion of cannabis cultivation in Santa Barbara County, a widening ripple of reaction has circled around Carpinteria, Goleta, and Buellton, where residents hope the controversy will aid their efforts to curtail the industry. As the Montecito Journal reported last week, […]

Cannabis Under Fire: Part 2
By Nick Schou   |   July 16, 2020

Das Williams, Santa Barbara’s First District Supervisor, suddenly found himself under a harsh, almost Perry Mason-style cross examination during a July 13 interview with Steve Chiotakis, host of KCRW’S Greater L.A. radio talk show. “Your campaign contributions come from pot lobbyists trying to grow weed,” Chiotakis scoffed at one point. “And look, it’s legal, yeah, […]

SB Grand Jury Blasts Board of Supervisors for Marijuana Mess
By Nick Schou   |   July 9, 2020

On June 30, Santa Barbara’s Grand Jury released an historic, scathing report detailing alleged official malfeasance by the Board of Supervisors as it sought to regulate cannabis over the past three years, particularly in Carpinteria but also in North County wine country. By law, the report mentioned no names and took no stand on the […]

Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis Sues Santa Barbara County
By Nick Schou   |   April 30, 2020

You might recognize the Santa Barbara Coalition for Responsible Cannabis from various letters to the editor and reader-submitted editorials that have run in the Montecito Journal, Carpinteria’s Coastal View News, and other local newspapers in Santa Barbara county. Although the group claims not to oppose cannabis per se, its members have consistently decried what they […]

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The Heart of Dankness
By Nick Schou   |   March 12, 2020

A long–simmering conflict over cannabis odor and pesticide use continues in Carpinteria Smell, What Smell? On a recent afternoon, Hans Brand steers his electric golf cart-type vehicle from the main office of his Carpinteria cannabis farm to a sprawling greenhouse that seems big enough to fit a football field inside it. Inside the structure, at […]