Santa Barbara County reported collecting $6.7 million in taxes from the cannabis industry in the 2018-19 fiscal year, an amount that exceeded estimates by $1.06 million.
The fiscal year ending in June was the first year the county collected voter-approved taxes on cannabis. At the Board of Supervisors meeting on Nov. 5, supervisors elected to hold the excess revenue until budget workshops can be conducted. The cost of permitting, project appeals and enforcement consume much of the tax revenues while the county’s cannabis program is being enforced, though cannabis funds are allocated to the county’s general fund and can be appropriated for any county projects or programs. In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the county budget allocates $2.8 million to permitting and enforcement while anticipating $5.6 million in revenues.