Santa Claus Lane location secures top spot in county’s preliminary rankings
The contest for a single permit to sell cannabis in a retail shop in the unincorporated county areas of Carpinteria and Summerland has neared completion of its penultimate round. Local Padaro Beach Village storefront owners, Patrick and Maire Radis, along with The Roots dispensary, have come out on top, and are now one step closer to achieving their goal to open a pot dispensary in the former Porch retail location.
As a result of the third of four phases in the merit-based selection process, Santa Barbara County’s Cannabis Program has released preliminary rankings for applicants by Community Plan Area (CPA). In the Toro Canyon/Summerland CPA, which includes Santa Claus Lane, two applicants were ranked. Ranked number one is The Roots Carpinteria, LLC for a store at 3823 Santa Claus Lane. Ranked number two is Haven XV, LLC for a store just across the way at 3825 Santa Claus Lane, Unit B. Only the applicant seated in the number one ranking on the final list will be allowed to move forward with their permit application.
Countywide, rankings for 15 applicants have been released across five CPAs: Toro Canyon/Summerland; Eastern Goleta Valley; Isla Vista/Goleta; Santa Ynez; and Los Alamos. Rankings for the Orcutt CPA were withheld, as the CPA is undergoing a legal challenge and the county is complying with a stay order issued by the court on March 12.
Determination of the Phase 3 rankings consisted of an on-site visit to the proposed retail location and a review, score and ranking of the Neighborhood Compatibility Plan that each applicant submitted.
After the release of the rankings on April 1, applicants have five business days to file a written protest to the scoring. Scoring protests will be considered by the County Executive Office which will issue a final decision.
“We anticipate a large number of protests,” said Brittany Heaton, principal analyst, Cannabis Program, County Executive Office. “There may be legal action; it’s hard to tell at this point how long it will take but I’m hopeful that by the end of this month we’ll be releasing the final scores.” The final decision on scoring protests will be made by Jeff Frapwell, assistant county executive officer.
Patrick and Maire Radis have lived in a barn house in the hinterlands of Toro Canyon since 1995. Their three adult children attended local schools and now live nearby.
The couple dreamed of owning and fixing up the abandoned Lobster Town USA building on Santa Claus Lane for years. The property had been abandoned for over three decades when they finally purchased it in 2009 and began a full-scale restoration project.
Patrick was an electrical contractor with an office on Carpinteria Avenue before retiring in 2015 because of his Parkinson’s Disease and joining Maire fulltime in their real estate investment business, specializing in buying and rehabilitating distressed properties. Maire has also run her own property management company since 1987.
Last summer, when the Radises’ biggest tenant, Porch, gave notice on their lease, the Radises decided to apply for the cannabis retail permit. The decision came after years of cannabis edibles providing Patrick with relief from his Parkinson’s.
“Patrick has what is known as an ‘atypical’ form of Parkinson’s,” said Maire. “The traditional drugs used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as Dopamine agonists (and others), have no effect on him and in fact make him really sick.” There is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, but in 2017 a friend recommended Patrick try a cannabis-infused chocolate. “It allowed him to get through the day with no meds,” Maire said. “Today he takes no medications and is still surfing.”
Entering the retail cannabis sector though is not easy, so the Radises sought a partner that was already a leader in the industry. After receiving several offers from non-local firms to buy the building or rent the space, they decided to team up with Victor Sanchez, who operates a retail cannabis store, The Roots, in Lompoc.
“While we were entertaining those offers, we discovered that our friend Victor Sanchez, who we have known since he was a little kid and whose family we have known for many years, has a successful retail cannabis store,” said Maire. “Victor has put together a stellar team to run The Roots Carpinteria including Luis Castaneda who is in charge of compliance and operations, Marcus and Beth Thuna who manage the business side of things and David Garcia who oversees product procurement … Retail cannabis is a highly regulated and complicated business, and we are excited to be working with such a successful and capable team.”
The Roots opened in Lompoc two years ago as the only locally owned dispensary in town. “We are focused on giving back to the community,” said Luis Castaneda, co-owner of The Roots. “We’re on the sidelines at Little League games in Lompoc and we want to keep that same community relationship in Carpinteria.”
The Roots focuses on flowers grown locally in Santa Barbara County, while also introducing new brands from across the state. “We like to spread the love and educate customers,” said Castaneda. “We have a large emphasis on locally grown cannabis, health and well-being. We put a lot of energy into educating our bud tenders and having a solid team.”
After the County Executive Office releases the final rankings, the top applicants will move on to seek the licenses and permits required to open a cannabis retail shop. If the top candidate falls out for any reason, the applicant with the next highest ranking will be invited to seek permits and licensing. The county’s Planning and Development Department will follow the standard process of public noticing for each associated permit.
Inquiries related to the land use entitlement permitting process and noticing per CPA can be directed to Petra Leyva, supervising planner, Cannabis Program, (805) 568-2071, Petra@co.santa-barbara.ca.us. For all other inquiries, residents can call (805) 568-2777 or email email@example.com.