Cannabis grow planned near new Santa Maria campus

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A marijuana grower is seeking to plant at least 20 acres of cannabis on a property close to a new agricultural and technical education campus in Santa Maria, a project opposed by the local school district. 

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District recently opened its Agricultural Education and Career Technical Education Centers on a 25-acre property east of Highway 101 and north of the Elks rodeo grounds. The agricultural and technical education campus is shared by students from the four schools that make up the Santa Maria high school district. 

District officials oppose the plan to develop a cannabis grow near the new campus, and they are working with their legal counsel to submit a letter of opposition to the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department. The project site is more than 750 feet away from the school campus, as required by Santa Barbara County rules.

Project plans call for a 40-acre outdoor marijuana cultivation area, which would include a 20-acre canopy under hoop structures spread across 38 acres. There would also be a 100-square-foot processing area with 16 drying and curing storage containers, including six under refrigeration. [Noozhawk]

La Crescenta-based Michael Salman, of Stateside Greens, is listed as the project applicant. Juan Cisneros, CEO of the Santa Maria company Better Produce, is listed as the property owner.

County planners are currently reviewing the project. They can approve or deny the project, which could then be appealed to the county planning commission.

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