The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Cannabis Compliance Team is the lead investigating body for the illegal cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana within the jurisdictional area dispensary Santa Barbara. In addition to enforcement, the Cannabis Compliance Team also functions as the lead reviewer for all site security plans and background checks for applicants involved in the cannabis business licensing process for the county, and are merely part of the process for cannabis licensing. This includes all renewals and compliance checks for cannabis business licenses for distributor, cultivation, retail operations, and micro-businesses, as well as assists other county departments as needed. The information on this page is meant to assist those with questions on Security Plans and Background Checks, generalized question on the business licensing aspect of Cannabis for the county, and additional resources and information.

Site Security Plans

Site Security Plans must be submitted to the County’s CEO’s office during the licensing process. The CEO’s office will then forward the completed plans to the Cannabis Compliance Team, where they will be reviewed and a site inspection conducted. The Sheriff’s Office will not provide consultations at this time, and will only accept Site Security Plans presented via the CEO’s office. However, the Sheriff’s Office does provide a Cannabis Licensing Security Plan and Background Checks guide to requirements and recommendation. Click here for a copy of that guide.

Background Checks

During the licensing process, ALL applicants and personnel associated with, or employed by, a cannabis business must submit to a criminal history check prior to the issuance of a business license or employee ID card. This includes all applicants, owners, persons having at least a 20% financial interest, managers, supervisors, and all employees of a cannabis operation. Background checks will be conducted by the Department of Justice, via the Live Scan program and can be accomplished by other permitted agencies or licensed contractors. Regardless of what service will be used for Live Scan, please use the county specific form, as failing to do so will impede the process and create unnecessary delay. The schedule a Live Scan appointment with the Sheriff’s Office, please contact Santa Barbara Station (805) 681-4357 or Santa Maria Station (805) 934-6175. You can also go HERE to schedule your live scan appointment online.

To Report Illegal Activity

To report the illegal cultivation, distributing, or other issue involving marijuana, please send as much detailed information as possible to the team via this link. Examples of details would be the offenders name, address and/or APN, phone number if known, and detailed information on the complaint/tip. Please also include if you want to remain anonymous or not. Emergency issues should be directed to Sheriff’s Dispatch.

To Report Complaints Directly to the County (non-law enforcement related)

For complaints regarding land use issues, permits, or general non law enforcement concerns, please send as much detailed information as possible to the county HERE.