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Santa Barbara County cannabis growers coalition releases series of promotional videos

Santa Barbara County cannabis growers coalition releases series of promotional videos

John De Friel, co-chair, Good Farmers Great Neighbors

John De Friel, co-chairman of the Good Farmers Great Neighbors coalition of northern Santa Barbara County cannabis growers, appears on one of a series of videos recently released by the group.

A series of videos has been released by a coalition of legal North County cannabis growers to emphasize their agricultural roots and commitment to science and pesticide-free farming, drum up community support and promote economic vitality, a group spokeswoman said

The videos produced by Good Farmers Great Neighbors can be viewed on YouTube at

"We believe it is our responsibility to share our values and passion for sustainable farming, healthy living and community support with the public at large in Santa Barbara County,” said Sara Rotman, co-chair of Good Farmers Great Neighbors.

“We embrace our neighbors and community-minded leaders engaged in building a better tomorrow for the people of Northern Santa Barbara County," she added.

Rotman said the videos encourage dialogue and learning by presenting the experiences of cannabis industry workers, Santa Ynez Valley produce farmers, local business owners and elected officials.

In early September, the coalition hosted the first in a series of community discussions on cannabis, wine and tourism in Buellton, and Rotman said members hope the videos will further demonstrate their efforts to collaborate with local farmers and businesses for the betterment of the county.

John De Friel, co-chair of the coalition, noted the importance of the organization’s efforts in relation to federal legislation he expects to be approved next year that would allow interstate cannabis sales.

"Our families have learned from the best in organic farming, and we are now at the pinnacle of innovation, producing ‘best in class’ cultivation and environmental standards that could help elevate all of agriculture in the county as a leader in the U.S. market, especially when cannabis-related interstate commerce federal legislation passes next year," De Friel said.

He said agriculture is the economic backbone of Santa Barbara County, and the series of videos seeks to visualize the community support for legal cannabis cultivation and how it has impacted the county’s economy.

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This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at


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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.

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