The County With the Most Legal Marijuana Farms May Surprise You

Think you know which California county has the largest number of legal cannabis farms to date? You’d be forgiven if you answered Mendocino, Humboldt or Trinity. You’d also be dead wrong.

That designation goes to Santa Barbara County, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture’s CalCannabis division. With 799 cultivation permits issues in the county so far, Santa Barbara trumps all the competition -- including counties in the so-called “Emerald Triangle” which has long supplied the majority of America’s weed.

The cities with the most cultivation permits were Lompoc and Salinas which each have over 260 legal cultivators.

Some other takeaways:

• Nearly 6,000 cannabis businesses are legally operating in California.

• Most of the state’s cannabis industry is still operating in the shadows. An estimated 6 percent of growers have gone legit, according to California Growers Association director Hezekiah Allen.

• CalCannabis had issued 3,490 temporary licenses for cultivation as of April 25.

• 34 cities and five unincorporated areas have shops licensed to sell adut-use (recreational) marijuana.

• The county with the most licensed recreational pot shops is Los Angeles (100). Sacramento is runner-up with 30.