An independent investigation has concluded there was no conflict of interest between Anthony Wagner, the Santa Barbara Police Department’s civilian public information officer, and Golden State Greens or any of the other applicants who participated in the city’s cannabis permitting process.
The report was released late Thursday afternoon. Investigators Chuck Hookstra and Robert Velasquez of the Sintra Group concluded Golden State Greens did not receive any preferential treatment because the business initially finished fourth in the application process.
Santa Barbara Police Chief Bernard Melekian released the report — which details the results of the investigation examining allegations contained in the Los Angeles Magazine’s article — in an email from the department.
“Only the top three applicants received a license to operate a dispensary in Santa Barbara,” the email read. “Golden State Greens eventually received a license, but only when one of the top three finishers was disqualified because their location was within 1,000 feet from a higher-ranking applicant.
“Santa Barbara Municipal Code Section 9.44.280 (A) requires dispensaries to be at least 1,000 feet from one another. Mr. Wagner was fully cooperative during this investigation.”