When the Golden State Greens cannabis dispensary won a coveted retail license in 2019, it did so based on the strength of its parking promises.

An initial round of scoring ranked the San Diego-based dispensary well below 900 points. But a team of Santa Barbara city employees rescored it, adding 50 points for an improved parking plan and 12 points for enhanced financial capitalization. Just like that, Golden State Greens jumped to 901 points and earned the third license.

“The initial application was pretty light in parking,” said Matt Fore, a senior assistant to the city administrator.

Golden State Greens initially had proposed valet parking, but Fore said such a plan for the site at 3516 State St. was “unworkable.”

After a public meeting and conversations between Golden State Greens and Santa Barbara, the city rescored the dispensary on the strength of signed parking agreements that the dispensary had with nearby businesses, including Madam Lu, the Sunshine Cafe, Denny’s and the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

The city decided to permit and license three cannabis retail dispensaries, and there was a lot of competition for the spots. Each applicant was ranked, and the top

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