It’s been a “long, long road,” according to Graham Farrar since he set out to open a cannabis storefront in Santa Barbara more than four years ago.
‘Farmacy’ opened its doors officially on Saturday with a ribbon cutting attended by hundreds of people who also lined up to be among the first to purchase cannabis products legally in the city.
Farrar’s first application for a storefront was through a medical marijuana ordinance. But, once Proposition 64 passed, he had to start the application process all over again.
Farrar secured one of three adult-use cannabis dispensary permits in the city.
“We are very much making history. Never before have we had a 21+ cannabis dispensary. We like to think of ourselves as a cannabis boutique,” Farrar said.
For Farrar, the new business venture is personal. He grew up in Santa Barbara and in recent years, unwittingly became the face of the cannabis industry in the county.
“This is my hometown and I’m one of the people that thinks the world is better with cannabis in it,” he said.
Farrar took a lot of criticism from opponents of cannabis growers in Carpinteria, who have long complained of the smell and other nuisances. He said the opposition is “small but loud.”
“I think that comes down to stigma,” he said. “It still exists in society.”
At the grand opening, eager customers waited patiently to get inside to browse the 350 different cannabis products ranging from edibles, tinctures, to lotions, and more.
Some of the products are made by companies in Santa Barbara including Autumn Brands, and Glass House, which is also owned by Farrar.
The ‘Farmacy’ is located on the corner of Mission and De La Vina Streets in a commercially-zoned area with off-street parking, two security guards and 14 surveillance cameras. People who wish to enter the boutique must present a valid ID.
Farrar said he has created 18 jobs, and offers health benefits to his employees.
The city will get more than 8 percent sales tax and a 6 percent cannabis tax for every purchase.
The shop is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.