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Local News

Santa Barbara Officials Explain How Retail Marijuana Dispensaries Were Chosen

3 businesses selected in what was described as a 'very extensive' and 'thorough' process

Graham Farrar, owner of the Farmacy SB retail marijuana dispensary, speaks Wednesday at a meeting in Santa Barbara. His was among three store-front dispensaries approved by the city. Click to view larger
Graham Farrar, owner of the Farmacy SB retail marijuana dispensary, speaks Wednesday at a meeting in Santa Barbara. His was among three store-front dispensaries approved by the city. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

Representatives from Santa Barbara’s three new retail cannabis dispensaries say that they will be good stewards of the community.

Their comments can at a formal hearing Wednesday at the Santa Barbara Faulkner Gallery.

The city of Santa Barbara made the formal public announcement after revealing the three winners of the permits in a news release two days prior.

The city chose Coastal Dispensary, LLC, 1019 Chapala St.; Farmacy SB, 128 W. Mission St.; and Golden State Greens, 3516 State St.

City Administrator Paul Casey stressed that the permitting process was elaborate.

“This was a very extensive process,” Casey said. “It was a thorough process. The community will be well served with three very well-qualified applicants.”

Matt Fore, senior assistant to the city administrator, said that applicants had to pass criminal history background checks, be located at least 600 feet away from a K-12 school or daycare center, and could not be located within 1,000 feet of another retail dispensary.

The applicants were measured based on a point system: 400 points for the business plan; 300 points for the safety and security plan; 200 points for the neighborhood integration plan; 25 points for its labor and employment plan and 75 points for its air quality plan.

Fore added that it wanted to businesses that fit within the culture of Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara City Administrator Paul Casey said the process to choose three storefront retails marijuana dispensaries was ‘very extensive.’ Click to view larger
Santa Barbara City Administrator Paul Casey said the process to choose three storefront retails marijuana dispensaries was ‘very extensive.’ (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

“We really wanted to choose an applicant that knew what it was like to own and run a business in Santa Barbara,” Fore said.

Santa Barbara received 14 applications and of those, six were asked to interview in a public hearing.

“We looking forward to being part of this community and industry,” said Graham Farrar, owner of Farmacy SB.

He was on teams that started innovative companies such as software.com, which created email servers, Sonos, which created digital stereos, and iStoryTime, which launched apps for kids.

“I have a lot of experience creating things before people realize they need them,” Farrar said.

Farrar, who grew up in Santa Barbara, said he wants to focus on the healing powers of cannabis.

“I think a lot of people who are taking Ambien could be taking a CBD tincture,” Farrar said.

The other permit winners were grateful to the city.

“We look forward to joining your community,” said Adam Knopf, representing Golden State Greens.

Added Julian Michalowski, representing Coastal Dispensary: “We appreciate the opportunity. We look forward to opening our doors.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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