Farmacy in Isla Vista.
Graham Farrar, president of Glass House Brands, cuts the ribbon at the grand opening Thursday of the Farmacy cannabis dispensary in Isla Vista. Credit: Grace Kitayama / Noozhawk photo

The first cannabis dispensary in Isla Vista held its grand opening Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Farmacy, at 6555 Pardall Road in the heart of Isla Vista, is the first of six dispensaries to open under Santa Barbara County’s approval since it is in an unincorporated area.

Attendees included Graham Farrar, president of Glass House Brands; Mary Lynn Harms-Romo, director of communications for the Santa Barbara South Coast Chamber of Commerce; Spencer Brandt, president of the Isla Vista Community Services District; and Johnathan Abboud, general manager of the Isla Vista Community Services District.

“It’s an honor,” Farrar said. “We’re really happy to be here, to be able to be the first — not only the first dispensary in the county of Santa Barbara, but the first and only dispensary in Isla Vista.”

It’s Farmacy’s second location in the county; its other location is on West Mission Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

Edibles at the Farmacy in Isla Vista.
The Farmacy dispensary in Isla Vista offers cannabis in several forms, including edibles. Credit: Grace Kitayama / Noozhawk photo

For those age 21 or older, the dispensary offers cannabis in several forms, including flower, edibles, pre-rolled joints, vaporizers, tinctures, beverages and salves. The dispensary even sells “popping cannabis,” which essentially is weed-infused Pop Rocks.

The owner of Happy Chance, a local, women-owned cannabis company, on Thursday gave out CBD samples of sugar-free edibles made from dates. 

The shop carries local strains from Glass House Farms, the company that owns the Farmacy, as well as strains from queer-owned, Black-owned and Asian-owned cannabis companies.

According to Courtney Frazer, floor supervisor and community liaison, the Farmacy has the most diverse staff in the county.

“Destigmatizing is important to us,” Frazer said, adding that with the Farmacy’s location in Isla Vista, workers could educate the public on proper dosages to use.

“It’s really important to remember that it’s medicine,” Frazer said.

Customers can place an order for pickup or shop in person. The Farmacy accepts only cash and debit cards at this time. 

Originally, the Farmacy was set to open early 2022, according to a Daily Nexus article. Farrar said the application process to open the dispensary in Isla Vista was very competitive and that companies had to have secured a location before submitting an application to the county. Farrar said the process of opening the Isla Vista location took longer than two years.

“It takes a long time to do things in cannabis,” Farrar said.

According to Farrar, the dispensary will bring in a 6% tax that goes directly to the county. Additionally, the dispensary will have a community fund, where a percentage of the profits from the dispensary go toward funding community projects in Isla Vista. Farrar said he expects the community fund to generate $100,000 a year. 

Frarrer said he is honored to have the opportunity to help educate the public on cannabis and introduce it as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and alcohol.

“I think cannabis makes the world a better place,” Farrar said.

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Grace Kitayama, Noozhawk Staff Writer

Grace Kitayama is a Noozhawk staff writer.