Santa Barbara Marks 4/20 in Year One of Retail Cannabis

City’s Shops Have Deals, and Customers Respond with Long Lines

Credit: Jean Yamamura

It’s 4/20, and area pot shops have deals. The line outside downtown’s Coastal Dispensary on Chapala Street stretched out the door and around the corner into its parking lot, as at least 70 people waited just after opening. The deal of the day was a swag bag chockful of $100 of merchandise for the first 100 customers, an employee said as he handed out a few of the 4,000 facemasks Coastal had on hand for the event.

The day actually marks a time, the story goes, when high school students in San Rafael started a hunt for a long-lost grow, according to High Times. That was in 1971 when marijuana possession was a felony, as it still is in some places, so 420 became code.

Over on Mission Street at Farmacy, Santa Barbara’s other recreational dispensary, 20 percent was being offered off merchandise, but customers were not admitted to the store, said owner Graham Farrar. Spaces outside were marked off for customers’ social distance, and two “teller” windows were open. Always a big day for pot enthusiasts, 5 percent of the day’s sales would go to Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. “Most people don’t know that for many kids,” said Farrar, “their only healthy meal came from school. And with the schools closed, Foodbank is giving them the meals that used to come from there.”

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