This is California Cannabis
About the Farm
Graham Farrar owns and operates Glass House Farms, located in the Santa Barbara County coastal city of Carpinteria, which is comprised of two greenhouse operation sites totaling 10 acres of cannabis. Farrar launched Glass House Farms in 2015 when Proposition 215—the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, California’s medicinal cannabis law—was in effect. He had purchased the Glass House greenhouses from former cut-flower growers. Then after Californians passed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act in 2016, which legalized recreational cannabis, Farrar began the process of applying for a state commercial cultivation license.
Farrar says he uses a “craft at scale” model to grow and produce quality cannabis strains year-round. “We take the art and love of small-batch growing and scale that up to serve one of the largest and most demanding groups of consumers in the world—California cannabis connoisseurs,” he says. “They want high-end, artisan strains, with consistent quality, all the time.”
Currently, about 40 percent of his flower is sold under the Glass House label, and 60 percent is sold wholesale.
Farrar grew up in Santa Barbara County and studied molecular biology and biochemistry in college. After college, he got into the tech side of cannabis cultivation through marketing and selling a variety of products to support the industry, including fertilizers and growing systems.
Benefits of the Legal Market
Farrar believes the legal cannabis cultivation market provides licensed growers with protection. “One of the great benefits of being licensed, which I did not anticipate, is the relationship we’ve built with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office,” Farrar says. Glass House is visited regularly by staff from the sheriff’s office because they want to learn more about the cultivation process. “As a licensed grower, to have the sheriff on your side is really nice.”
Proud to Be a Licensed Grower
Farrar is a long-time believer in the benefits of cannabis and the positive impacts it can have on society. “I’m proud to be employing people, proud of our contributions to the community, and proud to be keeping our local ag economy alive,” Farrar says. “From a hyper-local sense, it is money coming into our local economy. And as a local boy, that feels good.”
Farrar points to community involvement as a key to succeeding as a small business owner. He regularly speaks at county planning meetings and board of supervisors meetings, and he is a founding member of the Carpinteria Association of Responsible Producers (CARP). Earlier this year, CARP created a fundraising program to help the Santa Barbara County economy during the COVID-19 public health crisis; their goal is to raise $200,000 to support local food banks and other nonprofits in Carpinteria.