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Anyone who visits The Farmacy Santa Barbara is greeted by a large, beautiful painting of the greenhouse at Glasshouse Farms, the local cannabis farm where the idea of The Farmacy Santa Barbara was first born—and which supplies many of the products that line The Farmacy SB’s shelves.

The rich, bold colors of the painting are courtesy of Chris Potter, a Santa Barbara local, full-time artist, and cannabis enthusiast whose paintings of natural landscapes have helped him develop an impressive reputation in SoCal and beyond.

We had the chance to speak with Chris one breezy afternoon about art, dreams, and cannabis as he worked on one of his paintings in the Santa Barbara sunshine. According to Chris, he always longed to be an artist but was initially discouraged by the attitudes of friends and family members.

Santa Barbara's Historic The Video Shop Has Been Lovingly Transformed Into The Farmacy SB
Santa Barbara's Historic The Video Shop Has Been Lovingly Transformed Into The Farmacy SB
Santa Barbara's Historic The Video Shop Has Been Lovingly Transformed Into The Farmacy SB

Becoming an Artist (Without Starving)

“I started painting in college in Santa Barbara,” Chris shared. “I was a psychology major, and I was always drawing the whole time during my psych classes. My notes always turned from notes into big, psychedelic doodles. I had always wanted to be an artist, but you’re always told that you’ll starve as an artist. But I decided in college that now is the time, I don’t care if I’m going to starve. I’m going to be an artist anyway. From that day, when I was about 20, I decided I was going to do art every day.”

Chris also shared a bit more about his artistic process, and the one major rule he always follows.

“I paint exclusively outside. There are so many beautiful places that it’s impossible to run out of subjects and inspiration. And now that my kids are a little bit older, I can go a little bit further from home, places like Yosemite, etc.”

We asked Chris to take us through how he came to be the featured artist at The Farmacy SB.

“I think Leia and Graham knew who I was as an artist before the Farmacy opened. I was on their radar, and then Leia reached out to me and initially wanted me to put paintings of mine in the shop. I said, why don’t we do something a little cooler? I like to paint stuff for people, so I asked whether they wanted to commission me for a new piece, and it all grew from there.”

Chris’s Cannabis Journey

When it comes to cannabis, Chris is a lifelong user. But he says that his approach to cannabis has evolved as his needs and interests have changed.

“We all have our issues and problems in life, things that you want to take care of and manage. I was blaming smoking weed for not following through on things or not remembering my keys when I left the house. So I stopped, and what I found out was that…all the problems weren’t from weed. I actually have flaws!”

Still, Chris has settled into a low-key rhythm with cannabis that he says is perfect for his current lifestyle.

“Now I use cannabis for special occasions or for medicinal reasons. I broke my shoulder a year ago, and instead of medication I used edibles the entire time.”

Finally, we talked with Chris about how the increased legalization and de-stigmatization of cannabis has changed the culture surrounding it in powerful ways. (“Yeah, people used to ask me for what they needed!” Chris joked.)

Recreational, adult-use stores like The Farmacy SB are on the forefront of bringing the benefits of cannabis to people who may have been missing them without even knowing it. And if we can continue to partner with talented local creators like Chris Potter, then we have the chance to be a part of something really special.

“Glasshouse Farms” by Chris Potter is proudly on display at the Farmacy SB.