Summerland Cannabis Survey

By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

Decisive Opposition to New Dispensary

Despite 70 percent of Summerland voters in the state election voting in favor of marijuana legalization, residents and business owners are overwhelmingly against the establishment of a cannabis dispensary in town. So says a recent survey with a sample that comprises 25 percent of residents and almost all business owners (97 percent).

A committee for the Summerland Citizens Association, which conducted the survey, concluded the following: “The residents and business owners of Summerland are adamantly opposed to the approval of a cannabis retail storefront in the community, and with a very unified voice, Summerland has spoken.”

Businesses that responded overwhelmingly against the idea cited reasons such as

“additional traffic and compounded parking challenges” and “not expected to generate any incremental revenue potential for existing businesses.” Residents in support said, “Who really cares?” and, “It’s time. Cannabis has been legalized.”

Here are some of the findings. Those wanting to read the entire report can contact the Summerland Citizens Association for a copy.

Business Community

Results from 32 business owners

• 4 Business Owners voted “in favor of” approving a cannabis retail storefront, or 12.5 percent of total responders casting an opinion (4 of 32).

• 28 Business Owners voted “in opposition to” the placement of such a store in Summerland, or 87.5 percent of total responders casting opinions.

• 1 Business Owner declined to take a position and was recorded as being “of no opinion.”

Residential Community

Results from 305 participants (population is approximately 1,500)

• 21 Adult Residents voted “in favor of” a cannabis retail store, or 7.2 percent of those casting a preference (21 of 293).

• 272 Adult Residents voted “in opposition to” the establishment of a Cannabis storefront in Summerland, or 92.8 percent of total responders (272 of 293).

• 12 Summerland Residents declined to take a position and were recorded as being “of no opinion.”

With only less than 25 percent of residents surveyed, was the sample size large enough to be conclusive? Summerland had a medicinal marijuana dispensary for a number of years on Ortega Hill Road in the two-story building adjacent to the 101 northbound entrance, with plenty of parking to boot.

Would the same hold true if the townsfolk had to vote about a liquor store? One wonders.


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