by Angel Ferrer 4 min read
San Francisco has long been a haven for hippies, dreamers, and artists. The Haight-Ashbury region is considered the birthplace of 1960s counterculture, filled with diversity, tie-dye, and the unmistakably enticing aroma of dank bud.
While the city has been a tourist hot spot for a variety of reasons over the years, the recent legalization of recreational marijuana has opened a whole new world of possibilities for cannabis tourism. Sprinkled throughout the hilly streets and colorful Victorian manors are a variety of recreational dispensaries ranging from sleek and modern, to cozy speakeasy style lounges. We’ve put together a list of our favorite spots to indulge in some legal mind-altering experiences. You may just need to extend your vacation in order to get a complete taste of this unique city’s vibrant cannabis culture.
With 3 locations throughout the city, The Apothecarium is the ultimate luxurious dispensary experience. The beautifully designed interior of the Castro location was even named the best cannabis space in the country by Architectural Digest.
The budtenders offer expert 1-on-1 consultations, assuring you leave with the perfect product to embark on your cerebral journey. The organization has also donated over $350,000 to local non-profits and done countless amounts of work to help educate the public and medical community on the various benefits of cannabis.
Though the Apothecarium does not have a smoking lounge, the Castro location is located within walking distance of the famous Dolores Park, which has been a known stoner hang-out spot for decades.
With two locations in Lower Haight and the Mission, Sparc’s interior draws inspiration from San Francisco’s booming tech scene with cutting edge technology and sleek decor.
The extensive menu of rigorously tested products is displayed on a large screen behind the counter. Once you order your preferred flower or edible, you’re able to enjoy it in their snazzy lounge area. And don’t forget to try one or two of the famous Dolores Park Truffle Man chocolates while you’re there, we promise they live up to the hype!
Stepping out of the typical hipster stylings of many of the San Francisco dispensaries, Urban Pharm offers something a little less ordinary with its unique steampunk inspired vibe.
Located in the historical and happening SOMA district, Urban Pharm is one of the few lounges that allow open flames, giving you the option to light up your own pipe after purchasing from their well-curated selection of tasty buds. You can also opt to use one of the provided dab rigs if that’s your jam.
Barbary Coast Collective
With a glamorous interior that transports you the decadent speakeasies of decades gone by, the Barbary Coast Collective is in a class of its own. Situated on Mission Street between Fourth and Fifth, this classy joint adorned with exposed brick walls, leather couches, and chandeliers is smack dab in the middle of the bustling downtown San Francisco scene.
The interior space itself has a bit of a bar vibe, with a wide variety of edibles, flowers, oils, and concentrates, most of which are sourced from local Bay Area farms, served by experienced and knowledgeable budtenders. A nice selection of infused sparkling waters is also available to help ward off cottonmouth and complete the bar-style feeling. They also offer a wide range of smoking tools which can be rented from a counter in the back lounge.
Just beware of the hordes of people who flood into this popular hot spot during happy hour, sometimes making it difficult to secure one of those purple leather couches to melt into as you enjoy your selected strain.
With a bit more of a mellow neighborhood vibe, the Bloom Room is a great place for newbies who are looking for expert recommendations in a down-to-earth environment. The friendly budtenders here really take the time to offer a bit of personal guidance to help you find the perfect strain, regardless of whether you’re a veteran cannabis connoisseur or an occasional dabbler.
Bloom Room can also be a great spot for tourists on a budget, with $5 “shake” joints often available.
If farm to table and organic is your jam, then Harvest is the place to be. Set up more like a local mom and pop natural grocery store than a traditional dispensary, Harvest lets you peruse a well-curated selection of local and organic products ranging from dry herbs and edibles to oils, tinctures, and even skin care products!
Join their collective in order to gain access to their back lounge, adorned with comfortable leather chairs and WiFi access.
If you’re looking for a more late-night option, Grass Roots on the corner of Polk and Post Street should feed your evening cravings with its 10-year history of providing cannabis to San Francisco locals and tourists alike.
Though Grass Roots may appear small, they make up for the humble space by offering one of the most extensive menus in town! Ask the budtender to recommend a strain if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the vast selection.
The Green Cross
Take a break from the flash of the modern dispensaries with a little trip back to weed’s more humble stoner past at the Green Cross. This cash-only spot is decorated with playful psychedelic art, neon signs, and blacklights, invoking the nostalgia of head shops from years gone by.
California has been a stout proponent of the cannabis industry. San Francisco is no exception, with its culturally diverse and vibrant local culture, embracing differences and championing cannabis as the herb of the people.
The city is a hot destination for any cannabis-enthusiasts, marked by a number of fun, innovative and exciting recreational dispensaries for your enjoyment.
Just remember, while the sale, possession and use of cannabis might be legal, there are some restrictions. Always brush up on local laws and ask the budtender about any laws you should be aware of (such as not smoking out in public or before driving).
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