Quick–when you think of why your favorite dispensary is your favorite dispensary, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Selection? Price? Knowledgeable staff? What about the way your dispensary looks?
For many in the cannabis industry where their bud is housed is just as important as quality, price and customer service. Erich Pearson, the founder of the Sparc dispensary in San Francisco, emphasizes that (dispensary) architecture should “remove the stigma around cannabis and make people feel marijuana is normal.”
So gone are the days of burlesque doormen, blacked-out windows, gates and buzzers. Places like San Francisco’s Harvest now have lithe hipsters who serve you Pelligrino upon your arrival.
Below KushCA lists seven of the most visually pleasing dispensaries (in no particular order) in the Bay Area. If we missed one please leave a comment (or photo) in the comment section!
Harborside Health Center: Oakland, California
Although Harborside may soon lose its title as the countries largest pot shop, it certainly still boasts the title of one of the countries most aesthetically pleasing dispensaries. Large, spacious with a sleek modern look, Harborside looks like you stepped into a loft in lower SOHO, replete with well-mannered budtenders and display cases Starbucks would blush at.
Harborside was also one of the first dispensaries to have their own reality show. Weed Wars was featured on the Discovery Channel and was (and still is) considered fairly radical for the time.
Grass Roots Collective: San Francisco, California
I love learning new things about weed whenever I research for this site. Apparently Grassroots was one of the first dispensaries in San Francisco to join a union. It also looks like some Industrial Age bar located in a small miner town in Coloma. The fact that I haven’t been there yet is tragic, a review is definitely coming soon.
Sparc: San Francisco, California
Visually pleasing both inside and out, Sparc won an AIA Interior Architecture Design Award in 2011 for its “vaguely bong-shaped lights,” cement floors, and modernist design. One step inside and you can see why. It looks like it should be attached to the Yerba Buena.
Barbary Coast: San Francisco, California
Now is this clean or what? Peach velveteen couches, cherry wood paneling and oriental rugs. Is this the lobby to the Waldorf or a marijuana dispensary? I am so fortunate that I live in a state where it’s the latter.
Harvest: San Francisco, California
My opinion about the politics behind the opening of Harvest aside, one has to admit the place looks pretty damn nice. Not only does it have music piqued in a’la old school record shops, but they also serve complimentary treats and Pellegrino water. Obviously, Harvest is one of the most decadent entries on the list (damn, there goes my opinion again), with grams running into the hundreds for certain strains.
Mission Cannabis Club: San Francisco, California
A new arrival not only to the dispensary scene but to the Mission District in general, the Mission Cannabis Club may not have the hearts and minds of Mission residents like Purple Star does (yet) but it’s slowly making inroads due to its sprawling floor space, modern decor and rows upon rows of iconic weed products. Aesthetically, you might think the Mission Cannabis Club sets its self apart from other SF dispensaries from being one of the largest entries on this list. However, I think any dispensary that has its own smoking lounge deserves top billing.
I’m going to admit, Moe Greens is slowly (it takes time for an old dog like me) becoming one of my favorite dispensaries. While I love the fast-paced, get-your-goods-get-out attitude of Purple Star, I really like the stay, smoke-a-bit-or-take-some-dabs-at-the-dab bar approach Moe Greens has employed.
Moe Greens is definitely the largest dispensary and indoor smoking lounge on this list. If attitudes towards cannabis continue to soften, it might become the new place where coworkers go to meet after work.
Hi, my name is Petey Wheatstraw. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived in the Bay Area since 1996.