Kyle Borland

Storyteller and strategist at the intersections of cannabis, branding & communications, justice, and Urbanism.

In Search of SF’s Best Dispensaries

San Francisco is an oasis for counter-culture. From the Beatniks to the Hippies; all the way to the Silicon Valley; and then back to the Gay Rights Movement — the Bay Area is an international hub of progressivism and innovation. Today, the City finds itself a focal point for a global economy and a budding epicenter of the cannabis industry. I trekked the hills in search of San Francisco’s most enchanting dispensaries and below are some highlights for a cannabis-themed field trip.

Dutchman’s Flat — Dogpatch, SF (11 a.m. — 8 p.m., Everyday)

Contact: 415.872.6867 | 2544 3rd St., San Francisco, CA 94107

As the only dispensary in the southeastern part of the City, it’s fitting Dutchman’s Flat is a throwback only locals will appreciate. The industrial past of the neighborhood flows inside with creaking 100-year-old original wood floors and an entire left wall of exposed brick. However, the emphasis on Dogpatch’s history doesn’t stop at the aesthetic. Dutchman’s hosts neighborhood harvest parties and growing classes to foster community and educate members on the backend of cannabis. In the future, they’ll install an in-store garden featuring their mama plants so patients have the option to identify the strains they like most and get a cutting directly from the mama plant. Make sure to check out Dutchman’s Flat to experience a friendly and professional dispensary in one of the most historic parts of the city.

SPARC — SOMA, SF (8 a.m. — 10 p.m., Everyday)

Contact: 415.252.7727 | 1256 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103

If you’re a new user to cannabis or just curious to learn more, SPARC is the dispensary for you. Open for more than six years, SPARC has an established, patient-oriented experience that is designed to appeal to people from all walks of life. It feels like a community center with a large vape lounge where patients can rent materials from the front desk for 30 minute intervals to enjoy a personal vape session or chat up some new friends. Make sure to get there early though because, after 4 p.m., it’s as packed as any bar at happy hour. If you can’t find a seat or can’t make it down to SOMA, SPARC is opening another location at Webster and Haight in the Lower Haight neighborhood.

Bloom Room — SOMA, SF (11 a.m. — 9 p.m., Monday — Saturday; 12 p.m. — 7 p.m., Sunday)

Contact: 415.543.7666 | 471 Jessie St., San Francisco, CA 94103

Down the street from Mint Plaza and a popular Blue Bottle Coffee spot, Bloom Room is almost hidden at its Jessie Street location except for its trademark sun umbrella. Offering a weekend dab bar between 12–5 p.m.; $25 eighths; and a seemingly never ending supply of new products; this hotspot is one of the most popular dispensaries in the city. The staff is as knowledgeable as they are friendly, with every member ready to answer any question a patient may have. Bloom Room has a small vape table where patients can relax, watch a sporting event or popular Netflix show and get to know one another. It’s a close, tight-knit space where even the newest cannabis users will feel right at home.

Harvest— Inner Richmond, SF (11 a.m. — 9 p.m., Everyday)

Contact: 415.702.6767 | 4811 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94118

Nestled in the foggy Inner Richmond district, Harvest distinguish itself from the traditional dispensary experience by combining the dispensary model with the traditional retail experience. They break down the wall between the patients and cannabis products. There are staff members ready and waiting to answer any questions. Harvest emphasizes patient-product interaction with their business model. Additionally, Harvest has “California’s only members-only cannabis lounge” where members enjoy a range of special perks, including five percent off all Harvest purchases; invitations to members-only events; educational classes; product launch parties; and the option to rent the lounge for a private event and more. Harvest hopes to elevate the current dispensary experience among a new set of patients to this burgeoning cannabis industry.

Shambhala — Mission, SF (10 a.m. — 9 p.m., Monday — Saturday; 11 a.m. — 6 p.m., Sunday)

Born in the heart of the Mission District, Shambhala has been serving patients affordable, high quality cannabis since 2011. Notable for its exclusive strains and emphasis on CBD products, Shambhala provides a peaceful environment for its patients. If the Mission is out of reach, Shambhala’s delivery service has created five zones out of San Francisco and the peninsula, using price minimums to bring products to your doorstep. There is a steep difference between Zone A’s (SF proper) $60 minimum, and Zone E’s (San Mateo / Redwood City) $250 minimum. If you’re in the City, Shambhala is worth the trip.

ACCESS: In Spades – Feb. 8, 2017

Cannabis App-reciation