Only 209 of California’s 539 cities account for the $5+ billion/yr in retail cannabis sales (cannabis.ca.gov/cdtfa.ca.gov). There’s a lot of power in the flower! And more municipalities are embracing this legal industry (12 cities decided to expand or initiate their available cannabis business permits this year) as Cannabis Culture strides into the mainstream. Dispensary concepts today can run the gamut from austere to indulgent; bodega to boutique. With ever-growing choices, it can be hard to find the right dispensary for you: Does it have the products you want most? Is your favorite budtender there? Does it support the community and give back? We weeded through California’s offerings to find the best recommendations.
Harborside, the original legal cannabis retailer in California, has played an instrumental role in making cannabis safe and accessible to a broad and diverse community since 2006. It was awarded one of the first six cannabis licenses granted in the United States, and became the first licensed dispensary in California. Many of California’s leading brands were launched at Harborside, reinforcing its industry legacy. Today, customers have the benefit of shopping at their leisure with open shelves and engaging with knowledgeable budtenders when needed.
Initially founded as a patient collective, Harborside continues to be a pioneer of compassionate care programs and therapeutics. They were the first cannabis retailer in the nation to not only demand rigorous testing for all products to ensure they are free of pesticides and other impurities, and contain verifiable potency levels of THC and CBD, but also the first to support cannabis education for seniors and veterans.
Harborside operates three major dispensaries in the Bay Area; San Francisco, Oakland (its flagship store – where you can find upwards of 800 unique products), and San Leandro – with the added convenience of delivery from Oakland and San Francisco. Other locations include San Jose, and the Palm Springs area – with Southern California’s only cannabis drive-thru window.
#2 URBN LEAF
Urbn Leaf features sleek, high-end, modern shopping environments. With a mix of open shelves and apothecary service, the comfortable atmosphere and professional assistance offered invite discovery and conversation for the canna-curious as well as cannabis devotees. They even feature in-store product demonstrations to engage and enlighten customers. Urbn Leaf budtenders pride themselves on being educated, knowledgeable, friendly and approachable.
Urbn Leaf has been at the forefront of normalizing a cannabis lifestyle in creating engaging programs for urbanites as well as active aging communities, through education, community interactions and social equity programs. They often partner with non-cannabis community organizations to better the neighborhoods they are a part of, and to challenge perceptions and overturn stereotypes about cannabis culture.
A true California cannabis retailer, from Bay to border, Urbn Leaf has grown to nine locations: San Jose, Seaside, Grover Beach, La Mesa, Grossmont, Vista, San Diego, San Ysidro, and their newest location in West Hollywood on Sunset Blvd. Vista and San Diego offer delivery.
At Atrium, they believe that cannabis is about more than just getting high. It’s about finding the right product to fit your unique needs and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a new way to relax or reduce stress, Atrium has a variety of products that can help you achieve your goals. With one of the best menus in the country, they carry over 265 brands of flower, beverages, topicals, CBD tinctures and THC-infused edibles – definitely something for everyone! And because Atrium believes in the power of cannabis to improve lives, they offer their products at a competitive price.
Committed to providing exceptional customer service, their team goes above and beyond to please customers and ensure that they have a positive experience when visiting the store. At Atrium, customers are encouraged to speak with the friendly and knowledgeable staff to find out what form of cannabis best suits their needs. Atrium believes that everyone should have access to high quality cannabis products and information, and they strive to provide both in a comfortable and welcoming environment.
So, if you’re ready for an elevated cannabis experience, visit Atrium in Woodland Hills.
#4 HYPERWOLF DELIVERY
HyperWolf was established in 2014 with the intention to do something that would redefine what it means to deliver affordable craft cannabis. Their cannabis connoisseurs curate an incredible selection of top-quality, hand-picked ﬂowers, pre-rolls, concentrates, cartridges, edibles and more. HyperWolf’s founders have deep roots in the industry, so they are always on the cutting edge of new strains and brands. The whole team is committed to offering a stellar product assortment, and catering to a consumer who values discovery, equality and sustainability as a part of their cannabis experience.
HyperWolf is committed to being an example in the cannabis industry by supporting women-owned companies, small brands, eco-friendly initiatives, and socially marginalized businesses. Putting businesses with unique brand profiles in front of their customers not only supports the people behind the brand, but creates a more thoughtful cannabis consumer.
HyperWolf’s delivery service covers Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire, down to San Diego. They pride themselves in making cannabis delivery simple, easy, and safe.
#5 ASHE SOCIETY
ASHE has become a popular cannabis retail store in Southern California that works to positively change society’s perception of buying cannabis. Since their launch in 2020, ASHE quickly became established in the community by offering a welcoming place to safely purchase quality, lab-tested cannabis products. ASHE’s unique store design concept provides intimate and welcoming spaces with an inviting living room like lobby, and an education bar that invites customers to learn about the benefits of cannabis use without being rushed. A dedicated budtender is always available to deliver expertise on which products are right for every customer, making the experience less intimidating for the novice and more informative for the experienced user. Through education, ASHE wants to be part of the solution that teaches the community about the positive benefits of cannabis.
ASHE is an acronym: Advocacy, Social equality, Health, Education. ASHE advocates for people to have a fair chance in life. While they primarily focus on advocating for women’s issues, they also engage in the local communities, senior nutrition programs, cancer support networks, and kid oriented organizations as well.
You can find ASHE in Santa Ana. The company is also expanding to include a West Hollywood cannabis consumption lounge; cannabis manufacturing facility in Long Beach; and a cannabis microbusiness in Pomona that vertically integrates cannabis retail, delivery, cultivation and distribution operations. Thier San Bernardino location will also be a mega-retail/delivery store opening in 2023.
Exotix brings their Bay Area spirit from San Jose to Hollywood. The Best of Weedmaps winning dispensary brand takes pride in its large selection of flower, concentrates, and edibles both for the connoisseur and value-seeker. The Exotix brand model is designed to cater to the consumer and prioritize their needs over profits. They’ve introduced the first-ever premium outlet pricing, which means the price you see is the price you pay – period.
In order to deliver the best customer service, Exotix tests all cannabis strains to discover their particular cannabinoid profile. This gives the staff the ability to recommend the best product for your unique symptoms or needs.
Exotix has two locations: Hollywood (their flagship store), and San Jose. Additional stores are in the works.
Haven wants you to know that their dispensaries are a safe space – “a sanctuary where all can feel comfortable and content to be their truest self.” Your local Haven is a place to explore, discover, and experience all things cannabis. While the company tailors each dispensary to the unique community, one thing remains consistent: the friendly, professional staff. Their staff members are trained to invite guests to ask questions, and explore the bounds of what cannabis has to offer, as well as provide cannabis solutions for your medical needs and recreational enjoyment.
Haven is focused on being a positive force in the communities they serve. Donating time is their favorite way to give back. Employees love to interact with their neighbors while contributing to local causes. They have participated in, or organized events in all locations to benefit and forge a connection with their neighborhoods – rooted in progress and respect.
Haven cannabis stores are currently open in Maywood, Los Alamitos, Belmont Heights, Downtown Long Beach, San Bernardino and Paramount. Future locations include Corona, Oxnard, and Fresno.
#8 CAPTAIN JACKS
Captain Jacks opened January 5th, 2018 with the goal of increasing customer awareness of new cannabis products. The San Bernardino dispensary not only wants to bring the latest items to their customers, they are open to taking customer recommendations to improve the product assortment they carry! Captain Jacks is a huge advocate of making sure that everyone who walks through their door knows entirely what they’re getting into. That means their employees will help consumers find the right product for their needs – medicinal or recreational.
Being a vibrant part of their community is a top priority for this mom-and-pop shop. Captain Jacks works with small neighborhood activist networks to strengthen their ties to the neighborhood. Whether promoting and participating in events, or hosting blood drives (so far, they have generated the largest blood drive donation in a single day from any dispensary – nationwide!), they are committed to giving back to their community.
Captain Jacks’ dab bar is currently closed, but they do offer online ordering for easy in-store pickup.
#9 D’ASHE DELIVERY
D’ASHE Delivery is an extension of Orange County’s premier cannabis retail store, ASHE Society. They offer fast and friendly, same-day delivery services. Embodying the same values and goals as ASHE, their delivery service makes it easy for consumers to order and receive the products they need.
D’ASHE is committed to bridging the pay gap for women; practicing unbiased hiring; providing fair and equal treatment to all consumers; building relationships with social enterprises; supporting local farmers; providing a fair living wage; and encouraging diversity in the workplace.
D’ASHE service areas include: Costa Mesa – Fountain Valley – Garden Grove – Huntington Beach – Irvine – Newport Beach – Santa Ana – Tustin – Westminster.
#10 GOAT GLOBAL
In 2018, Goat Global opened in Humboldt. The founders, three self-professed cannabis connoisseurs, wanted to create a carefully curated cannabis experience with brands that set themselves apart from everyone else – GOATS only. Since then, Goat Global has opened three additional dispensaries for the discerning consumer. From premium cannabis flower, to vapes and edibles, each item is carefully selected. Clients are able to learn about, experience, and safely enjoy authentic cannabis products and culture in an elevated setting. Drawing on their close relationships with cultivators, breeders, manufacturers and distributors, Goat Global plans to not only serve best-in-class products for all consumers and budgets, but also introduce exclusive strains from some of the most highly regarded cannabis strain breeders in the industry.
The Goat Global Enterprise has big plans. There are consumption lounges, a spa, cafes, and restaurants in the works as well as dispensaries. Right now you can find them in West Hollywood, South Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, and Eureka.
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