Cannabis dispensaries might be a new thing to most people, but they've actually been around for quite a while in the US. In 1992, Dennis Peron established what’s considered to be the first American medicinal dispensary, the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club.
This blazed a trail for the future of dispensaries in the US, which are now much more popular and abundant, evolving over the years to become more of an attraction and a place to spend time in.
The very first recreational marijuana dispensary, "3D Cannabis," opened its doors on January 1st, 2014 in Colorado, and since then, many more have set up shop, serving those who are interested in what cannabis can do for their recreational, health, and medical lives.
Today, the average dispensary offers all sorts of different cannabis products, depending on what consumers are looking for. Shoppers will be able to see a variety of cannabis products on display, including flowers and buds that can be smelled and touched to satisfy their curiosity.
Cannabis flowers sold at dispensaries can come in the form of sativa, indica, or hybrids of the former two, which are subspecies of the cannabis plant. Each product will have varying degrees of CBD and THC in them, which are the two most abundant cannabinoids in the plant.
Various products are available to provide users with different methods of consumption, including edibles, vapes, oils, tinctures, and topical ointments. Dispensaries also have "budtenders" who are readily available to answer questions and assist consumers in choosing the right product to address whatever issue they may have.
Many of these dispensaries offer an upscale, even spa-like experience for shoppers, making them great places in which to unwind and escape the everyday hustle and bustle of real life.
So, what are the top luxury dispensaries in California to visit?
Located in Los Angeles, The Pottery touts an experience similar to shopping in a high-end wine or coffee shop. But it’s far from a low-tech operation; the website offers a virtual tour, giving potential visitors the chance to get a feel for the location before making a visit.
The clean, minimalist look keeps the focus on the products; the dispensary offers a range of cannabis offerings, as well as related merchandise. For those who might not have the time to swing by, The Pottery offers local delivery services as well.
For a warm, welcoming, and tranquil experience, The Apothecarium is the place to go. Located in San Francisco and designed with modern style, an open concept, natural materials, and textured furniture, this dispensary offers a warm environment to spend time in while being educated on cannabis and all the ways in which it can be used to deal with various ailments.
Each of the company's locations (there’s one in Las Vegas as well) provides a different experience, but they all focus on educating consumers, thanks to the highly trained and educated cannabis consultants on hand. There’s a strong emphasis on helping seniors, first-time users, and people who suffer from serious medical ailments.
There's no denying the amazing style and ambiance in Santa Ana's Bud and Bloom, where cannabis products are laid out in the open on display in a beautiful interior with soaring ceilings and hand-crafted wood flooring.
As one of the first dispensaries to obtain a license, Bud and Bloom is heavily involved in local community outreach efforts. The dispensary even goes so far as to offer free shuttles for seniors to shop and socialize with peers.
This boutique-style dispensary is headquartered in San Jose and offers a wide array of the best cannabis strains on the market. There's even an on-site garden, nursery, and grow rooms where visitors can see up-close-and-personal where and how the plants are grown.
To make the environment even more enjoyable, Airfield even hosts Happy Hour on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 pm to 4 pm where visitors can enjoy 20% off flowers, concentrates and edibles. Further, members of the military can enjoy even further savings thanks to the dispensary's "Military Mondays."
The Palm Springs area is a favorite of travelers from around the world; the desert vistas are a perfect place to relax, so it only seems logical that a high-end dispensary would open its doors there. In the spirit of a town known for its spas and wellness facilities, Safe Access Palm Springs places an emphasis on the medicinal aspect of cannabis, as well as its mission to be an operation that works for the betterment of the community, promising that a portion of its proceeds will go to support local charities.
And in the same spirit, the place has the look of a fancy spa. The stunning desert mountain backdrop certainly adds to the aesthetic.
Come for the bear on the golden Vespa, stay for the great products. San Diego’s March and Ash injects a bit of whimsy and fun into the proceedings. The dispensary, located in Mission Valley, offers an impressive range of products, many of which can be viewed and priced on their website. The dispensary itself reflects the style of California’s most laid-back city; you’ll find comfy couches, warm lighting, and eclectic artwork. Oh, and there’s an old tractor in the middle of the room. March and Ash is expanding, and recently announced that a second location will be opening in the Imperial Valley, serving the cities of Imperial, El Centro and Brawley.
If you’re surprised by the Vegas / casino themed look of Moe Green’s, you must not be a fan of the Godfather movies. Moe Greene was a Vegas mobster in those films; Moe Greens is a clever riff on that name. It might be located in the heart of San Francisco, but once you’re inside, you’ll think you’re on the Vegas Strip, or Fremont Street - green velvet ropes, plush leather couches, and 50’s-era lighting all add to the ambiance.
Along with its product offerings, Moe Greens offers three on-premise consumption options: a large vaping section called The Playground, a space for consumables known as The Vault, and the High Roller section — five booths for smoking.
This San Francisco cannabis dispensary boasts a stunning, open and modern interior and provides impeccable customer service. It offers all-natural products and independently lab-tested flowers.
This is a private, members-only club where members have the freedom to enjoy smoking, vaping, and dabbing medical cannabis products that can be purchased directly from the dispensary.
The Vapor Room is one of San Francisco’s best-known dispensaries. It’s been around since 2004, starting off as a safe haven for cannabis activists who were looking to share their knowledge and wares with locals — offering free products to low income patients, and providing others with quality medicinal cannabis. Today, that spirit remains, although the focus has expanded to embrace those looking for a recreational cannabis experience.
Bright and cozy, the dispensary has the look of a well-kept Bay Area coffee shop. It’s an inviting place to hang out, but if you’re in a hurry The Vapor Room makes shopping easy. You can peruse their menu online, and place your order for pickup at the dispensary.
A massive dispensary on Santa Ana, People's OC is perhaps the largest of its kind in the Golden State and looks more like a casual eatery than a cannabis dispensary.
Warm, inviting, and comfortable, this dispensary features modern and spacious interior accents with natural wood materials and fun graffiti art. It's an excellent spot to sample and purchase all sorts of cannabis consumables and accessories.
Eco Oakland’s website is perhaps the best representation of the current makeup of cannabis consumers. Catering to a clientele that represents both the diversity of Oakland and the diversity of cannabis aficionados, Eco Oakland’s dispensary offers a great variety of products, in a warm, open and inviting setting.
That inviting spirit extends to Eco’s business practices. Eco’s mission extends beyond advocating cannabis; the company has pledged to seek out and employ those who were previously convicted of crimes involving cannabis. It’s a place well worth supporting.
With so many awesome luxury cannabis dispensaries across California, there's no shortage of places to get educated on cannabis products and enjoy its effects on the mind and body. And with these dispensaries, you can do it in style.