California continues to feel growing pains with formerly illegal farms learning legal business and large corporations salivating at the newly open profit potential. We hope these old-school farmers can hold their own a bit longer. After all, they are the gatekeepers the most magical growing conditions for cannabis.
Where to Go
Harborside Health Center
A 15-minute drive east over the Bay Bridge, Harborside Health Center, the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary, sits slightly off the beaten path. If an organization echoes its leader, you can tell that Steve DeAngelo is above all an empathetic man. You encounter a staff who have eclectic personalities and experiences, but who all prioritize an approach of understanding and care to patients and customers.
Harborside has a huge selection of cannabis products, including ready-to-plant seeds. The action on a busy day can be intimidating, but once you’re up, the experience is unrushed. Harborside offers a long list of free classes to their patients in holistic healing modalities such as yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture.
Park or Lyft to the front door, where security is beefed up and reassuring.
Harvest Off Mission
Located in Bernal Heights, this small, airy boutique has the friendliest staff in San Francisco. Derek with security greets you at the door and sets a positive tone for the rest of your visit. The product selection is carefully curated even though it changes quite often (a common issue in the industry today). If you feel like lingering, they have a backroom lounge where you can sample your goodies. The only drawback here is the staff is noncommittal when comparing brands. Bring your list or do your research.
If you’re in the Richmond District, check out the larger Harvest location on Geary.
Other Notables Around Town
What to Get
To be in the presence of founders and life partners Nikki Lastreto and Swami Chaitanya helps you understand the spiritual dimension of their legendary land. Known for growing “under sun, moon, and stars,” Swami and Nikki remind us that these flowers need real Mother Nature and true nurturing to be at their finest. We are honored to have Swami Select flowers and are proud to pass them around to friends.
Why it’s good:
Sungrown in the Emerald Triangle
Regenerative agriculture with living soil
Clean Green Certified and Dragonfly Earth Medicine Certified
Light and smooth – you can taste the outdoors
Nikki and Swami Chaitanya are the real deal
Become captivated with Nikki, Swami and their famous land: Viceland "Weediquette" Season 1, Episode 5: Emerald Triangle.
Named after William “Bull” Lowell, a farmer-turned-outlaw. Ol’ Bull was thrown in jail for refusing to destroy his pot crop and subsequently started a beloved movement.
Lowells mission is getting consumer's the purest flower and providing a welcome example of full transparency. The ethos highlights the small organic farms up and down the Cali coast that supply these lovely Lowell buds — giving you the opportunity to follow along and get a true understanding of who is behind what you are consuming.
Beholding a package of Lowell’s Smokes, the word “distinguished” comes to mind. All-natural, recyclable, and has all the information you need to know about what's inside —the farm (including their instagram handles), the date it was cultivated, the blends, the amount of THC, a suggestion of the type of high you may experience, and a big call out to paying their farmers. All this with the added bonus of a striker and match.
Lowell is elevating the culture and reorienting the flower industry toward craftsmanship, creating unique blends that are intended for heavy users to avoid strain fatigue of their singular favorites.
Why it's good:
Outdoor and greenhouse cannabis made in organic fertilizer
Supporting the local organic craft farmers
Focused on transparency
Blends a great option for heavy users to avoid strain fatigue on singular favorites
Comes in jars and pre-rolled joints
Thorough, informative labeling
Lowell is welcoming pardoned, non-violent offenders with cannabis convictions to apply for jobs, internships and training workshops.
Three longtime friends Amanda, Jennifer and Jan began to brainstorm “wouldn’t it be great if we had...” based on all of the ailments plaguing their female friends, including Jan’s cancer. Combining cannabis with tea, Kikoko created a fuller, more mindful experience to both rituals.
Each tea is dosed with choices of 3, 7 and 10 mg of THC, varying amounts of CBD and even CBN( a natural sedative) for sleep — combined with organic herbs scientifically proven to help with pain, anxiety, sleep, and arousal.
The other accomplishment here, is they figured out to rid the weedy taste of cannabis while keeping the entire plant in tact, which is why you get the first whiff of cannabis and then just the taste of yummy tea as we know it. Kudos Kikoko!
Why It's Good:
Derived from organic sun-grown cannabis
Blue dream strain for THC
Cannatonic strain for CBD
CBN from organic full plant cannabis
Variety of doses to dial in your high
We encourage you to read the delightful Kikoko site where they cover everything from consumption, to hosting a tea party.
After caring for his father, whom he called Papa, Adam Grossman named his product line after Papa and Papa’s beloved dog, Barkley.
Papa and Barkley hands down, gets the top prize for innovative product development. We haven’t met a product from the line that we didn’t cherish — all of it being a staple in our wellness routine.
The Transdermal Patch is not to be underestimated as it packs a big punch. Available in a variety of CBD:THC ratios, the patch goes on easily and kicks in quickly. Because it’s a slow-release patch, it offers up to 12 hours of consistent relief, which makes it a great choice for chronic-pain management.
The Releaf Soak scented with lavender and eucalyptus leaves skin amazingly silky-smooth without leaving a residue. The sea salts inside are imported from Israel and have a 3:1 THC:CBD ratio.
The Releaf Balm comes in 1:3 (more for inflammations) and 3:1(more for pain) THC:CBD ratios. The scent is pleasant but powerful — we tend to go with something milder if we’re going out on the town.
The Releaf Body Oil our new favorite —less pungent and easier to work with than the balms, especially when applying to a large areas. The oil glides on easily and absorbs entirely into the skin without making you smell like a marijuana bush. Hey P&B, we’d love to see this as an economical roll-on.
Why (the whole line) is good:
Derived from organic, sungrown cannabis from Humboldt County
Infused with whole-plant cannabis and whole-plant cannabis resin
Comes in all different ratios to dial-in easily
Oil is great for large areas
Balms are in coconut oil base
Effective and delivers a range of benefits from chronic-pain management to relaxation
Check out PlantMade, an easy to read comprehensive guide published by Papa & Barkley.
Founder Mara Gordon is well known for advising people living with serious illnesses. She created the line of topicals that “go everywhere.” Originally formulated for aches and pains, the creams are winning fans as face and acne ointments, too.
Why it's good:
Derived from sungrown cannabis in Sonoma County
Great for pain rashes, dryness, minor cuts, muscle, and nerve pain
Easy, subtle scent
Comes in THC and CBD formulas
Cult-status face cream
Prana's THC and CBD Roll-Ons
We keep these roll-ons on hand for targeted relief in hard-to-reach areas. The roll-ons provide an easy, clean glide that dries quickly. Try the THC formula to spot-treat pain and the CBD formula to manage inflammation. These roll-ons are also infused with arnica made in-house with lavender flowers.
Why it's good:
Derived from sungrown cannabis from Talking Trees, Harborside Farms, or Verdant Valley
No heat or solvents Arnica and lavender
Great for hard-to-reach places
Scent is mild
Glides on, and dries easily and quickly THC for pain CBD for inflammation
A note for California residents: The Prana team provides complimentary consultations through their A.C.T. Now Program, including a HIPAA-compliant electronic health records system. For users who may need more guidance or more heavy-duty relief than a roll-on can offer, a one-on-one consultation can be a helpful option.
Humble Flower Co.'s Soothing Lotion
Thea and the team's elegant soothing lotion is blended with organic rose, vanilla and jasmine essential oils. It's fast absorbing and yet it can be massaged in for awhile if you’re feeling achy or stiff. A great option for daytime as the the scent is pretty but mild.
Don’t let the ultra-sweet packaging fool you. It’s loaded with 100 mg CBD +50mg THC.
Why it's good:
Derived from organic, sungrown cannabis in Humboldt County
Blended with organic rose, vanilla, and jasmine essential oils
Mild, pretty scent.
Packaged in 100 percent recyclable/reusable glass
Great for aches, pains and arthritis
Note: We use it to massage our hands when our joints are stiff.
We are thrilled that this age-old form of administering medicine is making its comeback through cannabis. Mathew Gerson, the entrepreneur behind Sir Richard’s Premium Condoms, took a step into the realm of female pleasure by repurposing the suppository, which now has many uses, including enhancing pleasure and providing pain relief. With names like Explore for anal play, Relief for vaginal relief, and Pleasure oil, Foria is all the rage in West Hollywood. Our one drawback is that the jury is still out on the cocoa butter scent in the suppositories.
Why it's good:
THC derived from sungrown cannabis in Northern California and CBD from organically grown hemp from Colorado Cultivars
Relaxes muscles and relieves tension for deeper penetration
Enhances pleasure and orgasms
Great for pelvic pain, including menstrual cramps and lower back pain
Pleasure oil is made with coconut oil
Note: Not suggested for use with latex. We found that it calmed our breathing. Suppositories for anxiety? You really never know what you will find.