Cannabis Club Guide - Page 10

Cannabis Issue: Testing the tokes at Bay Area dispensaries


Once inside this tiny club, I could see why people might have been backed up onto the street at times. But the staff was friendly and seemed to have a great rapport with the regulars, who seemed be everyone except me. The knowledgeable manager walked me through their 20-plus varieties, most costing the standard street price of $50 per eighth, or more for stronger stuff like Romulan.

On the more affordable end of the spectrum was the $10 special for Jack Herrer Hash, named for the longtime legalization advocate who wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a classic book on the history of the movement.

Buds weighed at purchase

Open for: nine years

Price: Moderate

Selection: High

Ambiance: Small, like a converted apartment

Smoke On Site: No

Sketch factor: Moderate

Access/Security: Tight



Blue Sky (377 17th St., Oakland)is based on the Amsterdam model of combining marijuana dispensaries with coffee shops, although it suffers a bit from Oakland's ban on smoking. Still, it's a cool concept and one that Richard Lee sees as the future of marijuana-related businesses because of the synergy between smoking and grabbing a bite or some coffee.

Most of Blue Sky is a small coffee shop and smoothie bar, but there's a little room in back for buying weed. "We've got the best prices around," said the guy who checked my ID, and indeed, $44 eighths and $10 "puppy bags" were pretty cheap. Customers can also sign up to do volunteer political advocacy work for free weed.

The only downside is the limited selection, only four varieties when I was there, although the woman at the counter said the varieties rotate over the course of the day based on the club's purchases from growers.

Prepackaged buds

Open for: 15 years

Price: Low

Selection: Very limited

Ambiance: A fragrant little room behind a coffee shop

Smoke On Site: No

Sketch factor: Low

Access/Security: Easy



I have seen the future of legitimized medical marijuana businesses, and it's Harborside (1840 Embarcadero, Oakland). With its motto of "Out of the shadows, into the light," this place is like the Costco of pot — a huge, airy facility with a dizzying number of selections and even a "rewards card" program.

All new members are given a tour, starting with sign-up sheets for daily free services that include yoga, chiropractic, acupuncture, reiki, consultations with herbalists, and classes on growing. Then we moved to a section with the clones of dozens of pot plant varieties available for purchase (limit of 72 plants per visit), along with a potted marijuana plant the size of a tree.

Harborside is also blazing the trail on laboratory services, testing all of its pot for contaminants and THC content, labeling it on the packaging just like the alcohol industry does. Some of the smaller clubs don't like how over-the-top Harborside is, and they complain that its prices are high. But those profits seem to be poured back into the services at this unique facility.

Prepackaged buds

Open for: four years

Price: High

Selection: Huge

Ambiance: A big, open shopping emporium

Smoke On Site: No

Sketch factor: Low

Access/Security: Tight



Great description of each club. My top three in no particular order
Hopenet-amazing hash
Green Door- great bud
Vapor Room-cool atmosphere.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 26, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

As the creator of this guide, I'd like to clarify that I did not update last year's reviews. But I am willing to do so for any clubs that request it by writing to me at Also, we will periodically be adding new clubs to the guide and possibly even including a gauge of bud quality, for which I'm currently working on developing a methodology. So bookmark this page and check back later.
Steven T. Jones
SFBG City Editor

Posted by steven on Jan. 27, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

To Steve,
If you are invited to review clubs and products in said clubs AND need a wingman, just let me know. I'm down to sample.


Posted by Paulsey on Feb. 10, 2011 @ 5:55 am

Sparc is cool but i must point out that cheaper price's, equals less quality in the strain!

But don't get me wrong it's a great place! A bit to focused on it's image..
When it comes down to have been movement leaders for many years ,

"HELLO"! Hands down The Vapor Room!!
There would not be half as many collectives, here or anywhere if it wasn't for those guys!!
At times the staff seem a bit snippy, but tell me what service industry employee has never been pushed to that point on occasion? NoNe........
They care!
They're involved in City Hall decision making.
They give and help in neighborhood bettering , and they are liked in there Lower Haight Community if not Loved!!!!!!!!!!! ....VR....

Posted by Guest on Jun. 16, 2011 @ 12:20 am

I totally ran in here by accident, but it's funny because when I was in San Fran I got a card and went to Green Door. It's the only dispensary I've been to but I thought it was awesome. I bought an ash tray.

Posted by gary on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

haha, i was with my buddy in san francisco and we went to the green door. it's the only time i've been to a dispensary (being from canada), but i thought it was really cool and so forward thinking compared to us. i didn't buy anything, but was almost going to buy the pre-rolled j's for 5$, can't really beat that when you're on vacation!

Posted by 420 on Jan. 15, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

Why trying this, when you can relax yourself by having a beer with your friends?

Posted by Find a tradesman on Jan. 16, 2012 @ 4:42 am

Cannabis is sometimes safer than other 'regular' things, such as alcohol!

Posted by Demolition on Jan. 24, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

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