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What Do You Expect From A Medical Marijuana Dispensary?


marijuana jarNow that I’m a card carrying member of the “I smoke somewhat legally” club, dispensaries are now a viable option for me. No more calling a friend to get a hold of his friend to see if he has any weed. No more people flaking on me. From now on I can walk into a safe environment and choose what I want to buy by the gram.

New to the dispensary game but not business; I’m well aware of when the state’s first gave the okay for medical marijuana businesses popped up like lemonade stands. Regulation is still an issue for many but I’m not here to scrutinize some fucked up legislation or an archaic law instead I’d like to know: What do you expect from a dispensary?

Perhaps for the personnel to be knowledgeable about questions like heady high or body numb, indica or sativa? Or how about weighed in front of you? What about a wide selection or even accessories like pipes and vapor pipes? Is presentation important to you?

So far I’ve been to two dispensaries: One near my high speed internet porn paying job and the other on the way to Costco.

The one near my work is called Evergreen Holistic Center. They’ve taken one for the team by being raided once and are still fighting the good fight — I made my donation. The two times I’ve been there I enjoyed each product and isn’t that all that really counts. All varieties cost 10 dollars a gram and then their edible selection has a price of its own. The Lavender, Kush, Strawberry Cough, and everything else I’ve had has been top notch. The staff are cordial and will help you figure out what kind of high you need, look for the guy that looks like Bam Bam Bigalow.

My next experience was The Alternative Care Clinic. As soon as you walk-in the spa vibe hits you. A very clean little corner on earth they have an awesome selection from 8 dollar grams to fifteen. Not only do they have quality bud but quality edibles as well. Made by a mystery chef out of Seattle, Ettalew’s Medibles are a gluttonous delight. One cookie and I slept with no worries or it could have been the Jack Herer I had earlier. Besides the knowledgeable staff, bad ass cookies, and quality herb I appreciate the fact that each selection is broken down to indica and sativa percentages as well.

I found both places comfortable. The Evergreen Holistic Center was like going to a buddies and The Alternative Care Clinic had the professional clean feel.

When you go, what’s important to you?


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Forgot to mention, the Meds are tested, and grown by the owner. They don’t buy from other growers. Makes for a feeling of assured quality.

  2. Trichcome, you’re missing the boat! Harborside is the biggest rip-off in SJ. Elemental is nice, but a fortune! The one you want is Ocean View Organics. Great prices, outstanding quality, and great staff. Check them out at


    If you’re still paying 60-65 for a mediocre 1/8 from Harborside or Elemental you must be wealthier than I am. It’s 42 for an 1/8th at OVO. If you want more variety then check out High Standards in Santa Clara off 880. They usually have 30+ strains, daily specials, and 4g 1/8s every day.

  3. I’m a long-time smoker, so I’ll try to help. I’m also in CA, so we get a huge amount of varieties. First, everybody’s chemistry is different and what works for one may not work for another. That said, let me break it down.

    Indica – very much a body high and a light head buzz. There are literally hundreds of different Indica and Hybrid strains but if you stick with a Kush or an OG strain you’re pretty solid. Purple strains are mostly Indicas and are usually heavy hitters. My favorites is Purple Nepal and Purple Kush. Indica is usually what you have smoked if you get couch lock.
    Sativa – much less body and far more head buzz. Usually what’s referred to as a “clear-headed” high. Inspires creativity, upbeat and energetic, and a great medicine for daytime use. They are great for relieving stress, nausea, moodiness, etc. Well known names of some Sativas are Jack Herrer, Trainwreck, Super Silver Haze, and Green Crack.

    A dispensary should offer several things: safety, a variety of choices, helpful staff, and prices clearly displayed. As I described, there are hundreds of different kinds of marijuana and they have different properties and different results. A helpful staff is important in determining which strains are right for you. Ask questions, explain to them what you are looking for, i.e. help sleeping, nausea, etc. and expect answers! If they say “I’m not sure”, or “I know a lot of people say they like that”, go to another dispensary. They are just hourly hired help and aren’t there to help you.

    You also need to have a variety of choices, at least a few different kinds of indicas or sativas to choose from. As I also said, some work better then others for some people so there has to be a variety to choose from, if there isn’t, thank them and walk out (will feel awkward, and takes getting used to, but it’s better than throwing $ away) . That isn’t a place you can depend on for help when you need it.

    Pricing should also be clearly marked. If they aren’t clearly displayed, and don’t say if tax is included or not, leave. They are always going to be over-priced, underweight, and unapologetic. Frequenting a specific dispensary or two doesn’t hurt either, once they get to know you they might throw you a little extra or a “sale” or two.

    I hope that helped.

  4. I Agree, once I got my license I no longer hassle with calling the weed man, and waiting around for them to be ready for me. The shop is easy. Good News on This site. Good Work.

  5. Knowledgeable staff, huge variety, very clean and well maintained, bright and open (not those shady hole in the wall ‘dispensaries) should all be super important of course. I also wont visit again (most likely not even show up in the first place) if they do not test their medicine. As a crohns patient and as asthma patient I just NEED to know there’s no residual nutrient salts or pathogens. Also knowing the actual amount of Thc/Cbd helps with self titration, or just picking a strain that will work for you ;) My personal favorites are Harborside (Oak/SJ) and Elemental Wellness (SJ) as they hit every mark on list… dead on ;)

  6. As I have personally never been in the states, I just regulary visit Amsterdam and so just know coffeeshops. I can not understand that this business model isn`t really accepted in any other country. This is a really good chance to protect younger and restrict the access to drugs to them. In every central country in Europe teenagers and children are smoking more pot as adults from Netherlands. So shame on you politicans for protecting gangsters!

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