Cannabis Shopping 101: A SF Field Guide | San Francisco Travel
Flore Store, a cannabis store in the Castro
Flore Store, a cannabis store in the Castro

Cannabis Shopping 101:
A SF Field Guide

A Cannabis Shop How To Guide for Visitors - dedicated to demystifying the cannabis shop experience and welcoming visitors to explore something new.

San Francisco is home to some of the best cannabis experiences anywhere in the world.

Just like our diverse neighborhoods, our cannabis shops offer unique vibes, sublime designs, and experiences that are reflective of the surrounding community. From those with a distinctly local feel to those geared more towards high-touch hospitality, our cannabis shops are your departure point for an enhanced journey throughout the city. With so many to choose from, it doesn’t hurt to do a little planning to discover local gems that match your interest, curiosity, itinerary, and personal style.

Ready to Shop?

For some, this will be your first time visiting a cannabis shop, and it may seem overwhelming, just like a specialty food or high-end wine store. Before you enter, take a deep breath and let the worries drift away. In a city known for its inclusive spirit, San Francisco cannabis shops are accustomed to serving customers of all experience levels. Whether you are a cannabis newbie or a seasoned cannabis connoisseur, a fun and interactive cannabis experience is waiting for you. All are invited to experience cannabis the San Francisco way. Communicate what your experience level is, what your fears are, what you like, and what you don’t, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your budtender. The cannabis scene in San Francisco was built on compassion, inclusion, community, and well-being. Everyone is welcome!

Explore Cannabis Products

Cannabis products come in many forms; flower, prerolls, mints, gummies, beverages, lubricants, hash, tinctures, vaporizers, capsules, topicals, and more. San Francisco cannabis shop menus are fun to comb through as they offer a wide selection of products, often from locally-crafted brands. Take your time making selections, and have fun with it!  

Cannabis products offer a variety of effects, and it is good to shop knowing what experience you are seeking and what needs you are trying to address. Ranging from THC-rich to CBD-rich, cannabis can be energetic or relaxing, presenting as a thought-provoking head high or a mellow body high depending on the cannabis cultivar (varietal) and product formulation. Some products offer a calming and centering experience, while others will have you smiling, giggling, and losing track of time as you indulge in San Francisco’s foodie delights or contemplate the meaning of an abstract art piece. Most products are marked, and many brands describe the anticipated effects right on their packaging. Feel free to take it a step further and chat with your budtender about your options until you find what suits you! 

Ganja Traveler Fun Fact: San Francisco is the gateway to the famous Emerald Triangle or the “place of source” for many top-shelf products. This northern California agricultural region is known for sun-grown small-batch craft cannabis and superior genetics, including hard-to-find exotics from around the world.

How to Shop Like a Pro

  • Upon entering, have your ID ready. You must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis in California or 18 years or older with a valid cannabis medical card.
  • Some shops issue you a number or offer a queue for engagement with a budtender.
  • There is no sampling or consumption on-site at retail shops, unless they have a connected lounge space.
  • Most shops are set up in sections for easy browsing by category or brand. Don’t let the volume and selection intimidate you. Time is on your side and you can always ask a budtender for help.
  • First-time customers usually get a discount and there is always a special or two that may align with your exact needs.
  • Pay cash or debit + small “round up” fee. Credit cards are widely prohibited due to cannabis banking laws.
258 Noe St.

Flore Store

Flore Store is an equity-owned boutique cannabis shop. The charming space is filled with natural finishes that give off a warm, enchanted redwood forest feel to match the top-shelf Humboldt-grown cannabis that takes center stage here. Aside from their impeccable customer service, Flore has their products on display so that you can examine and take in the aroma of the cannabis flower. Much like a perfumeria, they offer coffee beans to neutralize your senses between sniffs. Flore Store is also home to a Cultural Landmark along The Cannabis Trail that celebrates the LGBTQ+ history of cannabis legalization.

Shop at the Flore Store
2029 Market St.

The Apothecarium

A legacy cannabis shop with San Francisco roots and outposts on the East Coast, choose from three Apothecarium locations - the Marina, Castro, and SoMa. As an Architectural Digest award winner for “Best Designed Dispensary”, the Castro location shines so much that you may forget whether you are in a cannabis shop or a stylish hotel lobby. The Apothecarium sets the bar high for in-depth consultations and concierge-like customer service from reception through check-out. Keep an eye out for their free educational events too!

Shop at the Apothecarium
768 Stanyan St.


Harborside is a legacy cannabis shop that offers a well-curated menu and serves as the perfect jump off to the third most visited park in the United States: Golden Gate Park.  With an easy-in, easy-out location, Harborside is the ideal place to visit if you find yourself on the hunt for cannabis in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. Big, bold words—“Knowledge Over Ignorance” and “Diversity Over Exclusion”—frame the wall next to the register and serve as a loving reminder of Harborside’s ethos.

Shop at Harborside
1335 Grant Ave.


Currently the lone cannabis shop in the North Beach neighborhood, Pipeline stands out on one of the oldest streets in San Francisco, Grant Ave. From the hand-painted section labels to the vintage wallpaper laden with iconic San Francisco landmarks, Pipeline is a warm reminder of signature San Francisco charm. Their knowledgeable, attentive staff is ready to answer all your questions about their vast array of products. Enjoy this unique North Beach experience and make time for an elevated visit to the neighboring City Lights Bookstore, an old Beatnik stomping ground and longtime stewards of freedom of literature and thought.

Shop at Pipeline
1685 Haight St.

Berner’s on Haight

Berner’s on Haight is a cannabis shop that specializes in premium indoor flower and products made by BIPOC-owned brands. At Berner’s, you are invited to stop and smell the cannabis flowers—literally. Let your nose guide you and take a whiff of the contactless flower jars atop the store’s round table centerpiece. Ask about their signature product line, Caps, which blends functional mushrooms with cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBN. Though the futuristic aesthetic may have you thinking about the cannabis of tomorrow, this was the first equity cannabis shop in the city, a historic fact to appreciate as you browse the brightly lit displays.

Shop at Berners
865 Market St.

Joy Reserve

Located in Westfield Mall next to Bloomingdales, Joy Reserve is a cannabis product showroom and sampling bar experience where cannabis newbies will feel right at home. A colorful wall of dried flowers at the entrance and sprawling, well-organized product shelves make this feel like a true boutique. The product selection is vast and paired with detailed educational displays. Curious shoppers are invited to browse, learn, and order products for 10-15-minute pick-up out front. While you wait, visit other stores or chill on Joy Reserve’s plush seats. Check out the events calendar!

Shop at the Joy Reserve
828 Innes Ave.

Posh Green

Posh Green is the first equity cannabis shop in San Francisco owned independently by a woman of color. Dubbed the “Nordstrom of Cannabis” for its high-end design and first-class customer service, Posh Green accepts returns and is committed to finding the right product for you. Thoughtfully-curated products reflect owner Reese Benton’s medical background and shine a light on local farmers and producers. Wellness and education are central to the soothing experience here. Ask about their in-house CBD line. Seniors and veterans enjoy a 10% discount with ID.

Shop at Posh Green
3989 17th St.

Eureka Sky

Contemporary and elegant, Eureka Sky can be found in the heart of the Castro District. Gay-owned and operated, Eureka Sky has a fantastic selection of CBD-rich products and unique cultivars from local growers. If you’ve been looking for a particular strain, chances are high that you’ll find it here. Their well-trained staff has a reputation for providing visitors with caring recommendations and an unforgettable experience.

Shop at Eureka Sky
2627 Taylor St.


The cleverly named Seaweed is the sole cannabis shop in Fisherman’s Wharf. Just two blocks from the water, visitors are welcomed by a green sea turtle mural and an all-out nautical theme throughout the shop. Known for their highly-educated and friendly staff, ask about their daily specials and discounts for first-timers. Follow your visit with an elevated afternoon wandering the wharf, where signature San Francisco cuisine and breathtaking views await.

Shop at Seaweed
2161 Irving St.

Sunset Pipeline Dispensary

The laid-back atmosphere at Sunset Pipeline offers an effortlessly California cool experience. Comfy bar seats line the counter for customers looking to browse the menu or in need of a consultation with a friendly budtender. Sunset Pipeline maintains an extensive menu highlighting Black, LGBTQ+, and BIPOC-owned brands. If you’re looking for a travel-ready souvenir from your San Francisco cannabis experience, Sunset Pipeline has a fun merchandise line of graphic t-shirts, hoodies, and hats.

Shop at Sunset Pipeline
1077 Post St.

Grass Roots

Grassroots SF is one of the oldest and most award-winning cannabis shops in San Francisco. The reflective copper ceiling and rich wood tones throughout the floor and product shelving are reminiscent of the city’s roaring twenties. With a well-designed layout that gives the nod to old-school pharmacies, Grassroots has excellent prices, daily deals, and a wide selection of industry-leading brands and products. Their staff is patient and eager to lend their expertise to all customers.

Shop at Grass Roots
1933 Mission St.


Part beautiful bud museum, part cannabis shop, Medithrive is a cannabis flower lover’s dream. Presentation is everything at this modern and sleek cannabis shop. You can get up close and personal at every turn with the vast array of buds they keep on hand. From clear domes encasing individual buds under bright lights to a macro lens camera projecting flowers on 4K monitors, you will be mesmerized by the plant in all its glory. With customers of all experience levels in mind, Medithrive carries a variety of topicals, edibles, and drinkables too!

Shop at Medithrive

Cannabis marketing expert and author Brian Applegarth
Brian Applegarth

Brian is the Founder of Cannabis Travel Association International (CTAI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the sustainable evolution of cannabis and hemp travel globally. He is a seasoned world traveler, who seeks authentic and off-the-beaten track cultural experiences combined with cannabis and hemp-infused adventures. Brian is a trusted advisor and consultant for award-winning travel destinations. He is passionate about cultural preservation, sustainable development, and transformative travel experiences that promote inclusion, equity, and well-being. Brian is creating The Cannabis Trail, a nine-county cultural journey that celebrates the story of the cannabis legalization movement.

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The Golden Gate Bridge at sunset with a multicolored sky and the San Francisco Bay in the foreground.
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