Touting the city before it hosted the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1911 — the very year California outlawed cannabis — President William Howard Taft declared San Francisco to be “the city that knows how.”
While legal recreational cannabis states Colorado, Oregon and Washington struggle with regulations that prohibit public consumption of any kind — no bars, cafes or clubs for smoking, vaping or even eating pot, the linchpins for safe and sane cannabis tourism — San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries offer a taste of social cannabis use in public spaces and provide a glimpse of cannabis tourism’s future today.
All of this takes place under regulations endorsed by the local health department. A city that knows how, indeed.
The San Francisco dispensaries in this map provide clean and comfortable environments located near some of the city’s major hotels, arts and entertainment attractions.
In these dispensary lounges — some though-out, well-appointed spaces, some pressed-against-the-wall add-ons — qualified patrons can consume cannabis safely and discretely using the dispensaries’ state-of-the-art vaporizers. You can bring your cannabis, hash, concentrates and edibles.
One dispensary validates parking. Some are pet-friendly. Smoking is banned but not every dispensary heeds the regulation — an infraction that led to the temporary closure of San Francisco’s most luxe vape lounge in August.
You must be a California resident with the requisite medical cannabis recommendation from a doctor to enter a dispensary or vapor lounge.
Bloom Room Collective, 471 Jessie St., bloomroomsf.com
- WHY GO: Vape-only lounge a hip, colorful space tucked in the back of the dispensary, itself tucked behind frosted artsy red-white-and-orange panes — no neon green cross or pot leaf here telegraphing what’s inside. A communal table holding two Volcano vaporizers is ringed by six tall metal stools. Two walls of comic-themed oil paintings provide decoration and entertainment.
- WHERE: A short walk from both Union Square and Westfield Center, Bloom Room is located between Market and Mission streets behind the historic Old Mint Building in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Enjoy coffee with your cannabis? Bay Area darling Blue Bottle is 300 feet away in a semi-industrial alley surrounded by hotels, shopping and vestiges of the city’s Asian textile trade .
- GET THERE: From Powell/Market Street BART, Muni train or Muni bus, walk south on 5th Street, turn west on Mint Plaza and west again on Jessie Street. From Embarcadero or Mission district, take Mission Street buses to 5th Street. Walk north on 5th, west on Mint Plaza and west on Jessie.
- HOURS: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, Noon-7 p.m Sundays. <
SPARC, 1256 Mission St., sparksf.org
- WHY GO: Vape-only lounge featuring Volcano vaporizers at each of four blonde-wood bench-and-table communal stations. It’s the sleek-and-airy cannabis dispensary equivalent of an Apple store, but with a free self-serve hot tea bar instead of a Genius Bar. In a neighborhood that showcases San Francisco at its grittiest, sidewalk check-in makes you feel like you’re clearing the line at a hot nightclub. Use the dispensary’s app en route to expedite your order.
- WHERE: One block from Twitter headquarters, two blocks from Uber HQ and near City Hall, the symphony, the opera and the Asian Art Museum.
- GET THERE: Using a ride-sharing app from Uber HQ on Market Street? It’ll cost you about $3.50 without tip. Otherwise, it’s a 1 1/2-block walk from the Civic Center BART/Muni station and Market Street bus and street-car lines. Walk one block south on 8th Street from Market Street. Turn west at Mission Street. SPARC is mid-block on the right. SPARC offers 1-hour free validated parking at SOMA Grand Garage one block east at 1160 Mission St.
- HOURS: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily except holidays.
Lounge8four7, 847 Howard St., facebook.com/pages/847-Lounge
- WHY GO: Currently closed after an inspection by the county health department received tip that smoking took place here and found lack of necessary permits, San Francisco’s largest and most popular lounge is now waiting to reopen as a vape-only lounge. With amenities such as sturdy tables and chairs, televisions, junk-food machines and a pool table, Lounge8four7 had operated like a laid-back community center, offering Volcano vaporizers for use in the lounge’s large club-like room, plus events like movie nights and open mics.
- WHERE: Adjacent to Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and near the San FranciscoMuseum of Modern Art, the Jewish Museum, AT&T Park and major hotels.
- GET THERE: From Union Square / Powell Street, head south on 5th. Turn east on Howard. Lounge 847 is mid-block on the south side of the street. From AT&T Park or Caltrain, take Muni bus 30 or 45 from 4th and Townsend north to 5th and Howard. Walk one-half block east on Howard. Lounge 847 is on your right, just before The Green Door dispensary.
Igzactly 420, 527 Howard St., igzactly420.com
- WHY GO: Colorful and cozy vaping lounge featuring five Volcanos, comfy chairs and couch in a living-room like setting.
- WHERE: In the financial district, near the Embarcadero, AT&T Park and the Greyhound bus station.
- GET THERE: From the Embarcadero, head six blocks west on Howard Street. Igzactly 420 is on the right. From AT&T Park or CalTrain, take the 10 Muni bus to 2nd Street, exit at Howard and walk west, toward the end of the block. From the Greyhound station, walk west on Folsom Street, turn north on Fremont Street and west again on Howard, about a 7-minute walk.
- HOURS: 11 a.m-10 p.m Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays.
Bernal Heights Collective, 33 29th St., bernalheights.org
- WHY GO:Full smoking and vaping lounge inside a neighborhood dispensary whose atmosphere is not unlike a college dorm common room. The consumption area — equipped with two each Volcano vaporizers, couches, tall cafe tables and chairs, televisions, ashtrays and matches — greets visitors and opens into the dispensary itself. There’s a half-hour time limit. Pet-friendly.
- WHERE: South of the Mission district, at the base of Bernal Hill, an open space over which lies both the Alemany flea market and farmers market. One block from Mitchell’s Ice Cream — old-school San Franciscocustard confections and flavors of the south Pacific and south of the border. Immediate neighborhood is chock-a-block with Latin and Asian restaurants, markets and bakeries.
- GET THERE: Mission Street Muni buses stop at 29th Street, closer to Bernal Heights Collective than you can hope to park a car. Walkable from the Muni Metro train stop at 29th and Church streets heading from Castro, Noe Valley or Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods. Walkable from the first BART station south of the Mission district.
- HOURS: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
1944 Ocean Cooperative, 1944 Ocean Ave., 1944ocean.com
- WHY GO: Vape bar with Volcanos. Hashish connoisseurs come here for high-end extracts that cost up to $100 per gram. Pet-friendly. Relatively easy parking. Use the dispensary’s app en route to expedite your order.
- WHERE: In one of San Francisco’s less-traveled, mostly residential neighborhoods between San Francisco City College and San Francisco State college. A short walk and a brief ride on the 23 Muni bus gets you from 1944 Ocean Cooperative to Ocean Beach and the San Francisco Zoo.
- GET THERE: From downtown or the Castro district, take outbound Muni Metro K train to Ocean Avenue and Fairfield Way. From the De Young Museum or Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park, take 44 Muni bus toward Hunter’s Point; transfer to Muni Metro K train at Forest Hill Station,, exit at Ocean Avenue and Victoria Street. Walk short distance to dispensary.
- HOURS: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.