Non-Californian residents might be surprised how many little towns and crossroads here in the Golden State now support a medical marijuana dispensary. Being that I live in the great San Francisco Bay area, I have many choices of which facility to use. So naturally, being a researcher, I needed to survey the possibilities. Thus far I have visited eight dispensaries in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. They range from the back of a coffee shop to a a highly professional, one-on-one exclusive operation with very knowledgeable sales staff.
When I say 'back of the coffee shop' I mean walking past the big steel and copper steamer and the cases of pastries to a back room which could only have been a store room before its conversion and speaking to the owner/operator/clerk through a double pained glass shield; he in the storeroom section and me in the 5'x10' anteroom.
At the other end of the spectrum is the wonderful Vapor Room in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. A few of the dispensaries have a cabaret licenses, which means they can allow customers to light up on the premises. After purchasing some product there, we sat down and lite up a bowl of a particular strain we had been searching for. The three of us on that day's excursion shared the product and I collected notes for my experiment from three rather than just myself.
When we emerged from the Vapor Room, one of my companions said: "Wouldn't it be great if adults could do exactly what we just did? No fear, no hassles."
My response was: "We just did."
While I intend to check out several more dispensaries over the course of this experiment, I will say now that they are going to need to go a long way to top the Harborside Health Center in Oakland. A true co-op, they prefer to obtain their product from patient-members. They offer free classes and services including yoga, reiki, chiropractic and more. They also do more analysis of their product than is required by state statutes. More on the details of that in-depth analysis in my next post.
My current available options (personal stash) now include: four varieties for smoking, one beverage, a two-part tincture/cream topical product, a lollipop (lollipot?), several cookies and some hybrid hash. Starting next week, I will begin my clinical reports, observations and product reviews.