Category: Lounges

S.F.’s $2 Billion Bus Depot in Heart of City’s Pot

High-speed rail is years off but Transbay Transit Center can speed your journey to cannabis — and offers stunning views from a quarter-mile-long rooftop park you can visit after you get high nearby.

BY ED MURRIETA

San Francisco’s old temporary bus station is only two blocks away and itself served routes where cannabis is legally sold and consumed in neighborhood stores and lounges, from the Financial District and South of Market to the Mission District and Bernal Heights and beyond.

San Francisco’s fancy new $2 billion bus station — the Transbay Transit Center or the Salesforce Transit Center depending on how you honor naming rights for public amenities — grand opened on Saturday and today begins doing what it was built to do: be a transportation hub for the city’s Muni bus lines, Greyhound buses, Amtrak buses and regional commuter buses entering and exiting the city.

In addition to an exclusive skyway that carries buses off the Bay Bridge, the new Transbay Transit Center offers bus riders architectural eye candy and a stunning urban amenity: a quarter-mile-long rooftop park open to the public that provides towering, intoxicating views amid steel-and-glass skyscraper construction.

You can’t legally smoke cannabis in the Transbay Transit Center’s Salesforce Park. (It’s guarded by people and video cameras 24/7.) But you can certainly consume at a nearby cannabis lounge and return to enjoy the park. Do be aware of each bus line’s rules about carrying cannabis.

The subterranean high-speed trains in the architect’s rendering above? They’re part of a future plan. For now, Transbay Transit Center, or the Salesforce Transit Center, is a fancy bus depot that’ll soon feature pop-up food vendors, public art and entertainment.

See the map below for all the cannabis stores and lounges that easily reachable by bus or walking from the Transbay Transit Center.

Continue reading

Do You Know the Way from San Jose to San Francisco Cannabis Lounges?

Beeline from conference panel on public consumption to the nearest places to smoke, vape and dab.

BY ED MURRIETA

Cannabis lounges and public consumption will be discussed at the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit and Expo July 27 in San Jose, Calif.

There are no cannabis lounges in San Jose. If panel participants and attendees jones for what they discuss, the nearest cannabis lounges are in San Francisco.

If you don’t know the way from San Jose, here are San Francisco’s cannabis lounges, mapped and reviewed.

Continue reading

Handicapping Sacramento Cannabis Lounges

pay-ed-2

Top five contenders for opening capital city’s first cannabis lounge for social consumption.

BY ED MURRIETA

Sacramento’s City Council recently voted overwhelmingly in favor of the nations’s first event featuring open consumption of cannabis in public.

The next milestone facing Sacramento is whether the city should permit cannabis lounges — licensed and regulated places where adults age 21 and over can congregate to consume cannabis in social settings, like the lounge scene in San Francisco.

The city is expected to consider allowing cannabis lounges this fall. If allowed, applicants will be limited to currently operating businesses holding retail sales licenses from the state, and locations will be tied to stores’ physical addresses.

Until then, here are my top five contenders for opening Sacramento’s first cannabis lounge:

  • Northstar
  • Hugs
  • A Therapeutic Alternative
  • 515 Broadway
  • Abatin Wellness

My observations and comments, based on the nature of the current operation, management’s credibility, and future lounges’ locations and proximity to public transit, are contained within the embedded map below.

Here’s my vision and pitch deck for a cannabis lounge.

Read all of my previous cannabis lounge coverage.

Weed Weekend: San Francisco

Legal cannabis is best enjoyed in social lounges, with gourmet food and in the hands of five-star hotel spa masseuses.

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Like Amsterdam, this lusty city-state boasts picaresque history, edgy authenticity, mind-blowing art and Instagrammable sights,  and among inclined travelers is a cannabis bucket-list destination. From Barbary Coast Bohemians to Beat generation poets and the Sixties’ Summer of Love to today’s legalized renaissance, cannabis has enshrouded San Francisco in intoxicating fog, a heady come-hither whether you wear flowers in your hair or Kate Spades on your feet. Once, tourists scored baggies of pot from hygiene-challenged ragamuffins on hippie-haven Haight Street; modern visitors marvel at the commercialization and wide-spread availability of California’s top agricultural product now that it’s taxed and regulated by the state and innovated by artisans and entrepreneurs. So dive into world-class cannabis retailing; decadent social-consumption lounges; gourmet meals and five-star hotel spa massages incorporating the plant; and local craft beer and cocktails spiked with cannabis extracts, toasting San Francisco’s gay and high history.

Continue reading

San Francisco Cannabis Lounges Reviewed and Mapped

4/17 update: SPARC now now recreational.

Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm, Lounge 847 and ReLeaf Herbal serve recreational cannabis consumers in the heart of hotels, museums, entertainment and shopping.

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver. America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas. Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too. America’s first legal cannabis lounges are already open in San Francisco.

Permitted for more than a decade and tolerated since the earliest days of the city’s medicinal cannabis community in the 1990s, San Francisco cannabis lounges are models of public use in social settings. They’re now serving the city’s legal adult-use recreational cannabis market, including locals and tourists.

Here they are, reviewed and mapped.


Continue reading

San Francisco Scores First Public Cannabis Lounge in U.S.

Update 2/11: ReLeaf Herbal’s bare-bones lounge is now serving recreational adult-use customers.
Update 2/8: Green Door’s Lounge847 is now open for recreational consumers.
Update 1/18: Urban Pharm opened for recreational sales and lounge use today, Thursday Jan. 18.

Decadent, safe, comfortable and regulated, Barbary Coast is now serving recreational cannabis consumers.

Barbary Coast

A view of the dab bar at Barbary Coast’s lounge. 

BY ED MURRIETA

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Denver.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge will not open in Las Vegas.

Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too.

America’s first legal cannabis lounge opened Thursday in San Francisco.

Actually, Barbary Coast Collective opened its luxe lounge next to its South of Market medicinal cannabis dispensary in March. Barbary Coast started serving adult-use recreational customers Thursday, making it the first legal, regulated cannabis lounge in America — the holy grail of the modern cannabis era.

“It’s something we’re proud of and excited about,” Barbary Coast director Jesse Henry told me. “I think we are going to get a lot of people who’ll think it’s like going to Amsterdam, and we’ll provide a safe, clean, comfortable place for folks to smoke.”

Continue reading

San Francisco Leads Legal Pot Lounge Sweepstakes By a Nug

One of the city’s medicinal cannabis lounges will be America’s first recreational pot lounge when adult-use cannabis sales start Saturday.

san-francisco

ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — The first pot lounge in America will not open in Denver.

The first pot lounge in America will not open in Las Vegas.

Forget about Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts, too.

The first pot lounge in America is already open in San Francisco.

On Saturday, when San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensaries are expected to transition to the adult-use recreational market, it’ll be official.

There are eight pot lounges in California’s historically progressive cannabis capital, all currently operating inside or adjacent to dispensaries, providing the city’s medicinal cannabis consumers comfortable and safe environments to smoke, vape, dab and socialize — the holy grail of every pothead who’s ever heard of Amsterdam.

“We have eight existing lounges in the city, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,” San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott said.

Permitted for more than a decade and tolerated since the earliest days of the city’s medicinal cannabis community, San Francisco dispensary lounges are models of public cannabis consumption.

Whichever dispensary/lounge receives its temporary adult-use retail sales permit from the state — all San Francisco dispensary/lounges reportedly await city permits, the first step in the permit process before permits are granted — will be the first licensed, on-premises consumption lounge in an adult-use recreational cannabis state, leaving Las Vegas, Denver, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts all playing for second.

There’s at least one more cannabis store/lounge on the way. The Vapor Room opened in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in 2003 and was shut down by the federal government in 2012. The Vapor Room was cleared to open as a medicinal dispensary/lounge and is now under construction in a new location downtown with an eye toward the recreational market.

“The lounges are like a civic water cooler where people gather and build relationships and community,” said Lloyd Francis, a San Francisco novelist who frequented The Vapor Room on Haight Street. “I have met many close friends at San Francisco cannabis lounges.”

Cannabis lounge proposals have been pursued, with limited success and the requisite fits, stops and starts, in Las Vegas, Denver, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts.

America, meet your first legal pot lounges.*

*Pending city and state permits.

Continue reading

The First Cannabis Lounge of the Legal Era in America Will Be in San Francisco

‘We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,’ S.F. cannabis czar says.

san-francisco

BY ED MURRIETA

While Denver, Las Vegas and Massachusetts are racing to claim the honor of being the first place in America to host a legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge, eight San Francisco medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges are poised to give San Francisco claim to being the home of the first  legal, adult-use cannabis consumption lounge in America come 9 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2018 — the first day of the new legal era in which the city’s currently permitted medicinal social lounges can serve the recreational market.

Anyone wanting to be the first cannabis lounge in America has until 8:59 a.m. PST on the first Saturday  of January.  You’ll be competing with the Apple store of cannabis lounges, a Burning Man-inspired lounge that feels like a steampunk sex club and the newest most decadent lounge in town, which I just had the honor of helping to name the best cannabis lounge in the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState Awards.

“We have eight existing lounges in the City, and they will be able to continue operating in 2018,” San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis director Nicole Elliott told me in an email this afternoon.

California has not yet created a licensing scheme for cannabis lounges, nor does the state expressly prohibit cannabis lounges.  Absent state prohibition, local governments like San Francisco, Denver and Las Vegas can approve cannabis lounges.  San Francisco’s eight existing medicinal cannabis dispensary lounges — along with one that was shuttered by the federal government in 2011 and is preparing to re-open near Twitter headquarters — will be allowed to operate under city regulations they’ve operated under over the past decade.  Dispensaries that apply for new licenses in 2018 will be subject to stricter ventilation and  hermetically sealed smoking room requirements.

California pot czar Lori Ajax told regulators in Sacramento last week that when the state licenses cannabis lounges some time next year, lounge licenses will be tied to dispensary permits. There’ll be no stand-alone pot cafes in California.

San Francisco is the de facto model for pot lounges and social cannabis consumption in America.

Three of San Francisco’s leading dispensary lounges — Barbary Coast, Urban Pharm and Sparc — told they’re pursuing the state permit that’ll allow them to transition to the adult-use market. I’m checking with the other five dispensaries regarding their plans.

urban-pharm-san-francisco_320x240_826a-1

Urban Pharm

Sparc

Sparc

Barbary Coast

Barbary Coast

 

Here’s a tour of San Francisco cannabis lounges  I wrote last year.Here’s one San Francisco pot lounge story I wrote for the Denver Post’s The Cannabist in 2015. Here’s another.

Which San Francisco pot lounge do you want to visit when the first recreational pot lounge(s) opens in America on Jan. 6, 2018?

Smoke Your Hearts in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Got a bud-loving bae who insists on pot as a prelude?

She’s right.

“When you have a smoke sesh with someone, it’s a great bonding experience,” says passionately pro-pot dating expert Molly Peckler.

Whether you’re looking for your cannabis love connection or just a hopped-up hookup in San Francisco’s sexiest dispensary lounges this Valentine’s Day,  you’ll surely take precautions, and especially in public smoke-sesh situations. Foremost because the valid California medical cannabis recommendation you need to carry to keep things legal here protects you like a prophylactic pot passport.

But more importantly because cannabis compatibility is a prerequisite for successful relationships under the influence. Your taste for old-school joints and his thing for high-tech vape pens could snuff out what might otherwise be true love.

You’ll know other deal breakers — like when he over-compensates with elaborate bongs, or when she dumps the contents of the Volcano chamber when the weed contains more good hits.

Of course, you’ll recognize your stoner soul mates should you meet cute over cannabis. If so, may the cherries on your doobies burn hot and long.

Here, then, are seven places where you can blaze, dab or vape your Valentine’s Day hearts content in  the pot-lovingest smoke-sesh city by the bay.

Continue reading

Urban Pharm Review: Dispensary/Lounge Meets Steampunk Sex Club

BY ED MURRIETA

Since the 19th century, when robber barons’ wives insisted they spend their railroad riches in San Francisco, Sacramento Valley elites have aspired to the greater heights of the city.

Two San Francisco medical cannabis dispensaries match that migration. Cookies SF emerged from Sacramento’s Collective Efforts, which breeds and markets the hell out of Cookies strains. Urban Pharm has roots in Sacramento’s Northstar Holistic Collective, since 2010 my go-to dispensary in the state capital.

Opened in December 2015, Urban Pharm is among San Francisco’s new design-intensive gilded-age cannabis dispensaries.

Quality, selection and value of Urban Pharm’s flowers, extracts and edibles meet or beat other top pot shops in the city.

Urban Pharm outdoes them all, however, with an on-premises, open-flame consumption lounge where anything goes — smoking, dabbing, vaping, ediblizing, even stoner comic heckling and karaoke singing.

Continue reading

Dear Denver: Vote Yes on Social Cannabis Consumption

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — It was 8 p.m. and pitch dark when it dawned on me: I should not be smoking hashish in the rain behind the Greyhound station before my red-eye ride to Humboldt County.

Igzactly 420 was approximately three blocks away and wouldn’t close for two hours — precisely 10 minutes before my bus departed.

A seven-minute walk later, the medical cannabis dispensary and vaporizing lounge became my port in a storm, one of San Francisco’s models of public social cannabis consumption — a flaming-hot issue in states that have legalized recreational cannabis use by adults.

Continue reading

© 2018

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑