Tag: San Francisco

San Francisco’s Psychedelic Cooking Treat

Cable-access production values are a few grams shy of a ‘good thing,’ but The Hippy Gourmet has more in common with Martha’s Kitchen than Wayne’s World.

 

BY ED MURRIETA

Behind the heavy-lidded gaze, shaggy gray beard and mellow baritone of a Summer of Love dee-jay lays a classically trained French chef who wants to feed the people and feed your head. If his television cooking show, cookbooks and DVDs reap profit and popularity, that’s far out, too, man.

Bruce Brennan is The Hippy Gourmet, a Jerry Garcia-meets-James Beard bear of a man whose cable-access cooking show originates from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. The show, 50-plus episodes strong, airs weekly on nine Bay Area stations and recently started in Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago and New York.

Production values lean a few grams shy of a “good thing,” but “The Hippy Gourmet” has more in common with “Martha’s Kitchen” than “Wayne’s World,” pardoning the psychedelic music, paisley graphics and occasional presence of Manny the Hippy, famous for his tripped-out tete a tetes with David Letterman.

“‘The Hippy Gourmet’ is the antithesis of most TV cooking shows,” says producer-director James Ehrlich. “Bruce is the anti-Emeril.”

“Not a lot of clip, clip, clip, action, action, bam, bam, bam,” Brennan adds in his best mellow bellow.


Published Feb. 19, 2003, San Francisco Examiner.


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Positively Haight Street Legal

The Upper Haight-Ashbury — really, the only Haight-Ashbury to many, may finally get its first cannabis store.

Buying pot in San Francisco’s hippie ‘hood hits you like a surrealistic pillow in the very Aquarius age of cannabis legalization.

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — “Dank.”

“Green bud.”

“Need weed?”

Cannabis come-hithers hang over the Haight-Ashbury like body funk on street waifs — beacons and warnings signifying pot peddlers holding black-market bags.

I palmed two twenties and slalomed the sidewalk demimonde of dreadlocks, dogs and dubious hygiene.

I made eye contact by mistake.

Ganja girl flashed a broken smile and a digital scale.

“Full weight,” she said. “No Haighths, man.”

Haighths. That’s local lingo for notoriously pinched bags, two or three nugs shy of what both stoners and connoisseurs would agree is the common unweighed standard for an eighth of an ounce of cannabis flowers.

In the era of cannabis prohibition, Haighths were a form of street tax and convenience fee. Overpaying cash for underweight weed was the street-buyer’s bargain if you were a tourist, if your regular dealer was out of town, if your medical card expired or if you needed a last-minute housewarming gift on your way to dinner at your friend’s pad.

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CRUISING FOR CANNABIS

West Coast Boasts a Dozen Pot Ports of Call

High-end boutiques, pot-paired dinners, wine-and-weed and bud-and-beer pairings, CBD massages, CBD hotel mini-bars, decadent lounges and smoking excursions await cruise-ship travelers from Alaska to the Mexican border.

BY ED MURRIETA

Cruise-ship travelers are disembarking to legal cannabis on the West Coast of the United States and soon in Canada.

Major cruise lines docking in Juneau, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Diego today are just gangways away from legal ganja.

On Oct. 17, when legalization begin in Canada, Vancouver, BC, will become the West Coast’s 10th significant pot port and one of the rare places in all legal lands where tourists can smoke in cafes.

When Massachusetts’ recreational cannabis stores go online sometime this summer, there’ll be an international East Coast pot port enclave extending from Boston to Quebec City, Canada.

Today, you can pull into ports on many major cruise lines working the Pacific Ocean today and immerse yourself in the best cannabis stores, the best cannabis lounges, the best cannabis dinners and the best cannabis activities in legal cannabis states.

Depending on how long you’re in port — some cruises pull in for several hours, some for a day or two — you can book tours or DIY your own excursions.

But just don’t carry or use cannabis on board cruise ships. Here’s the bottom line from one major cruise line servicing North America’s Pacific Ocean coast:

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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.

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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.


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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.”

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San Francisco Cannabis Firsts

BY ED MURRIETA

Despite its history as California’s capital of drug culture and commerce, San Francisco was not the first city in the state to legally sell medicinal cannabis and will not be the first city in the state to legally sell recreational cannabis. (Berkeley nabbed the medicinal honor and Oakland will get the recreational glory.)

Historically, San Francisco’s other cannabis firsts include:

  • The Psychedelic Shop, the  first and most influential head shop in America, opening in January 1966, becoming the epicenter of hippie culture and commerce, including extra-legal drug sales and on-premises pot smoking.
  • Activist Dennis Peron, in 1974, opening The Island, a cannabis-friendly restaurant where pot was in the air and for sale upstairs.
  • The Board of Supervisors approving the first medical cannabis initiative in 1991, five years before California voters authorized medicinal cannabis.
  • Dennis Peron, in 1992, opening America’s first medicinal cannabis dispensary, San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, where people obtained and consumed cannabis.

Dennis Peron

Meantime, I’m on record predicting San Francisco will host the first legal cannabis lounge in America.

Los Angeles vs. San Francisco: How California’s Top Rival Cities Stack Up on Cannabis

First it was sports, food and culture. Now it’s pot.

BY ED MURRIETA

A largely unregulated Wild West of cannabis vs, a well-regulated city-state.

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5 Top Pot Moments in San Francisco History

BY ED MURRIETA

SAN FRANCISCO — Originally named Yerba Buena (translation: good herb in the language of  the Spanish settlers), San Francisco enjoys a relationship with cannabis that is as old as California history itself. Here are five moments in time when pot and San Francisco memorably collided.
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