Yerba Buena gardens seen from the Metreon in San Francisco, California on Tuesday, August 27, 2013.
SOURCE: Liz Hafalia
Your best bets for medical marijuana plus sightseeing and experiences in downtown San Francisco
San Francisco’s social smoke scene is thriving with amazing cannabis lounges to drop in for a toke. While it’s not an unusual occurrence to smell fragrant puffs of herb on the streets of one of the state’s most cannabis-friendly cities, these legal lounges provide an essential service to marijuana patients by providing safe spaces to medicate. Each lounge has its own unique vibe — many include items like rolling papers, bongs and vaporizers for use — and provide an excellent jumping off point for stoney explorations, especially those involving heightened sensory experiences.
While all of these Amsterdam-style coffee shop lounges exist within the borders of the SOMA district — each no more than a few blocks from another — they remain relatively unknown to the public at large. Access to these spaces is currently only open to medical cannabis patients (here’s how you get your weed card), but as the state makes the transition into a recreational marketplace we hope to see some of these clubs open to the 21 and over set. They are excellent alternative locations for after-work happy hours or social calls and, while it’s always nice to make a purchase on-site, most will also allow you to enjoy the flowers or concentrate you brought from home.
Each of these cannabis lounges are rad places to enjoy premium selections of San Francisco’s finest flowers. And unlike the speakeasy scene that followed the days of alcohol prohibition, these are city-sanctioned spaces designed to promote safe consumption and are not at all “hush, hush.”
We’ve come up with a few itinerary suggestions for your dank day out.
1) FEED YOUR HEAD
SPARC + SFMOMA
1256 Mission St.
The interior design award-winning lounge at San Francisco Patient Resource Center – aka SPARC (see what they did there?) — is incredibly sleek and stylish. With the free tea provided, the occasional masseuses in house and the Volcano vaporizers available for daily use, think of SPARC as your day spa. This lounge is a place to go to renew and recharge. Only blocks from the SFMOMA, the modernist design aesthetics of this lounge make it the perfect place to pop in before appreciating modern art. This lounge, exclusive to vaping, is strictly flowers-only.
courtesy of SFMOMA
2) GET YOUR GAME ON
Green Door + Giants Baseball
843 Howard St.
For anyone in to watching sports, the Green Door lounge is your new spot. With several TVs to catch the game and a pool table this lounge most closely resembles a traditional sports bar. Visitors can purchase beverages via the snack machines and stay to watch the game — enjoying cannabis with friends is a much healthier alternative than socializing over drinks at a bar. If sports aren’t on, expect loud music and assorted TV programing. Ambitious Giants fans could also hit the Green Door lounge before heading to AT&T Park. This lounge is filled with comfy couches and allows you to “rent” smoking accessories by dropping off your ID for safe keeping.
Carlos Avila Gonzalez
3) THE SENSORY OVERLOAD TOUR
Barbary Coast + Metreon IMAX 3D
952 Mission St.
With this itinerary we offer your the best of old and new. The look and feel of Barbary Coast goes back to the bawdry days of San Francisco, when dance halls, saloons and brothels dominated the red-light district from which the cannabis club picks up its name. This lounge, accessible after a $40 purchase, is the ideal place for old-fashioned outings — think sensimilla in sepia tone — and, while of course it’s completely optional, we suggest also dressing the part to maximize the fun. After you’ve tested out the futuristic vaporization technology via a VapeXhale or a dab rig, continue your journey from the past into the ultra-technical modern day by catching a film at the Metreon IMAX 3D.
Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle
San Francisco marijuana lounge Barbary Coast crushes it.
4) FOOD, YEE!
Urban Pharm + SOMA StrEat Food Park
22 10th St.
With Urban Pharm the steampunk aesthetic, much beloved by members by the city’s Burning Man scene, is on full display. Enjoy a smoke (as well as the metalwork) in the dab lounge, or take a hit of cannabis concentrate from one of the rigs located on the front counter. This lounge is on the smaller end, and only offers bar stools for seating, so it’s best for a quick stop before lunch at the SOMA StrEat Food Park. Your meal should taste even better after emerging from this lounge pulled straight from the pages of a Jules Verne novel.
An Fruits & Yogurt Indulgence Crepe at the J-Shack food truck at the SOMA StrEat Food Park.
5) RETAIL THERAPY TOUR
The Bloom Room + Westfield Center
71 Jessie St.
Shopping can be hectic, luckily the Bloom Room is available to take off any added stress before or after hitting all the stores at the Westfield Center. This welcoming, but small space, is only open to vaping and provides Volcanos for use. Its centralized location makes it an amazing place to get grounded before heading out into the hectic pace of downtown.
Cannabis buds at the Bloom Room Cannabis Collective.
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