Get ready to be stoked. California’s got more than 800 cannabis dispensaries carrying the best weed the world’s ever seen—purer and often cheaper than the illicit market. And here’s the crazy part—California shops have yet to even really blossom. Due to the state’s “home rule” policy, which allows local governments to forbid legal cannabis businesses, other government policies, and the sheer size of the state, 800 is relatively very few. Colorado has about 14 pot shops per 100,000 people. California has just two per 100,000 people. That said, most tourists and people outside the inland “pot deserts” nevertheless have a wide selection of quality dispensaries to choose from. Not to mention delivery services. This Leafly List rounds up the ones our reviewers rated most highly.
Highest-rated recreational dispensaries in California
The difference between “medical” and “recreational” dispensaries is fading in California, with many recreational shops serving medical patients. That said, they are for now still two distinct markets. Despite the state’s relatively small number of recreational dispensaries, we found top-notch shops across most regions of California.
100 W. Hospitality Lane—San Bernardino, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9. star rating out of 2219 dispensary reviews
Combining a primo selection, welcoming environment, and knowledgeable staff, Captain Jack’s is as well-liked as a dispensary can be. Leafly’s reviewers are effusive in their praise for this Inland Empire store, which features a vast selection of products displayed across a roomy, well-lit shop floor. Customers particularly enjoy the comfortable consumption bar and lounge, which offers a selection of vaporizers including the Volcano and the Dr. Dabber SWITCH. “You make me feel like family every time,” one Leafly reviewer writes.
445 4th St.—Eureka, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9. star rating out of 54 dispensary reviews
Other Locations: 334 F St, Eureka; 980 6th St., Arcata.
Thanks mainly to state and local taxes, legal weed is expensive in California. HPRC deals with this problem by regularly offering discounts and special deals. But that doesn’t mean it’s just a bargain bin: Customers routinely cite HPRC as their favorite in all of Humboldt County—America’s pot heartland. Formally known as the Humboldt Patient Resource Center, HPRC is particularly adept at helping customers with their health and wellness needs. It’s also known for its selection of products made for pets. Many Leafly reviewers praise the “helpful and friendly staff.”
Blue Mountain Collective
692 Marshall Ave.—San Andreas, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 40 dispensary reviews
“I couldn’t imagine wanting to go anywhere else,” wrote one Leafly reviewer about Blue Mountain Collective. “This place is like a dream, plus they have the cheapest rates around.” The first dispensary to open in Calaveras County, Blue Mountain serves both the recreational and medical markets. Customers say they particularly value the staff’s expertise, and its fast, efficient service. Several reviewers also note the comparatively low prices.
Los Angeles Kush
5470 Valley Blvd.—Los Angeles
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 5-star rating out of 1401 dispensary reviews
Los Angeles is rife with quality dispensaries, but Los Angeles Kush stands out. It’s won a raft of awards, and customers are lavish with their praise. A vast selection of products across a wide range of prices makes LA Kush “the go-to shop” in the City of Angels, one Leafly reviewer wrote. Giving discounts to first-time customers and offering random special deals and giveaways keeps people coming back. LA Kush opened in 2007 as California Herbal Remedies, a medical marijuana dispensary. Its crew of expert budtenders still serves medical customers as well as adult-use cannabis enthusiasts.
The Heart of Humboldt
601 I St. Suite B—Arcata, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.6-star rating out of 139 dispensary reviews
Some dispensaries employ aloof staffers who act like snooty clerks at indie record shops. The Heart of Humboldt, customers say, is the precise opposite. Many of Leafly’s reviewers mention the “friendly staff” and attention to service. “The vibe is so groovy, I keep coming back,” one writes. The Heart of Humboldt tries to live up to its name by participating in community events and offering discounts for military members, veterans, teachers, and students. New customers get a 10 percent discount on their first order.
Mercy Wellness of Cotati
7950 Redwood Drive—Cotati, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.7-star rating out of 140 dispensary reviews
Other Locations: Santa Rosa
Mercy Wellness prides itself not only on its quality products and great service, but also on being an engaged member of its community, an active proponent of the legal cannabis industry, and a supporter of various causes. Mercy, which has served Sonoma County for nearly 12 years, has particular expertise in serving seniors, not only with products and programs aimed at their needs but also with discounts for people 55 and up. “Mercy Wellness is not just a dispensary,” one Leafly reviewer writes. “The staff, customers, and all their business partners are like family. There is so much Mercy Love!”
1070 US Hwy 101 N—Crescent City, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.7-star rating out of 60 dispensary reviews
Sticky Grove is all about efficient service. The storefront pick-up service is for people who know what they want—which they often learn from talking via phone to one of its knowledgeable budtenders—and who just want it without a lot of hassle. “It was less than 10 minutes for my order to be ready,” one Leafly reviewer wrote. “Friendly associates, great prices, fast service!” The shop takes advantage of its lack of overhead by offering low prices.
Highway 29 Health Care
3737 Sonoma Blvd.—Vallejo, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 11 dispensary reviews
Highway 29 Health Care has been serving the city of Vallejo since 2012, offering a wide array of top-tier products for both medical and adult-use customers. One Leafly reviewer who decided to use cannabis to relieve ADHD symptoms wrote that, on the phone, “I was greeted with a friendly man who assisted me with my nervousness and questions. Upon arrival, the front desk woman was also kind regardless of my pure ignorance at their operational procedures. Upon entry Into the shop each clerk was kind and the gentleman who helped me specifically was professional and kind. I recommend this place to anyone.”
Wild Seed Wellness
1109 Chestnut St.—Marysville, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.8-star rating out of 21 dispensary reviews
Comfort and efficiency are the watchwords at Wild Seed Wellness, with several Leafly reviewers noting the relaxed atmosphere and “chill,” staff. “We take great pride in having a knowledgeable staff that can guide you to the right product for your needs,” Wild Seed promises. Customers agree, with several indicating that the budtenders really know their stuff. Wild Seed offers a different discount promotion every day.
Mount Shasta Patients Collective
408 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd.—Mount Shasta, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 94 dispensary reviews
A Leafly reviewer’s anecdote about Mount Shasta Patients Collective highlights the dispensary’s attention to service: After helping the customer with a purchase, the budtender “even helped me troubleshoot a problem I am having with a plant I’m trying to grow,” the reviewer writes. “I will totally be asking for her the next time I’m in there. Good experience all around.” Nothing says “service” like a retail dispensary assisting a customer in growing his or her own. Other reviewers also heaped praise on the staff. Mount Shasta happily serves adult-use customers, but specializes in medical users, with a wide selection of high-THC and high-CBD products.
Highest-rated medical dispensaries in California
Since 2016, when Californians voted to legalize cannabis for adult use, the distinction between medical and recreational cannabis use has blurred. Nevertheless, there are still important distinctions between them, and there are still dispensaries that serve primarily, or only, medical marijuana patients. Possessing a state medical cannabis ID card and a physician’s recommendation bestows numerous benefits that are protected by law, including access to cannabis with more THC than is allowed for adult-use customers and the freedom to possess as much pot as a patient’s doctor recommends (recreational consumers are allowed to possess only up to one ounce). You also save money on sales taxes. That said, relatively few people get a medical ID card. California has a proud tradition of serving medical marijuana patients dating back decades, since well before the state legalized medical pot in 1996. Many of the state’s dispensaries are carrying on that tradition.
Central Coast Wellness Center
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 5-star rating out of 17 dispensary reviews
The science behind medical cannabis has made huge advances in recent years, and Central Coast Wellness Center has advanced right along with it. Specializing in “alternative” cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and Delta-8 THC, as well as terpenes like myrcene and humulene, Central Coast Wellness Center has an expert staff ready to assist any medical patient with just about any ailment. The location in the Santa Cruz Mountains might be somewhat remote for many (though it is right on Highway 9, a fairly major thoroughfare), but one Leafly reviewer notes that it’s “worth the drive up to the mountains.” (Also serves adult-use customers.)
7128 Miramar Rd.—San Diego, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 1,145 dispensary reviews
(Also serves adult-use customers)
Mankind Dispensary believes customer knowledge is power, so the budtenders there are always ready to help customers understand the details of the medicine they’re getting and how it works. Mankind says it has “pioneered a new kind of cannabis dispensary” that operates according to this principle. “Unlike other dispensaries where the cannabis is behind a counter or under lock-and-key, all of ours is available for you, the customer, to look through and choose exactly what you want at your own pace with the support of our cannabis consultants.” Leafly reviews tend to agree: more than 1,100 of them have rated Mankind, and it has maintained its near-perfect score.
1551 Nursery Way.—McKinleyville, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.5-star rating out of 29 dispensary reviews
(Also serves adult-use customers.)
Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term that means “awakening,” or “enlightenment.” Visiting Satori Wellness might not make you become one with the universe, but going by Leafly’s reviewers, it will make you satisfied. McKinleyville’s first medical and recreational dispensary, Satori has the knowhow and range of products to help medical patients find just the right kind of relief. Satori offers various promotional discounts, including 15 percent off the first purchase for new customers.
10467 Roscoe Blvd.—Sun Valley (Los Angeles)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 225 dispensary reviews
(Also serves adult-use customers)
Many of the best dispensaries in California are the oldest ones. Exhalence opened its doors in 2007, and has emphasized customer service ever since, to near-universal acclaim. Also winning customers’ plaudits is Exhalence’s gigantic array of products: about 1,500 of them, including many of the best-known brands. “Plain and simple, this shop has the best selection, the best space, and some of the most helpful employees I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking with,” writes one Leafly reviewer.
Golden State Greens
3452 Hancock St.—San Diego, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.8-star rating out of 324 dispensary reviews
Among the most important attributes of a medical cannabis dispensary is product range. There are so many differences among patients, ailments, and products that it often takes some experimentation for a patient to determine which cannabinoids and terpenes, which product types, and which dosages are right for him or her. For that reason, Golden State Greens prides itself on its wide selection and on the quality of the products it sells. Leafly’s reviewers are overwhelmingly impressed with the dispensary’s friendly, knowledgeable budtenders and attention to service. (Also serves adult-use customers)
4693 Ramon Rd.—Palm Springs, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 22 dispensary reviews
It takes pluck to name a pot dispensary after a 1930s marijuana scare film, and Reefer Madness has plenty of pluck. The owners needed it because they opened the shop in March 2020, just as the Covid pandemic was taking hold and shutdown orders were being issued. The shop prides itself on its independence and non-corporate vibe, and customers value its low prices and high level of service. “This place checks all the boxes, GO HERE!” one Leafly reviewer writes. (Also serves adult-use customers)
Higher Level of Consciousness
1802 Shelton Dr.—Hollister, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 44 dispensary reviews
The Owners of Higher Level of Consciousness, all of whom are originally from the Monterey Peninsula, got their start in San Diego in 2010, operating a medical cannabis dispensary there. In 2015, they noticed that there was a “major void in the availability of safe access for MMJ patients in Monterey County.” They now operate three dispensaries in the county. Customers applaud Higher Level for its higher-than-average level of service, as well as for the promotional deals it regularly offers. (Also serves adult-use customers.)
The Higher Path
14080 Ventura Blvd.—Sherman Oaks, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.9-star rating out of 540 dispensary reviews
The Higher Path is highly community-focused, with programs aimed at compassionate care, social equity, and veteran services. It also participates in several charitable programs for the LGBTQ community and environmental causes. It takes particular pride in its Highly Curated Shelf, “a carefully sourced collection of local products, or products whose owners are part of marginalized communities. We do everything we can to support Women, LGBTQIA, AAPI, Latinx, and Black-owned brands. Now, we’ve made it easier for you to support, too!” Customers are all for that, and also love the dispensary’s quality products and services. (Also serves adult-use customers.)
The Humboldt County Collective
1670 Myrtle Ave.—Eureka, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.4-star rating out of 10 dispensary reviews
The Humboldt County Collective is humble, with a small, no-nonsense shop, no website, and not much to say about itself online. But here’s what one of Leafly’s reviewers has to say about it: “For folks who are serious about selection, quality, and service. Not a flashy, high-tech-looking store, the space is tiny but filled with product knowledge, quality product, and fair prices. The money they save on interior decorating is passed on to the customer and the budtenders are second-to-none for good advice and friendly service. Special discounts for loyal customers and seniors. Come around back for the best deals on the best quality like locals in the know—you will be glad you did.” (Also serves adult-use customers)
1173 Harley Knox Blvd.—Perris, CA
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 4.8-star rating out of 49 dispensary reviews
Customers of Green America routinely praise the dispensary’s attention to detail and levels of knowledgeable service. Budtenders are warm and patient. One Leafly reviewer brought her “1943 some-original-parts mom” to the shop and got help picking out a topical cream for her mom’s pain. “We felt very comfortable being there,” she writes. Security is very present. Thank you to the staff for all your kindness to myself and mother. It was her first time in a dispensary and she had a super fun Saturday night girls’-trip adventure.” (Also serves adult-use customers.)
Selection Criteria for Leafly List
To calculate the highest-rated dispensaries in California for 2022, our Leafly List team uses a methodology based on quantitative and qualitative review data of dispensaries listed on Leafly, as well as other quality indicators, like reorder rates and deals availability (in markets where discounts are legal). Our teams are dedicated to showcasing a wide variety of highly-rated medical and recreational dispensaries.