At a Glance

Dispensary: Caliva

Location: 1695 S. 7th St., San Jose, CA

Medical/recreational: Medical

Years in business: 1.5

Number of reviews in 2016: 97

Total products: 145

  • Flower products: 20
  • Concentrate products: 20
  • Edible products: 49
  • Pre-rolls: 5
  • Cannabis seeds: 19
  • Other products: 32
Caliva in San Jose, California - one of the best dispensaries from Leafly List 2016
Exterior of  Caliva in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2016. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

In September of 2016 we partnered with Business Insider to showcase the best dispensaries in America, and it isn’t hard to see why Caliva topped our list. With a fresh look and an unwavering dedication to excellence, the San Jose-based dispensary truly pushes industry standards forward and successfully casts cannabis in a positive, mainstream light.

According to Rosie Rothrock, VP Branding & Marketing, Caliva began as an idea to “completely redefine [the industry] and elevate the conversation.” Before long, they found themselves flush with a talented team of dreamers, doers, leaders, innovators, creatives, and green thumbs. Together, the group succeeded in creating one of the most highly regarded dispensaries in the industry.

From the friendly customer service to the distinctive décor (think local art, reclaimed wood surfaces, and a living wall), the shop exudes California cool without the pomp. Shelves are stocked with a plethora of strains produced at the on-site grow facility in San Jose, which includes an in-house testing lab. Caliva’s dedication even extends to customers who choose to grow their own medicine: the dispensary recently rolled out a clone program to ensure that patients are able to cultivate the best possible plants at home.

Caliva also stocks other local producers, which Rothrock calls “a keen interest in promoting the best local and artisanal vendors” – particularly those who practice sustainable cultivation. “Working in a regulated industry, we are fostering a diverse marketplace that best serves our customers,” Rothrock notes. This keeps patients coming back for more – according to store manager Erika H., “We have regular customers that visit every day and enjoy coming in to check out new product, see what the daily deals are, and discuss new happenings in the industry. We also have many customers that travel from out of town just to come to Caliva.”

After hitting the dispensary, visitors should track down the Madd Mex taco truck (which can be spotted all around the San Jose area) for some of the best tacos around.

A budtender at Caliva dispensary in San Jose, California
A budtender assists a customer in Caliva in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2016. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

In Rothrock’s Words

Top selling product: “Flowers continue to be the top selling product, but we’re seeing a shift from people simply seeking super-high THC percentages to the customer wanting to know more.”

What is the surrounding neighborhood like? “San Jose is experiencing a real renaissance with a vibrant arts and culture scene that our staff is actively participating in.”

Fun fact about your dispensary: “We host Taco Tuesday at Caliva and have built a relationship with one of the area’s best taco trucks to provide lunch to our customers.”

What inspires you to come to work? “Without a doubt, the cannabis industry is the most exciting, fast-paced, groundbreaking, challenging and innovative sector to work in right now, so for us this answer is simple: we thought it (this industry and access to this plant and all its benefits) was important enough to get right.”

Lobby at Caliva dispensary in San Jose, California
The lobby of Caliva in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2016. (James Tensuan for Leafly)

What Leafly Reviewers Say

According to avid customers, Caliva is regarded as the “best dispensary throughout time and space!” Cannabis consumers stop by this spot where the “bud is always of highest quality” and the staff is “always welcoming.” It’s a “go to spot” with a “good selection of buds, edibles, and concentrates.”

Runner-Up: Airfield Supply Co. (San Jose, CA)