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Top-Rated Dispensaries in California College Towns

September 20, 2018

Maybe you’ve already discovered your favorite dive bar or late-night pizza joint. But do you know the best place for your cannabis needs? We’ve curated Leafly reviewers’ favorites in college towns that have legal cannabis for adults 21 and up.

Note that not every city is included. Large swaths of California still don’t allow retail stores. And some big urban areas, such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area, aren’t on here because, let’s be real, are those really college towns? If you’re in one of those cities, don’t worry: You’ve got choices galore. Just head over to the Leafly Finder to find dispensaries nearby.


Home to: University of California Berkeley, Berkeley City College

Stoney App

Far and away the most reviewed retailer in Berkeley, Leafly reviewers credit this delivery service with knowledgable staff and generally quick, professional drivers. Throw in a reputation for good deals and operating hours that stretch till nearly midnight, and it’s no surprise Stoney is a fan favorite. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

Berkeley Patients Group

In operation since 1999, BPG bills itself as America’s oldest dispensary. It was also one of the first to kick off adult-use sales on Jan. 1. Aside from its trailblazing history, reviewers also applaud its easy parking, informative staff, and an extensive product menu. (4.5 stars, 127 reviews)

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Home to: University of California Davis

Stoney App

Far and away the most reviewed retailer in Davis—due primarily to the lack of brick-and-mortar stores in the city—Stoney is known for knowledgable staff and generally quick, professional drivers. Throw in a reputation for good deals and operating hours that stretch till nearly midnight, and it’s no surprise Stoney is a popular choice. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

515 Broadway

OK, so this shop isn’t in Davis proper. But if you’re willing to make the 30-minute drive into Sacramento, visit 515 Broadway. It’s one of the first shops you’ll hit on your way into the capital, and it has a loyal following. It’s small and intimate, but don’t let its size fool you—the product selection is impressive. (4.7 stars, 9 reviews)


Home to: University of California Irvine, Irvine Valley College, FIDM Orange County, Concordia University Irvine

Stoney App

Noticing a trend yet? With nary a brick-and-mortar store in Irvine itself, delivery service Stoney App is a go-to choice, popular for its speedy service, product choices, and professional drivers. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

…or Drive to Santa Ana

It’s a short hike north, but you’ll have access to some of the best shops near the OC, including high-ranking shops The Joint, Evergreen, Mr. Nice Guy, ShowGrow, Bud and Bloom, From the Earth, OC3 – Orange County Cannabis Club, South Coast Safe Access (SCSA), Super Clinik, New Generation, and many more.

If you’re wondering why there are so many top-ranking shops in Santa Ana, we’ve got your answer right here.

Palo Alto

Stoney App

For now, Palo Alto is an area where you’re better off opting for delivery. Stoney App is consistently ranked among the top services by Leafly reviewers, who praise its reliability, speed, and professionalism. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

Cannabis Express

Another delivery option. While Cannabis Express hasn’t banked the hundreds of reviews that Stoney has, customers rave about its high-quality product offerings and convenient, quick deliveries. They’ll even keep you updated on the status of your order. (5.0 stars, 12 reviews)

Sonic Chronic

Yet another delivery option. This shop also doesn’t have the depth of reviews that Stoney does, but customers consistently remark on how speedy the service is. It’s open daily starting at 4 p.m. (4.7 stars, 17 reviews)

San Luis Obispo

Home to: California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, Cuesta College

Stoney App

You guessed it. With no brick-and-mortar stores in San Luis Obispo, delivery’s your only option. Luckily, Stoney App comes with a hearty endorsement from Leafly reviewers. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

Santa Barbara

Home to: University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College

Stoney App

There are a couple medical shops in Santa Barbara, but if you don’t have a doctor’s recommendation, you’re better off sticking with delivery. Stoney App is on standby to deliver directly to you—and reviewers have good things to say. (4.9 stars, 792 reviews)

Santa Cruz

Home to: University of California Santa Cruz


Reviewers agree TreeHouse is one of the best spots in town, with a relaxed atmosphere and a friendly, helpful staff that’s ready to answer your questions or point you toward a choice product. Located just off the 1 freeway. (4.8 stars, 67 reviews)


Whether you have basic questions about cannabis or want to geek out on terpenes, reviewers say CannaCruz’s staff is knowledgable, patient, and easy to talk to. The shop stocks a broad selection of flower, concentrates, and pre-rolls—including an array of high-CBD products. (4.7 stars, 60 reviews)

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Leafly Staff

Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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