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San Francisco Cannabis Tourism City Guide 2018

Published on August 24, 2018 · Last updated July 28, 2020
The Ultimate Marijuana Summer Road Trip Through California | Leafly
Mission Dolores Park. (photo_chaz/iStock)

Sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tide roll away. … Is just one of the many perks of legal cannabis in the world-class city of San Francisco.

‘Where does all that water go? … How close is the nearest great white shark? … Did anyone ever make it off Alcatraz?’

You’ll ponder this and more whilst puffing on a top-shelf vape cartridge and watching the fog engulf the Golden Gate Bridge and the city light up for the night.

Welcome, to Leafly’s San Francisco Cannabis Tourism City Guide — filled with everything you need to get oriented.


Click Here to View Leafly’s Map of San Francisco Cannabis Stores


  • Cannabis is legal in California for adults age 21+. Bring a valid, unexpired form of ID to get into retail stores.
  • It’s legal to carry up to one ounce of cannabis flower as well as eight grams of extract.
  • You can also grow six plants.
  • Adults 21 and older can also gift each other cannabis and transport it. Cannabis must be unopened and locked in trunk, like booze.
  • No driving or boating high. No open containers or half-smoked joints.
  • No smoking in public. That includes any private place the public can visit, like hotels and bars.
THC Treat Yo' Self

Questions/Comments? Email Leafly California Editor David Downs at

Top San Francisco Cannabis Shops

Brick and Mortar

  • Harvest Off Mission — Avoid crazypants downtown for red-hot Bernal Heights and this stellar store.
  • Barbary Coast — OK, crazypants downtown is worth it for this world-class store and lounge destination. Yes, it’s legal to light up in the lounge.
  • Bloom Room — When the Barbary line is out the door, just go around the back alley to find this charming local secret.
  • Purple Star — Deep in the Mission, we love this no-frills, easy-in, easy-out spot.


  • SAVA — Hand-selected and discretely delivered.
  • Ganjarunner — Yuge selection to fit every skill level.
  • Canex — Gas up on Loudpack Gas OG from these fire vendors.

San Francisco Cannabis Shopping


  • $10-$20: One gram of flower (a few pipe loads) or a pre-roll
  • $30-$80: One eighth-ounce of flower (one-finger lid) or a few edibles
  • $75-$150: One-quarter-ounce of flower (two-finger lid) or a couple vape carts
  • $140-$200: Half-ounce of flower (quarter of a sandwich bag) or couple grams of high-end hash
  • $250-$500: One ounce of flower and a pretty good time in SF


  • Taxes may or may not be included in the quoted price. Be sure to ask.
  • If taxes are tacked on, expect to be surprised. A layer cake of state and local, sales and excise taxes bump the price up 15 percent, at least.

Shop San Francisco Cannabis Deals on Leafly

Beginner Buys

  • Buy and try the medical products you’ve always been curious about. Dr. Kerklaan’s Topicals, Care by Design tinctures, Foria lubes, etc. In California there is no difference between “medical” and “recreational” cannabis products, they are the same.
  • Buy pre-made joints, known today as “pre-rolls.”
  • Try dose-controlled “Dosist” vape pens.
  • Avoid: food and drinks infused with THC, cannabis’ main active ingredient — they are often too difficult to dose correctly for newbies.

Intermediate Thrills

  • 10-17 percent THC cannabis flower. Try the bud grown by local growers Butterbrand and Gold Seal.
  • Vape pens. Pax Era with pods from Guild. Dosist Passion pens. Bloom Farms single origin Cherry Pie.
  • Lagunitas’ Hi-Fi Hops. PLUS Gummies.
  • Avoid: dabs, which are potent cannabis resins that are 3 to 5 times as strong as cannabis flower.

Advanced Only

  • Designer flower like Synergy Golden State Banana, and Synergy Slymer. The Village is now dropping at Cookie Co 415. And Cookies SF is a mecca for Cookies lovers.
  • Designer extract from Beezle, 710 Labs, and Loudpack.
  • Potent edibles like the Kushy Punch 100 mg THC.
  • Avoid: ‘Boof mids.’ Stoner slang for weak and flavorless (boof), middle-tier herb (mids).

Leading Strains of San Francisco

UpNorth is a leading flower brand that's passing increased testing standards. (Elise McDonough)

UpNorth’s Durban provides soaring energy for daytime adventures. (Elise McDonough for Leafly)

San Francisco Cannabis Activities!

Leading Tours

Annual and Regular Events

San Francisco Cannabis Etiquette

On the Street

  • Smoking in public can result in a ticket, similar to jaywalking. In practice, you’ll smell cannabis all over the city. Enforcement is complaint-driven and the San Francisco Police Department has made cannabis nuisances a low priority.
  • It’s impolite to force others to endure your secondhand smoke. Be polite.

In Cannabis Retail Stores

  • Act like it’s a bank and you’re there to make an herb withdrawal.
  • Be prepared to show ID. Bring cash to avoid high ATM or debit fees.
  • Expect your info to be added to the store’s house system. It’s how they enforce state-mandated personal sales limits.
  • Mind your own business. Some stores don’t want you using your phone. Definitely don’t take selfies or pictures of others. Act like you’ve been there before.
  • At the counter, ask as many questions as you need to. Don’t feel rushed.
  • Don’t rush others.

San Francisco Cannabis History

  • San Francisco helped pioneer the concept of cannabis re-legalization in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
  • The city’s Haight-Ashbury District is synonymous with Vietnam War-era protest and the birth of the hippie and counter-culture movements.
  • Medical marijuana as a movement began in the ‘90s in San Francisco in the world’s first hospital wing dedicated to treating the then-new disease, AIDS.
  • Late activists like Dennis Peron, as well as Brownie Mary Rathbun, engaged in civil disobedience by giving away cannabis to the sick and dying. They became now-global cause celebres.
  • Medical marijuana first became legal in California in 1996.
  • San Francisco activists pioneered the first underground and then legal medical cannabis dispensaries in the early 2000s.
  • San Francisco dispensaries began serving recreational customers after Jan. 1, 2018.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the SF Cannabis City Guide — featuring Cool Views, Best Munchies, Hotel Options and Excursions!  Got Questions/Comments/Additions? Email Leafly California Editor David Downs at

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David Downs
David Downs
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
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