Cover Photo by Justin Cannabis.
In states that have legalized marijuana, either for medical or recreational use, dispensaries are forever changing the practice of buying buds. Visiting these pot shops can be an eye-opening experience for those who have only known the limited options, questionable quality and legal dangers of black-market buys. But with so many dispensaries cropping up across the country, it can be hard to know which ones truly excel.
If you’re seeking a better cannabis-buying experience, look no further than HIGH TIMES’ picks for the best marijuana dispensaries in America. We’ve selected over 70 medical and recreational pot shops around the country that stand out for their elite and extensive inventories, awesome environments and superb staffs.
The Bay Area is the birthplace of the modern marijuana dispensary, thanks to the pot pioneers who boldly opened the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in 1992—four years before the passage of Proposition 215, the state’s landmark medical marijuana law. That compassionate spirit is still at the heart of the region’s dispensaries, which offer everything from boutique buds to the legendary outdoor cannabis of the Emerald Triangle. The Bay also boasts some of the country’s best makers of concentrates, edibles and topicals. Here are our picks for the best shops in NorCal.
1841 El Camino
This large and beautiful dispensary has one of the widest selections of top-shelf meds and edibles anywhere in the state—plus the helpful staff makes shopping here a joy. Frequent barbecues and community events have turned this shop into a social hub for stoners in the Golden State’s capital.
This location has a swank decor and heady menu, but that’s just for starters—it also has a full dab and vape bar. Many of the items on the menu are available for less than $10. It’s a great place to pop in for a buzz before dinner or a night out in San Francisco. Barbary Coast offers a glimpse of what the future may look like once public-consumption issues are finally behind us.
Quality medicine is job one for CannaCruz: The staff here takes safe access to clean meds seriously. Located in the surfer and hippie paradise of Santa Cruz, this dispensary has a surf-shop feel to it. When you visit CannaCruz, get yourself a pre-roll (they actually have great pre-rolls … seriously) and head to the dog beach for a blaze and a sunset.
CBCB (Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley)
Great weed coupled with a community feel make this Berkeley shop a local institution. Free fruit and snacks, chess boards and books give this place a real rec-center vibe. An upbeat DJ spinning music and a large menu with very fair pricing make CBCB a great place to get your medical buds and then enjoy a pickup game of chess with one of the locals.
Compassionate Heart Collective
This gem, located at the gateway to the Emerald Triangle, is an old-school Deadhead’s paradise. It’s also a great place to see what the outdoor scene in NorCal has to offer. The unique outdoor variety this collective brings to the table comes at a completely reasonable price—a great shop with great value.
Elemental Wellness provides the model that all medical dispensaries should aspire to. Not only do they offer free massage, yoga and acupuncture, but they also carry some of the best cannabis in the world, in addition to a customer-loyalty program that earns you free weed with frequent purchases. Plus their True OG can be a life-changer—don’t leave without grabbing some.
World-famous Emerald Pharms is a tourist destination for people interested in sustainable living and farming. This “permaculture oasis” is an off-the-grid, solar-powered, self-sustaining organic farm as well as a warm and friendly dispensary with a curated selection of organic goodies. Pack a lunch, bring the dog and spend a little time soaking this place in.
The Green Door
All of the shops on this list have great service and quality weed in common, but only the Green Door has a collection of original Dr. Seuss artwork on display. Come for the cannabis, stay for the amazing art. The friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you select the perfect strain to enjoy with your green eggs and ham.
Humboldt Patient Resource Center
This well-stocked shop is located right in the middle of some of the best outdoor activities that California has to offer. Beautiful beaches, redwood forests, pristine hiking trails and the great college-town vibe of Arcata make this shop worth planning a three-day weekend around—and it’s also the fountainhead for many great Humboldt growers.
Magnolia is a shop with a mission: making life better for patients and making Oakland better for everyone. The social consciousness here is inspiring. Regular educational and social events give members of Magnolia an exciting connection to their community through the herb that brings everyone together.
With far more dispensaries than any other region of the country, the Los Angeles area represents the epicenter of medical cannabis sales. Kush strains and terpy concentrates rule the roost, while hundreds of edible and topical creators fuel a strong market for quality meds at competitive prices. Now that the LA City Council’s moratorium on dispensaries has been ended thanks to Measure M, and with recreational adult use awaiting full implementation in 2018, the sky’s the limit for what the pioneers of SoCal can achieve. Here are 10 of our regional faves.
Alternative Herbal Health Services (AHHS WeHo)
West Hollywood’s source for the fire in every category, AHHS WeHo is celebrating over 14 years of helping patients in need—and the helpful and committed here staff makes the entire experience a pleasure.
Buds & Roses
This Studio City stalwart boasts some of the best flowers, hash and edibles in the Los Angeles area. Specializing in veganic medicine, B&R places an emphasis on quality and safety. Bonus: Valet parking!
California Herbal Remedies (CHR)
Established in 2007, CHR has a storied history as Kush specialists and Cannabis Cup winners. Their menu has consistently featured over 70 different lab-tested, high-grade flowers and shatters for a decade and counting.
Downtown Patients Group (DTPG)
Since 2007, DTPG has served the patients of downtown LA with a huge selection of strains, hash, edibles, tinctures and topicals, including CBD-rich products. Check out their daily deals and always-reasonable prices.
Located on LA’s East Side in Los Feliz, Greenwolf provides frosty flowers, clean and tasty concentrates, and a wide variety of edibles and topicals. One visit here and you’ll see why this dispensary has won dozens of HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cups.
The Higher Path
Voted LA Weekly’s Best Dispensary for 2016, this boutique spot in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley deserves its many accolades. Everything here is top-shelf, including a wide variety of CBD-rich products. The Higher Path also provides a 10 percent discount to the disabled, seniors, veterans and students.
Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group (LAPCG)
Open since 2004, this pioneer facility provides an incredible selection of flowers and concentrates for patients in need, including some of the best brands in cannabis: Marley Natural, Whoopi & Maya, hmbldt, Apothecanna and Chong’s Choice.
Comfortable and clean, with an emphasis on health and wellness, MedMen does a great job of rewarding regulars with discounts and gifts. They offer a well-curated selection of meds, including gear from Pax, Papa & Barkley, Sprig, Flow Kana, Kiva and more.
Everyone should experience this huge (8,000 square feet!) state-of-the-art facility located smack dab in the heart of LA’s downtown fashion district. Patients can check out the live growroom and then purchase from a massive variety of high-quality meds.
The WEED (Wellness Earth Energy Dispensary)
Patients looking for quality meds at reasonable prices should check out the WEED in Studio City. The informative budtenders will help you find what’s right for you, and the WEED specializes in CBD-rich varieties and products as well.
Colorado was the first US state to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over—and the only state ever to have amended its state constitution to do so. The upshot is a serious and dedicated industry base that has pushed the limits of legal markets, cultivation and culture. These dispensaries not only boast some of the very best cannabis in the country, but they’ve also set international standards for research, genetics and luxury products.
One of the original big boys in Big D, the Clinic now spans three states: Colorado, Illinois and Nevada. Winner of awards and accolades across the industry, the Clinic has taken home 14 Cannabis Cups, including several first-place wins for concentrates, flowers and CBD products.
Green Man Cannabis (GMC)
With a national reputation for having some of the best growers in the game, Green Man Cannabis is a perennial Cannabis Cup contender whose award-winning strains are among the finest on the planet. In this year’s annual HT feature “The Strongest Strains on Earth,” GMC boasted two of the top strains, each with over 26 percent activated THC.
The Green Solution
With 15 locations open in 2017, the Green Solution is Colorado’s second largest retail dispensary chain. With a professionally trained staff and an emphasis on customer service, the Green Solution takes its craft seriously—and it shows. The winner of over 15 Cannabis Cups, for everything from extracts to CBD products, this shop’s extensive menu provides something for every cannabis consumer, from the patient to the recreational user.
The Herbal Cure
Founded in 2010, this iconic Logan Street dispensary is known for its relaxed atmosphere and one of the most knowledgeable staffs in the state. The diverse menu of strains features a blend of local and exotic flavors, including exclusive drops from Essential Extracts in the way of killer rosin and solventless hash.
House of Dankness
Founded by renowned grower and breeder Scott Reach of Rare Dankness, this Denver dispensary has fast become a force to be reckoned with. After years of supplying Colorado patients with elite genetics, House of Dankness now has its own Denver storefront along with a brand-new, state-of-the-art grow facility—one the largest in the Southwest region.
With three stores in Denver and a fourth in Boulder, MMJ America is one of the biggest and best-known chains of medical and recreational dispensaries in Colorado. A premier strain menu is provided at each shop courtesy of the Vault Genetics, a subsidiary of MMJA and the winner of over a dozen HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cups. The professional staff and smart business attitude make MMJA a powerhouse in the cannabis industry.
A popular fixture among Colorado’s cannabis aficionados, Native Roots boasts 19 dispensary locations and an extensive menu of edibles, topicals and concentrates, Patients have their choice of potent strains here, including some that hit more than 28 percent THC (such as the White Fire OG, Chem 4, and Bruce Banner).
This downtown Denver shop boasts a great location, friendly staff and excellent quality for reasonable prices, with daily specials year-round. You don’t want to miss out on Natural Remedies’ Moonshine Haze, UK Cheese or Super Silver Flo. Plus, sister company Concentrated Remedies produces some of the very best BHO in town! Medical and recreational users alike will love visiting this shop.
One of the most welcoming dispensary in the business, Sweet Leaf is known for its excellent inventory, competitive pricing and highly educated staff. This shop can meet even the most discerning customer’s needs. And, Sweet Leaf is expanding, adding shops in Oregon and Nevada to its 10 locations throughout greater Denver.
A dispensary whose roots run deep in the history of the trade, Verde Natural has become synonymous with the true essence of cannabis, thanks to curated genetics that go back generations in the US and Amsterdam alike. Featuring all-organic, soil-grown strains, the menu at Verde is fresh and healthy, with an emphasis on helping patients in need.
Michigan has always been a hotbed of cannabis activism and cultivation. When you combine Ann Arbor’s storied history of pro-pot advocacy with Detroit’s economic downturn and the long tradition of growing in the Upper Peninsula, you have a state ripe for the rewards of marijuana-law reform. Even though the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November 2008, dispensaries here continue to operate under some degree of fear. Here are 10 brave and beloved pot pioneers in “The Mitten.”
Winner of multiple Cannabis Cups, this Ann Arbor shop is your friendly neighborhood compassionate caregiver. Arborside offers several different levels of bud, from the top-shelf to the super-affordable, and it also carries a wide range of popular products, including its own line of delicious and potent edibles.
Bloom City Club
Female-owned and -operated, this Ann Arbor dispensary is known for its impeccable customer service and welcoming environment. Bloom specializes in small-batch “craft” cannabis products created with love by some of the best growers and extract artists in Michigan.
Depot Town Alternative Health
This spot opened in Ypsilanti in 2011 and has been faithfully serving the patients of the area with Cannabis Cup–winning, lab-tested medicine ever since, including Captain Kirk’s edibles. The Detroit Metro Times cited Depot Town for the Best Pre-Roll at a Dispensary in 2017. The shop also provides discounts for veterans, seniors and students.
Located on the famous 8 Mile Road in Detroit, this professional and affordable pot shop places an emphasis on educating patients and stocking cutting-edge products, including CBD-rich concentrates, THC-A crystalline, distillates and “The Clear.” It also supplies growers with quality rooted clones.
With multiple Cannabis Cups for its flowers and concentrates, this Ypsilanti shop features a professional environment, lab-tested medicine and a friendly, knowledgeable staff. Herbal Solutions has what you’re looking for, including a robust variety of live resin, clean shatter, tasty wax and aficionado-quality nugs.
JC3 (Jackson County Compassion Club)
Located between Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, the city of Jackson doesn’t offer a ton of options for med-pot patients in need, but JC3 shines through with great medicine at reasonable prices. Founded in 2009, this private club accepts new members and also boasts a huge seed cellar catering to patients who want to grow their own.
Om of Medicine
This beautiful spot in Ann Arbor employs a holistic and organic approach to cannabinoid medicine. The shop hosts grow seminars (with the likes of breeding legend DJ Short) and comedy shows, and it also offers a 10 percent discount to the disabled, veterans and seniors.
The Sweet Leaf
At this unique Flint enterprise, nine different grower/caregivers with different specialties combine to provide patients with a variety of high-quality meds at very reasonable prices, all under one roof. Patients get real one-on-one help as well as advice from the informed staff.
Third Coast was the first dispensary to open in Michigan, and it’s still one of the best. Safe, friendly and boasting some of the finest flowers and concentrates in the state, Third Coast in Ypsilanti has a great atmosphere and even hosts massage and cooking classes.
TreeCity Health Collective
Minutes from downtown Ann Arbor, Treecity offers a carefully curated selection of lab-tested flowers, concentrates and much more. This is a true patients’ collective, with plenty of CBD-rich products and a strict 21-plus policy.
The Silver State is fast becoming a major player in the world of retail weed. Nevada’s medical cannabis law has been on the books for nearly two decades, and the law allows for reciprocity—meaning that legal pot patients from any other state can come to Nevada and purchase up to 2.5 ounces in a dispensary. In 2016, Nevada voters legalized recreational weed. Rec sales are expected to begin this summer, and it’s safe to assume that, like everything in Vegas, they’re going to be big. Until then, here are our favorite medical shops in Nevada.
Las Vegas Releaf
A posh yet inviting medical dispensary, Releaf carries a full line of flowers, concentrates and edibles at affordable prices. Its knowledgeable staff aims to educate patients, providing products that treat symptoms effectively and efficiently.
A Colorado transplant, MMJA is quickly becoming a national brand, opening its first pot shop in Las Vegas in the summer of 2017. The closest dispensary to the Vegas Strip, this shop services patients with the same strains that have won MMJA countless awards at HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cups.
Oasis Medical Center
Education and community involvement highlight the Oasis Medical Center’s mission. A leader in the Vegas cannabis scene, this shop offers an impressive variety of top-shelf medicine to patients and tourists alike, all curated from the finest producers in Nevada.
After establishing three dispensaries in Southern California, ShowGrow has embarked on its first out-of-state venture, bringing Cali quality to the desert oasis in Nevada. Offering one of the most extensive strain menus in Las Vegas, as well as extracts, edibles and vape-pen products, ShowGrow is one of the state’s largest and most popular dispensaries.
With two Nevada locations and a commitment to quality and patient safety, the Source is a place for patients to feel welcome and secure in obtaining their cannabis medicine. The value menu here includes $10 grams, while 30 flower strains and over 60 types and flavors of concentrates provide plenty of options for medical and recreational users alike.
Portland is home to many of the finest marijuana dispensaries on the continent—but while the Rose City is hip, trendy and loads of fun, there’s much more to do in Oregon. The state is a wonderland for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, rock climbing and white-water rafting—and cannabis is thriving as well. Here are a few of our favorite places to purchase pot.
Attis Trading Company
Staffed by savvy budtenders, the bright and airy Attis shops are perfect for those wishing to soothe their physical pains or psychological traumas. More like a pharmaceutical dispensary, Attis has three locations in Portland and a fourth in Tillamook, so relief is never far away.
Botanica Cannabis Dispensary
With a display room that looks more like a jewelry shop, Botanica’s limited selection of flowers could fool the shopper accustomed to Oregon’s mega-dispensaries. But there’s not a bad strain on offer here, and the relaxed neighborhood vibe will ensure that everyone walks away with the perfect product for their needs.
One of the state’s oldest dispensaries, Brothers Cannabis is a slice of Portland history. This shop offers a killer selection of flowers and pre-rolls, designed to cater to everyone from the high roller to the frugal shopper. And unlike most ultra-laid-back Oregon weed shops, Brothers works hard to provide attentive customer service.
The Moe’s Tavern of PDX dispensaries, this well-worn spot warmly embraces the weed shopper with a down-home vibe. Don’t expect anything flashy from this local favorite—just solid weed at 1970s prices.
A choice selection of lab-tested flowers awaits you in this oasis of high-end products at low prices. A good entry-level dispensary for the curious or uninitiated, Jayne also stocks a premium assortment of topicals, edibles, concentrates and tinctures.
Tucked into the rolling suburban hills of Portland, Nectar is a hidden gem. A curated selection of sativas, indicas and hybrids ensures something for every smoker. Expect to land great deals on high-quality flowers—even the $25 eighths work wonders—and there’s a friendly, chill staff to boot.
Any Oregon’s Finest location is worth a visit for the superb top-shelf flower selection, though prices run high. While the budtenders here tend to have a hipster vibe, their knowledgeable recommendations of the best herb for every customer more than makes up for it.
Billed as a “farm to table” cannabusiness, Oregrown grows and sells organic indoor cannabis and processes its own extracts. Set in the heart of downtown Bend, this flagship dispensary also offers high-quality organic flowers from a select handful of Oregon cultivators.
Serra Dispensary (Downtown)
For tourists breezing through Portland with limited time on their hands, Serra is the best bet for a quick and inexpensive pot-buying experience. This dispensary boasts a laid-back staff who will gently nudge newbies to the right choice. And don’t forget that Ground Kontrol Arcade is just down the block.
Thurman Street Collective
Perhaps the cutest little dispensary in all of Portland, Thurman Street Collective is perfect for the discerning consumer who likes an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere when buying weed. Doubling as an art gallery, this shop is actively engaged in the surrounding neighborhood, building a sense of community.
Since Washington voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use in 2012, a number of cannabis shops have sprouted among the Puget Sound’s sprawl of waterways and pine forests. Whether you’re a visitor or a local, you’re likely to be distracted by the billboard marketing and overcrowded market. Here are your best bets for a great weed experience in the Evergreen State.
Chimacum Cannabis Co.
A favorite stop for pot smokers heading to the pretty Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, the Chimacum Cannabis Co., set in a restored farmhouse, has a warm, rustic vibe. Sourcing premium, organically grown cannabis products from around the Olympic Peninsula, this shop showcases the best buds that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
The online ordering system at Hashtag makes for a painless shopping experience, and the product selection can’t be beat. It’s located just a short stroll from Seattle’s famed Fremont troll under the bridge—a perfect spot to visit after indulging.
Have a Heart (Belltown)
Notorious for its giant joint sculpture, this Belltown location is one of six Have a Heart dispensaries. Conveniently located just a few blocks from the Space Needle and the downtown waterfront, Have a Heart Belltown boasts an impressive inventory of high-quality cannabis and a knowledgeable and friendly staff.
Herban Legends is the place to go if you’re visiting Seattle for a day but don’t want to leave the downtown grid. A short walk from the end of the famed Pike Place market, this uber-hip shop beats the more heavily advertised dispensaries near the sports stadiums thanks to its great staff and wide selection.
Tucked in a wasteland between the Seattle neighborhoods of Ballard and Phinney Ridge, Herbs House can be difficult to find. But if you can follow the GPS, this place has the best prices for bud in Seattle, hands down.
This shop offers a great selection of flowers, edibles, extracts and accessories, and the owners give back to the community by donating to local charities. The friendly staff makes this an excellent pot stop on your Olympic Peninsula travels.
Paper & Leaf
Stroll off the ferry from Seattle and take the waiting shuttle to Bainbridge’s Paper & Leaf. This high-end cannabis boutique has a gallery-like vibe, with vintage records playing and beautifully displayed products. Friendly budtenders offer sage advice about the massive assortment of flowers, extracts and edibles.
Tucked away in a strip mall amidst towering pine trees in the small town of Port Orchard—just across the sound from Seattle—Pot Zone feels like a well-kept secret. It offers great daily deals and a wide variety of the Pacific Northwest’s favorite growers, including the unbeatable Noble Farms.
Located in Sodo (south of downtown), Vela uses a color-spectrum wall to help customers choose from an imposing array of cannabis products. Vela’s in-store grow and extraction lab make for an educational and visually appealing dispensary experience.
Xander’s Green Goods
A charming, warmly inviting shop, Xander’s Green Goods is located in Seattle’s sister city, Tacoma, among a patch of half-abandoned warehouses. If you manage to make it there, Xander’s will reveal its riches to you, including the best prices and selection of flowers in the area, as well as great benefits for return customers.
THE BEST OF THE REST
Of course, not all dispensary systems are created equal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find high-caliber cannabis shops outside of California, Colorado, Oregon or Washington. Quantity doesn’t always indicate quality, and while pot shops may not be prolific in these states, there are still some incredible spots to check out!
As the first licensed marijuana shop to open its doors in Anchorage, this dispensary now serves up Alaska’s finest flowers, extracts, clones and other high-quality accessories. The dependable staff will always help you find what you’re looking for, whether it’s recreational or medical.
With top-notch workers and even a dedicated nurse on staff, TruMed offers an extensive menu of strains, edibles and infused products. Plus first-time patients at this Phoenix-based shop get a special discount: Buy an eighth and get an eighth free!
D33 Chicago (Dispensary 33)
Unlike many cannabis shops, D33 displays all of its marijuana goods to its customers, allowing patients to personally inspect their meds. With a large menu of flowers, extracts, edibles and topicals, this dispensary has consistently gone above and beyond to help the state’s medical marijuana patients safely and affordably access their medicine.
New England Treatment Access
Massachusetts’s premium medical marijuana dispensary, with locations in Brookline and Northampton, has an extensive menu featuring flowers, edibles, topicals, concentrates and more. An added bonus is the Wait Time Widget, which allows patients to use their mobile device to check if there’s a line at either location.
Breakwater Treatment & Wellness
The preeminent dispensary in the Garden State, Breakwater’s centrally located shop features a diverse cross-section of genetics, grown in a massive state-of-the-art cultivation facility run by formally trained agriculturalists. The focus at Breakwater is simple: Through advanced grow techniques and scientifically enhanced breeding projects, they provide the ultimate treatment-oriented menu for their patients.
Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center
Committed to providing safe, dignified and affordable access to medical marijuana in Rhode Island, the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center provides only the finest medical-grade cannabis.
Capital City Care
With a knowledgeable staff, convenient hours, competitive prices and a great selection of products, Capital City Care has won the “Best of DC” award for Best Dispensary and is the only shop in DC authorized to cultivate cannabis—meaning patients can count on consistent quality, exclusive strains, and awesome sales and specials.
Additional reporting provided by Tommy Smith, Charles Oakley and T.H.Caeczar.