In the past year, fully legal recreational marijuana sales have transformed San Diego area dispensaries from back-alley operations to modern, hip and unique storefronts, with amazing selections of product. Though the county has dozens, these are the 10 best places to buy cannabis and cannabis-related products in San Diego.
SouthWest Patient Group
Cannabis education without borders
There is no other dispensary in San Diego County that has done more to further cannabis education than SWPG. Located a few hundred feet from the San Ysidro Mexican border, SWPG does an amazing job educating people in both Spanish and English on the streets of the busiest border crossing in the world. Inside one of the largest showrooms in the county, there’s an educational theatre equipped with cinema-style seats for seminars and workshops, and at the entrance, you will find microscopes connected to a flat-screen LCD display to check out the glisten of your buds under the lens. The artwork in the dispensary is topnotch. There’s a slew of bilingual employees, and there is hardly ever a line. Plus, the array of concentrates is simply fantastic.
San Diego’s industry leader
There is no doubt that Urbn Leaf is the industry leader in the San Diego Cannabis industry, just like there is no doubt you’ll find surfers in Pacific Beach. They have multiple locations and are in the midst of expanding. Urbn Leaf’s logo is what a modern dispensary logo should look like. Forget the Rasta colors and cliche stoner look of yesteryear—Urbn Leaf has a beautiful, simple logo on neon signs at all locations. Their storefront is hip and modern, like a fashion designer boutique. Urbn Leaf drives stoners all around town looking great in a branded bus. The staff is also hip, young and beautiful, not to mention knowledgeable and helpful. The selection of topicals and concentrates is phenomenal.
The downtown dispensary
Centrally located and stocked with some of the best edibles, topicals, and extracts available, Harbor Collective is a San Diego favorite. At one time, it was one of the only places to find Alpine cartridge refills. Harbor Collective is a more classic-looking storefront, not as modern as some of the newer dispensaries. It’s a reliable source for anything you need, and its central location makes it easy to get to, even from public transportation. Checking in is easy, but the waiting room is small and crowded. Overall, Harbor Collective is a still a go-to for San Diego cannabis stops.
The crème de la crème of cannabis
Valet parking? Yes, please! San Diego has a reputation for being either military or posh—this place caters to the latter. Apothekare is one of the new dispensaries on the block in sunny SD. Nestled in Mission Valley, its central location makes it easy for anyone in the county to visit. Not far away is the stadium the local football team abandoned when they left the city. Boohoo, nobody is crying about the Chargers anymore. Apothekare’s extensive selection of flower, concentrates, and edibles will make you forget about football in two bong loads flat! As far as indoor showrooms are concerned, this one is the crème de la crème in Diego. The lighting and merch placement make it feel like a fancy perfume shop. It certainly gives off a feeling of safety and luxury. They offered a first-time visitor gift with our purchase—a top-notch preroll. We appreciate that kind of attention to detail, on any visit. Who doesn’t love free gifts?
A Green Alternative
Lab tested and regulated
A Green Alternative is just a few hundred feet from Mexico. Smoking mota in Mexico is still reason enough to land you in deep trouble in that country, but that’s not stopping folks from crossing the border to buy legal, non-cartel herb of the finest kind. All AGA products are lab tested to ensure you are getting only the best, top-shelf cannabis. The staff is very professional. The AGA waiting room is nice and ample, though it gives off the feeling that you’re waiting to see the doctor. This is one of the least packed dispensaries you will find in San Diego County. It’s usually a quick 5- to 10-minute shopping experience. While it’s convenient, and not always packed, it’s at the very southeast tip of the city. It’s a drive to the border, a bit out of the reach for most people, but perfect for folks who live in the South Bay communities. The drive is worth it for the primo stash you can find there.
Golden State Greens
Roll up, roll in and roll out
This place used to be called Point Loma Patient, which can make a visit confusing. There are two ways to get in and the name change can throw you off a bit, but once inside, you’re in the land of goodies! GSG is in a such a central part of the city that it’s always busy. The waiting rooms are too small, but after the wait, you enter one of San Diego’s most stacked showrooms. Their selection of flower is the best. Want to avoid tiny, packed waiting rooms? Order for pick up! GSG has been voted SD’s best pick up service. You call it in, and within 30-45 minutes your order is ready. We suggest you use the pickup service if you’re familiar with the store. If you are a first time visitor, it’s worth the wait. Inside the showroom, it’s a goldmine.
Loving it low key
Goldn Bloom was the easiest in and out store we visited. They register you in a flash and once inside, their staff is super cool. The supply is crazy diverse and well-stocked. The place is tucked away, and it has a great variety of awesome flower and concentrates, but what makes Goldn Bloom so cool is that it’s so low key. Central enough for anyone to get to, but off the beaten path, shopping here is a quick easy experience.
Surf’s up and super buds
North County San Diego is known for its pristine beaches, surfers, luxurious homes, rich residents and terrible traffic. Thanks to Torrey Holistics we can add dank buds, concentrates, and edibles to that list. The surfer capital of SD is also home to one of the city’s best delivery services and pick up spots. There aren’t a whole lot of licensed dispensaries in North County SD—Torrey is holding it down proper for all the fine folks north of the 52 freeway. Avoid lines by ordering online for pickup.
High in the sky
Not far from the spot where Maverick and Iceman made death-defying moves in the ‘80s classic Top Gun, Miramar is the name of the lucky town to have the Mankind cooperative doing business. Unlike most stores that keep goodies locked up or behind the counter, Mankind allows you to view and touch everything they sell, like any normal store. This makes the experience great because you get to shop at your own pace. Traffic kind can be bad sometimes, so aim to visit after 6 p.m.
Another central dispensary in the Mission Valley area. THCSD had some of the best shatter and pollen we found. However, the store wasn’t as nice as others, and the operation seemed to lag a bit. One of their selling points is that all the products they carry are twice tested for purity. The dispensary’s motto, ‘’If we won’t smoke it, we won’t sell it to you,’’ sounds good to us.