Weed for Everyone: Four marijuana dispensaries on Mission Street embody all of San Francisco
(Courtesy of Cookies SF)

Weed for Everyone: Four marijuana dispensaries on Mission Street embody all of San Francisco


Many an artist and writer has long struggled to capture the essence of San Francisco in an image, an outcry, or a few well-formulated words. They should have been shopping for weed instead.

Some people swear by Geary Boulevard or Market Street for the title of our most emblematic thoroughfare, but I think it's Mission Street. It's all there: High and low, rich and poor, old and new—with all the frisson and friction that competing for space in uncertain times and on unequal terms creates.

As it happens, almost a third of the city's 30 (and counting) marijuana outlets are located along the path of the 14-Mission bus. Starting on the city's southern rim and working my way north, I found a weed club for all walks of life in 2017 San Francisco, from the blue-collar worker, forearms tattooed with "415" in gothic script, to the patron of the $12 toast.

The Melting Pot

The Green Cross

(via Facebook)

Doormen clad in slacks, jackets and ties usher me inside a storefront with tinted glass windows. I stand in front of a black desk in the reception area, painted floor to ceiling also in black. A low table features tea and coffee from a high-end Keurig machine. Young men in crisp button-downs with precisely trimmed beards and fresh haircuts man the bud counter. First impressions of a Fisherman's Wharf nightclub fade with a look at the wall décor at The Green Cross(4218 Mission St.): heads of Dr. Seuss characters mounted on the wall, trophy buck-style.

Whimsy gives way to order as I take a number from a second security man and enter the long, narrow goods area. For the first time in eight years of frequenting marijuana dispensaries in San Francisco, I meet an Asian patient, a woman—most customers are white dudes, you see; and the city's Asian corners have a reputation for being anti weed.

"An indica and a sativa? You want OG Kush and Sour Diesel," she tells a 50-ish white fellow wearing wraparound sunglasses and a ballcap from a minor-league baseball team. "Those are the strongest."

By far, this is the busiest dispensary on the strip. Everyone's buying something different, too: A vape pen and two cartridges for the millennial Asian man who has an Eagle Scout patch on his backpack; a handful of pre-rolls for the older black gentleman wearing a vintage satin Warriors jacket.

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