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The Ten Best Dispensaries in the East Bay

Let's Blüm | November 15, 2018

This article originally appeared on HighTimes.com on 7/19/18 by author Jay Mack

San Francisco’s dispensaries are a direct reflection of the city itself; they tend to be boutiquey or more over the top than one would expect of a cannabis club. Like lots of San Francisco, everything feels very new. Across the bridge on the other side of the bay, however, things could not be more different. Berkeley is home to two of the oldest marijuana dispensaries in the country, and the region has, for the most part, put function over form. Delivery options are plentiful, and while the dispensaries may not look as good on an Instagram as their SF counterparts, they serve their purpose just as well, and often at a better price.

 The Ten Best Dispensaries in the East Bay

Courtesy of Berkeley Patients Group

Berkeley Patients Group
2366 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley
Historic spot with a focus on giving back to the community

Berkeley Patients Group, providing medical cannabis as far back as 1999, is the self-proclaimed oldest medical cannabis dispensary in the nation. Lucky for us, they have their recreational license and have opened their doors to anyone of appropriate age. This is basically the Cheers of dispensaries: a community staple where everybody knows your name. And if their quality product doesn’t have you feeling perfectly right (which it most definitely will), you can take solace in the fact that you are supporting a business that has spent nearly 20 years giving back to Berkeley organizations such as Berkeley Food & Housing Project, Transgender Law Center, and Parents 4 Pot, just to name a few.

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Courtesy of Harborside

Harborside
1840 Embarcadero, Oakland
One of the largest dispensaries in the country provides more than just a rich inventory.

People travel from all over for access to the massive inventory Harborside boasts, particularly those looking for specific tinctures and other topicals they require for medical conditions that they can’t get anywhere else, but there are plenty of reasons beyond size to make Harborside your next cannabis destination. They have received dozens of awards over the years, including the 2018 “Best Place to Buy Weed” in the East Bay as awarded by SF Magazine, and they’ll keep you coming back with their rewards program, which allows you to earn points with every purchase that you can use to redeem on future purchases. Airlines have frequent flier miles, Harborside has frequent higher miles.

 

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Courtesy of Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective

Berkeley Patient’s Care Collective
2590 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley
One of the oldest dispensaries in the nation offers comprehensive cannabis guide

While not quite as old BPG (they’ve got them beat by 2 years), PCC is nonetheless a long trusted member of the cannabis community, not only locally, but nationally. In addition to quality product and helpful staff, they have developed “The PCC 7” which is a useful tool to choose the right strain for you based on things like flavor, mental and physical effects, medical uses, active Terpenes, and more. PCC goes beyond the basic designation of just Indica and Sativa to provide them a Turkish Delight of sorts. The perfect strain for you and your refined sensibilities.

 

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Courtesy of C.R.A.F.T.

C.R.A.F.T.
Oakland
Award-winning product and huge delivery range make this delivery-only dispensary a no-brainer.

When it comes to getting your hands on some kind bud in the East Bay, delivery reigns supreme. Many of the most well-reviewed clubs are delivery only, and, unlike San Francisco, almost every one of them has a delivery option. C.R.A.F.T is the gold standard. Their product is excellent (their CBD OG took first place in the Best CBD category at this year’s Northern California Cannabis Cup) and despite being based in Oakland, their delivery range serves the Lamorinda area and Walnut Creek, and stretches as far as Antioch and Fremont for larger orders, which is perfect for those living in weed deserts.

 

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Courtesy of CBCB

CBCB
3033 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Thoroughly tested product provides for a safe and well-informed smoke

Like many dispensaries in California, CBCB started first as a purely medical club and then opened its doors to the public with the passing of the new law. That emphasis on medical safety and healing has remained with CBCB though — they claim to have some of the most thoroughly examined products in California. They even have a library on site with the testing results of their products, along with other marijuana educational resources, and can provide counseling to help decide which product is best for you. If you are someone who loves safety, learning, and getting high as shit, CBCB is exactly what you’re looking for! Their sister dispensary, Phytologie, is located in Oakland.

 

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 Omar Yacoubi/ Google Maps

Blüm
578 W. Grand Ave., Oakland
The closest thing to a Starbucks in the dispensary world

A comparison to Starbucks might not be flattering to some, but their convenience and reliability are undeniable. Same goes for Blüm. You don’t grow a business to six locations in two separate states (with a seventh planned for San Leandro) without doing something right. Their inventory is unrivaled in the East Bay, with prices to match. Plus, there is something comforting in thinking about a future where, no matter where you are in the country, you can find your favorite cannabis club and grab some pre-rolls with your favorite strain to get into the same funny business you do at home.

 

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Courtesy of 7 Stars

7 Stars
3223 Pierce St, Richmond
Convenient and straightforward providing for an underserved region

The East Bay is much larger than just Berkeley and Oakland, but those who are looking to get their smoke on have more than likely had to have traveled the distance to one of these cities, or paid a hefty delivery fee. 7 Stars is one of the only non-Oakland/Berkeley dispensaries on this list, simply because there isn’t a huge selection of other options. But aside from its convenience to those in the Richmond/El Sobrante/El Cerrito area, 7 Stars stocks a huge selection of all your favorite cannabis treats, and at some of the best prices in the area.

 

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Courtesy of Jingletown

Jingletown
Oakland
Relative newcomer provides fast service and quality bud

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in Jingletown’s case, you would be spot on. Their branding is fresh as hell and their name (a nickname for an artistic pocket of Fruitvale) is fun to say, especially if you’ve already had some of their product. While they may not have quite the clout as some of the other dispensaries, their delivery is fast and their products and prices are comparable to the older mainstays. Additionally, their customer service is excellent, and their ordering interface is easy to use, a key factor for those who have just smoked the last of their stash and are scrambling to resupply.

 

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 Courtesy of Over the Hill Delivery

Over the Hill Delivery
San Ramon
Tri-Valley’s most reliable option, delivery or otherwise

The Tri-Valley area (Amador, San Ramon, Livermore) sits on the outskirts of the East Bay and is arguably more of a cannabis desert than any other part of the region. There are very few storefronts, and delivery can take an entire afternoon. When you are trying to get ripped before seeing the last matinee of whatever new Jason Statham movie is out, there is nothing worse than a three-hour wait. Over the Hill is committed to addressing this community’s dire need by providing excellent service and dank bud in a timely manner.

 

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Courtesy of Magnolia

Magnolia
161 Adeline Street, Oakland
Killer specials and experienced pedigree make Magnolia tough to beat

Even with its popularity, Magnolia might be the best-kept secret in the Bay. Executive Director of Magnolia, Debby Goldsberry, got her break in the cannabis industry when she co-founded BPG (the first dispensary on this list) in 1999, so you know they’ve got their shit together. The full experience of Magnolia, from service to product, is gold standard, but the real star of the show is their weekly specials. Most interesting among them: Free massages on Wednesdays and free food and dabs starting at 4:20 on Thursdays. Is this paradise?


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