Two San Francisco Dispensaries You Need To Visit

Written by BlackbirdGo April 25, 2018
The Industry

Disclaimer: Keep out of reach of children. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.

The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most populated regions in California, so it’s appropriate that we offer an array of cannabis products to our diverse communities. For someone like myself who is easily overwhelmed by too many choices, whether it be at a restaurant or a cannabis dispensary, it's nice to go someplace that has a well-organized, easy-to-read menu. Another thing that I value is a welcoming atmosphere. Two of my favorite dispensaries in the city of San Francisco are The Apothecarium and SPARC.

The Apothecarium has three locations:

  • The Marina @ 2414 Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94123. (415) 408-6986
  • SOMA @ 3023, 527 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94105. (415) 834-5225
  • The Castro @ 2029 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114. (415) 500-2620

I only have experience as a shopper at the Castro location, and wow, is it Classy. This place is very popular and always busy. If you didn’t know it was a place to buy many kinds of marijuana things, you would probably think it was a charming community lounge or ritzy hotel – the inside of the building gets great sunlight and has a comfortable openness. There’s a kush lounge to accommodate patrons while they wait for assistance and a small art gallery in one wing of the store with a display of some of the most beautiful glass pieces I have ever seen (and are relatively affordable, ranging from $25 to $215). Other non-marijuana products for sale include glass dab pipes, hand-carved crystal pipes ($50), wooden, porcelain and stone pipes, the classic Volcano vaporizer, PAX and other vaporizers, battery packs and glass blunts. They also sell merchandise like shirts and tote bags with their logo.

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Photo: The Apothecarium

The Apothecarium menu is well organized and includes a variety of product details. The flower section includes information on flower characteristics, flower classification (sativa/Indica/hybrid), growing environment, flower effects, price per quantity, flower THC/CBD concentration, and a succinct summary of the buds for sale. As for their non-flower features, they include a standard variety of tinctures, edibles and concentrates. Their topical selection is quite impressive and offers products I don't see in most other dispensaries, like balms, menthol rubs, lavender and unscented bath soaks and single-use patches. Their edibles selection offers a classic variety of chocolatey and non-chocolatey candies and sweets. Their menu also discloses which food edibles are sugar-free, gluten-free and/or vegan. I haven’t found many dispensaries that sell infused tea bags, and The Apothecarium has a comprehensive (though small) selection. During my last visit I bought a CBD rich tincture by Care By Design (18:1) and my favorite chocolate covered espresso beans by Terra (5mg THC/piece).

The Apothecarium is a local favorite for many reasons: the workers are friendly and helpful; the environment is welcoming and comfortable; the prices are good (lower than other dispensaries in the city); the glass merchandise is beautifully displayed; they offer rare products not found in many other places, and they welcome everybody. If you are visiting San Francisco, or live here but have never visited, I highly recommend a trip to one of the three Apothecarium locations in San Francisco.


  • Comfortable lounge
  • Visually appealing
  • They offer same-day deliveries and picks-ups
  • They fill online orders in 30 minutes
  • New customers receive $5 off their first purchase
  • They have a rewards system: Every 100 points gets you $5 off your purchase. On point earned on every $1 spent, pre-tax

SPARC dispensaries have two locations in San Francisco:

  • 1256 Mission Street. (415) 252-7727
  • 473 Haight Street. (415) 805-1085

SPARC is another locally admired dispensary. I frequent the Haight Street location near Fillmore Street in the Lower Haight. This place is much more modest than The Apothecarium, but has free goodies, and on a nice day, sunlight shines through the large windows and fills the main lobby. The first thing you see once you enter the store is a desk with empty jars, available to customers at no cost. Also on the desk is a comprehensive selection of brochures and information sheets regarding state laws and marijuana taxes, recent changes in laws, info sheets about the uses of marijuana, and free SPARC shwag like stickers and magnets.

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Photo: Cannabis Now

The sales room is very small, only 2 patrons fit comfortably at a time, so if it's busy, you might have to wait several minutes before service (no different from a busy Apothecarium visit), which is fine if you're not in a rush (they have some magazines and aforementioned info sheets to read while you wait). Unlike The Apothecarium, they have flower on display in the glass cases at their sales counter, which is a nice touch, if you ask me.

I like to buy vape cartridges here because they have a wider [price] variety than other places I shop. Their menu is concise: two pages, which I appreciate. Even though their retail space is small, they have a solid number of items for sale. I did find it odd that they only had 3 preroll options. They offer Terra edible products but were $3 more expensive than at The Apothecarium. The workers here seem to have more time to chat with customers about the products they're selling or just have casual conversation. I go to this place a lot because it's usually along my main route through town. During my last visit I purchased a shake preroll for $7.


  • Intimate environment
  • Friendly workers
  • Concise, yet vast menu
  • New members get a card with different available deal options. Must be used within the first two weeks of membership.
  • Mission Street offers same-day delivery and pick-ups for medical use
  • Haight Street location offers the same and includes recreational adult use.
  • They have a rewards system too: Every $150 points gets you $10 off your purchase. Details about point accrual unknown.