The Bay Area has been the epicenter of cannabis culture in the United States since the 1960’s. With its close proximity to the Emerald Triangle, its deep identification with the history of the hippie counterculture, the Compassionate Care Act making California the first state to create and facilitate a medical marijuana program, and the fact that the very first U.S. dispensary was opened in San Francisco in 1966, it’s no wonder so many cannabis brands want to call the Bay Area home.
Now, with Adult Use licenses finally being dispersed up and down the Golden State, more and more businesses are finally allowed to provide product to the California masses. But for those new to the Bay Area cannabis scene, it can get a bit overwhelming to say the least. Not only do consumers need to choose a dispensary or delivery system, but also to know which products have consistent dosage and use quality flower, oil, or concentrate. Where do you even begin?
The MARY staff spent the last 3 months researching over 30 Bay Area brands and product-testing over 40 cannabis products in all its shapes and forms: edibles, tinctures, topicals, flower, concentrates, and CBD-only products. So, without further ado, please read on to learn about our favorite Bay Area brands.
The Green Cross
A San Francisco staple since 2004, The Green Cross (TGC) medical cannabis collective opened its doors in 2004 as a storefront location in the Noe Valley neighborhood. It immediately became known for its professional, patient-centric operation style. In 2013, TGC was forced to close but re-opened a new storefront in the Excelsior District of San Francisco. As an organization, TGC continues to provide patient-members and adult-use first timers with quality cannabis at a low cost.
With outlets in San Francisco’s Marina, SOMA and Castro Districts, the Apothecarium has revamped the dispensary experience. Their upscale and light-soaked storefronts don’t display products as typical dispensaries do. After waiting for your name to be called, knowledgeable behind-the-counter consultants provide product menus and are available to answer any of your questions. They offer a broad selection of cannabis products, including flowers, edibles, topicals, and concentrates. All products are batch-tested to ensure purity.
Favorite Medical Delivery System
A pillar of the cannabis community in the Bay Area, Meadow delivers medical-grade cannabis to patients in all its forms: tinctures, flower, concentrates, topicals, and edibles. At Meadow, a patient can buy medical marijuana sourced from local dispensaries and receive delivery in an hour or less. Their services not only come with a quick and reliable delivery system but they also have an in-house doctor that provides medical recommendations. A solid five-star rating on YELP proves that their service is top-notch.
Favorite Smoke Lounge
Barbary Coast Collective
Newly renovated with swanky digs, the Barbary Coast Collective on Mission Street in the SOMA district provides a safe, clean, comfortable place where their clients can browse product, get helpful recommendations, and relax and enjoy adult-use cannabis. Known for their variety of flower and plethora of dab products, Barbary Coast Collective attract both locals and tourists with their atmosphere and quality cannabis.
Favorite Discreet Sublingual Strip
Kin Slips was founded in Oakland, California by a passionate group of entrepreneurs hell bent on dramatically improving the cannabis-enjoying experience. Their commitment began with sublingual strips—a revolutionary infused product that is discreet, reliable, all-natural, and formulated for positive effects on lifestyle and health. The leading sublingual brand in the state, Kin Slips source their oil in the greater Bay Area and other parts of Central California, choosing only products that pass as pesticide-free.
Why do we love Kin Slips? Sublingual cannabis products are pulled straight into the bloodstream through the membranes in the mouth. The onset takes only 10 to 15 minutes, the effects feel more like smoking without the harsh effects to the lungs, and they absorb faster than ingesting a traditional edible. Just remember to dissolve it under your tongue!
Product we recommend: Nice Dream – The Nice Dream blend has been formulated with the most relaxing cannabinoids and terpenes commonly found in Indica strains. Flavored with a soothing combination of watermelon and basil, Nice Dream is the perfect option for a relaxed evening at home or that great night of sleep you have been dreaming of.
Favorite CBD Products
Care By Design
Care By Design is a cannabis products brand out of Sonoma County. Care By Design products are made from the flower and leaf of local, sustainably grown cannabis. Products are made in medically appropriate formulations, including sublingual sprays, soft-gel caps, and oil extracts, offering a full spectrum of CBD:THC ratios and strains so that patients can comfortably optimize their cannabinoid therapy while moderating (or even eliminating) psychoactive effects.
Product we recommend: CBD Rich Soft Gels 18:1. This easy-to-use capsule is ideal for precise dosing and discrete administration. Each batch is lab-tested to ensure a consistent amount of active CBD and THC for reliable dosing. Refined coconut oil increases absorbability for enhanced medicinal effects.
Founded in Oakland in 2010, GummiCares is on a mission to provide high-quality consistently-dosed products to improve people’s lives. Their potent and great-tasting gummi edibles are perforated for convenience and allow for exact dosing each and every time.
Product we recommend: CBD EXTREME: 30MG CBD. Their orange-flavored gummi edible is infused with high-grade CBD oil. This gummi relieves pain and maintains all the medical benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Favorite Coffee & Tea Brands
Somatik is a new way to enjoy cannabis and coffee together. This San Francisco-based company partnered with Ritual Coffee to bring you (damn good) single-origin coffee infused with pure California-grown cannabis. Their cold brew contains just the right dose of cannabis and caffeine for a mild euphoric effect and balanced experience. It’s designed to bring out the best in you.
Product we recommend: Cold Brew (Regular). The taste is light-bodied and smooth with subtle notes of cherry, a hint of herbaceous flavor, and undertones of bright lemon. Why do we love it so much? This perfect blend of cannabis and caffeine brings us a more productive chill vibe that allows us to take on our day with relaxed clarity and energy.
Kikoko teas are made from organically sun-grown cannabis, making them not only good for you, but also delicious. This women-owned Emeryville-based company uses only top-shelf, artisanal, and organic teas, herbs, and flowers. They are also free of mold, pesticides, and other toxins, all of which are sadly prevalent in many other brands’ products. In fact, Kikoko once threw away tens of thousands of dollars of purportedly organic cannabis oil because it tested positive for pesticides. Even their tea sachets are nontoxic and made from 100% cornstarch, meaning their teas are fully compostable and biodegradable.
Product we recommend: Sensuali-Tea, Positivi-Tea & Tranquili-Tea. Kikoko teas are formulated and dosed to address specific medical conditions affecting sleep, pain, anxiety, and libido. With low doses of THC (between 1.5 mg and 10 mg), these teas are reliably titrated with specific cannabinoid ratios to treat various health concerns. The big hits among MARY staff members were the Tranquili-Tea to induce sleep, Sensuali-Tea to increase libido and sexual satisfaction, and Positivi-Tea to manage mood and stress.
Favorite Vape Pens
Bloom Farms is a San Francisco-based cannabis company that provides millions of people a safe and enjoyable way to relax, find relief, inspire creativity, and enjoy life a little more. For this higher purpose, Bloom Farms is dedicated to producing high-quality, great-tasting cannabis oil. Bloom Farms cannabis is sourced from responsible family farmers who care about the land, the environment and, most importantly, people.
Product we recommend: Highlighter Plus w/ Premium Sativa 500Mg and Highlighter Plus w/ Premium Indica 500Mg. The Bloom Farms vaporization technology and distillate oil in Highlighter Plus applies a state-of-the-art, fully integrated ceramic heating element designed with potency, consistency and flavor in mind. And thanks to the new battery, the Highlighter Plus experience means a more substantial dose and a more consistent draw. It’s a top-of-the-line vape pen with a potent product line of cannabis oil.
As the industry grew, so did Jetty’s aspirations to define their place within it. Experimenting with extraction techniques, perfecting design, and introducing new strains have been opportunities to raise the bar and offer truly innovative and unique cannabis products. This Oakland-based cannabis-extract company has been defined by its variety: the care and craft they put into sourcing materials, implementing superior extraction methods, and statewide distribution. They’re also obsessed with perfection, working within the law, never cutting corners, and never compromising their values.
Product we recommend: Gold Extract – Indica & Sativa. Gold is clean, pure, and potent. Starting with hand-selected cannabis sourced from sun-grown farms, Jetty uses 3 stages of refinement to craft their unique oils: primary extraction, filtration, and polishing. Cannabis-derived terpenes are blended back into the final product for that distinctive, natural-flower flavor. Gold contains no byproducts, particulates, or additives. Every hand-crafted batch tests upwards of 80% THC. The upshot: maximum head and body high.
Product we recommend: PAX Era Pod – Headband (Hybrid) & Sunset Sherbert (Indica). Working with what’s in season to create artisanal strains exclusive to the Era Pod lineup, Jetty starts with the best plants, hand-picked from sun-drenched farms in California. Whole-plant terpenes are added to every small batch to create highly sought-after flavors with a high-quality twist. When paired with PAX technology, we like to think of Era Pod as the “art” in smart cannabis vaping.
Product we recommend: Sativa AM Black Cherry. This black cherry-flavored gummi edible is infused with high-grade Sativa oil. Ideal for those seeking an upbeat creative energetic effect and available in individual 10-mg packs or 100-mg resealable 10-packs. This makes for the perfect discreet edible that packs a potent punch.
IncrediMeds is a cannabis confections manufacturer fully licensed with the City of San Francisco and in operation since 2004. A subsidiary of San Francisco’s first legally permitted medical cannabis dispensary, the Green Cross, IncrediMeds makes it a priority to bring fresh, high-quality ingredients together with top-grade medical cannabis to deliver the best and most-delectable products. IncrediMeds offers an incredible selection of more than 3 dozen cannabis-infused edibles available in sweet, savory, vegan, and gluten-free options.
Product we recommend: Dark Chocolate Salted Crunchy Caramels and The Chocolate Lover’s Delight Cookie – Hybrid. IncrediMeds prepares delicious delectables with a consistent amount of THC to ensure a consistent and reliable effect. Their quality creations excite the palate and comfort the body. The Dark Chocolate Salted Crunchy Caramels serve the perfect amount of cannabis without providing the cannabis taste. The potent triple-strength Chocolate Lover Delight Cookies are a sweet way to medicate.
KIVA Confections is one of the most recognized cannabis-related companies in California. The company was born out of a need for an edible product that was potent, consistent, and enjoyable to consume. In early 2010 the edible market was desperately underserved; the products available were untested, unlabeled, and inconsistent in potency. Enter KIVA Confections. In 8 short years, KIVA has expanded to offering a dozen varieties of chocolate edibles and boasting a loyal customer base across hundreds of dispensaries in CA, AZ, NV, and IL.
Product we recommend: Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar. KIVA is known for its expert chocolatiers and a consistent dose of cannabis in each and every artisanal product they create. But among their variety of chocolate bars, the Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar is a MARY staff favorite. Made from 100% cannabis plants rich in cannabidiol, this handcrafted bar offers just the right balance of CBD and THC for a calm and relaxing effect, all delivered in a delicious chocolate bar mixed with espresso.
Blueberry Terra Bites. Using a traditional 24-hour panning process, dried US-grown blueberries are dusted with cocoa powder and finished with a generous coating of delicious milk chocolate. Each 5MG bite is polished to sweet, tart, irresistible, perfection. We also loved the mobility and packaging of this particular edible. These bite-sized treats allow you to find the perfect dosage throughout the day whether it’s low dose, extra potency, or something in between.
Favorite Low-dose Edibles
Mellows makes quality marshmallow treats for cannabis users. This San Francisco edibles company cares about the details and the delicious in each bite. That’s why each and every batch of Mellows is whipped and cut and gussied up by hand. Their medicated marshmallows are truly handcrafted with love and attention to detail. Mellows are always lab-tested to ensure the highest quality and consistency.
Product we recommend: 12 Assorted handcrafted marshmallows. The perfect artisanal low-dose edible. Every box of Mellows contains 12 gourmet marshmallows. Each piece is gently dosed with 5 mg of THC from our premium single-origin Red Congolese sativa. These artisanal medical-marijuana treats are designed to deliver pleasure and relief in each delightful bite. Our favorite flavors include Strawberry Shortcake, Orange Dreamsicle, Cookies + Cream, and S’mores.
Favorite Organic Flower
Flow Kana is the first sustainable, sun-grown cannabis brand to represent 2 of California’s most unique microclimates and their small farmer ecosystems. This Bay Area flower company partners with, and gives scale to, premier artisan farmers in Mendocino and Southern Humboldt counties who focus on small-batch, boutique strains.
Flow Kana packages farmers’ hand-trimmed flowers in premium airtight, UV-protected, amber jars made from the finest glass. Finished with gold lettering, along with a tag to indicate the artisan farmer and a second tag color-coded to indicate the strain and effect, they strive to provide an elegant and informed experience for cannabis users of all kinds.
Om is a female-run collective dedicated to providing the highest quality of medical and adult-use cannabis products to legal patients in California. Established in 2008, Om’s belief is that its medicine is only as good as the ingredients used. So when Cannabis is combined with other healing herbs and superfoods, its medicinal value is greatly increased. Their cannabis products are consistently healthy, effective, and enjoyable. This includes their Om tinctures line, designed to be light and deliciously alcohol-free.
Product we recommend: Daytime Tincture. This alcohol-free blend of organic ingredients is definitely one of their top-selling tinctures! Not only does the formula balance a combination of healing herbs specifically geared for daytime needs, but it also medicates quite nicely. Ginger, echinacea, and Sativa hybrid flowers make this medicine well rounded and balanced. It may be enjoyed plain or added to the beverage of your choice.
Product we recommend: Lion Balm Healing Topical. Those with chronic pain or sporadic muscle tension, rejoice! OM offers a superb topical that works almost instantaneously to relieve stiffness, pain, and soreness. This beeswax-based salve is similar to Tiger Balm except with a more minty scent. It contains camphor, eucalyptus, menthol, peppermint, spearmint, Thai liniments, and cannabis, making this topical extremely effective for arthritis, aches, pains, and other dermatological problems.
Also published on Medium.