Whether you’re a seasoned dispensary customer, or a recreational newbie, since weed became legal in California, finding the right store can be tricky.
Just as any brick-and-mortar store, there are some that are more appealing and efficient than others.
The success or failure of one store or another can depend on a few variables – location, variety of merchandise, and of course, the quality and care of its employees.
When it comes down to it, cannabis is still medicine for a lot of people. And dispensary workers or bud-tenders should be knowledgeable enough to help you navigate varietals and assist you in finding the right items at the correct potency — whether you smoke, vape or enjoy edibles or oils.
In alphabetical order, here’s our list of some of Los Angeles’ best dispensaries, keeping in mind quality, offerings and the conscientiousness of employees.
440 1/2 N La Cienega
West Hollywood, CA 90048
Membership has its privileges at Buddha Collective. This shop offers its members who are able to grow cannabis, a channel to share their bounty with other members. Members with a desire to learn the grow business can access the expertise of Buddha Collective.
Exhale Med Center
Serving Los Angeles and the Surrounding Area
Exhale Med Center is owned by Dmtry Muzychuk, a USC law student when he first launched the shop. He told LA Weekly that he got into the cannabis business because he believes it can “change people’s lives.”
The dispensary is said to cater to patient referrals from physicians working at Cedars-Sinai Medical. Without the usual high-tech security, Exhale has a more inviting feel. “It’s about building trust and relationships,” he said.
Downtown Patient Group
1320 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
One of the largest pharmacies in LA, DTPG has a plethora of merchandise — there’s even a foosball table. DTPG is known for outstanding flowers, such as Masters Mistress, King Louie and DT’s Finest. “We have specific products aimed at serious ailments. We’re really into CBD (cannabidiol) and Rick Simpson oil. It has guided patients out of cancer,” a manager told LA Weekly.
Hollywood High Grade
7051 B Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Featuring a rotating display of work by L.A. artists, Hollywood High Grade looks industrial from the street, but takes on another look once inside.
Offering a range from high-end strains such as Cypress Hill OG and High Grade OG Kush to middle of the road brands such as, OG Kush and Chem Dawg.
King Kush Collective
5919 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003
Crowned the #1 shop in SoCal two times in 2015 and four times in 2016, according to “The List” of best collectives in SoCal.
With a menu of over 70 strains of flower (medical cannabis) the store carries a variety of types of concentrates — Crumble, Shatter (Nug-Run & Trim), Moon Rooks and more. Offering a huge selection of edibles by Kushy Punch, Cheeba Chews, Kiva, Sexy Ed’s, Korova, Bhang Chocolate, Veravo, Ganjalato Ice Cream, they specialize in finding hard-to-come-by strains and cannabis.
This store keeps Dracula hours, staying open until 1:00 AM during the week and 1:30 AM on the weekends. Freebies: First-time patients get a surprise gift bag and the store will text you regarding deals.
Los Angeles Patients & Caregivers Group
7213 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
This 14-year-old, activist-founded, non-profit collective, has spent years nurturing relationships with SoCal’s best cultivators and building its own genetic stock. According to Green State, “LAPCG’s line of flowers, the house collection features great representations of classic old-school strains.”
Green State highlights: OG Kush, NorCal Purps and Classic Trainwreck as, “arguably the best commercial version of the strain and is definitely not for those with anxiety or a low tolerance.”
Managing director of LAPCG, Michelle (no last name), told Marley Natural, “We definitely try to be a liaison for the medical side and we pride ourselves on being a friendly and knowledgeable dispensary. That may not necessarily be the vibe at every other dispensary that you visit, but we definitely come from a place of being a member of the community and uplifting and supporting the community by promoting wellness and wellbeing around us. We try to live it and kind of give it to everyone in hopes that that will perpetuate outward.”
Serving West Hollywood and the Surrounding Area
Since its opening, MedMen has experienced lines down the block and its fans are true believers in the almost Apple Store experience of boutique weed products of every kind. President and Co-founder Andrew Modlin and MedMen co-founder and CEO, Adam Bierman are now ramping up to take their slick store national.
Modlin studied Fine Art at UCLA and says he fell into the cannabis business by accident, but the unique design aesthetic of the stores has put it on the map.
MedMen’s goal has been to re-envision the dispensary experience for patients, combining a clean, bright and innovative storefront that welcomes existing and new clients.
“A career as a cannabis entrepreneur was definitely not something in my plans,” Modlin told the Los Angeles Blade.
“I met Bierman at my first job and we hit it off immediately. We decided to combine our skill set and run our own marketing company in Los Angeles. We had a meeting with a local medical marijuana dispensary operator who wanted to hire us and that was our introduction to this industry. We immediately saw the business potential and jumped into the cannabis industry headfirst,” Modlin says.
And MedMen has grown at lightning speed. In a little over two years, MedMen went from 15 to more than 700 employees.
Modlin says he’s an old-school head, and prefers to smoke flower. “I also love working out and Habit’s CBD-infused water is great for sore muscles,” he adds.
Modlin and his business partner Adam Bierman were featured in the April 20, 2015 issue of Time magazine. The article written by Eliza Gray, titled “Dope Dreams,” covered the MedMen’s journey from yogurt to marijuana and the success they’ve had.
Serving Hollywood and the Surrounding Area
MMD Cannabis Dispensary is the first Hollywood location to get its license from the city of Los Angeles and the state of California for adult use sales of marijuana.
“It’s significant for us because we’ll be able to serve the tourist community and continue to serve our patients that we have done in the past,” Steve Ashbel, director of MMD told ABC 7 News in February of this year.
The dispensary has been selling medical marijuana for more than a decade, and representatives say they’re excited to expand their clientele in a responsible way.
First time patients receive a rewards card with free gifts, a 5G 1/8th, and free half gram of hash.
8464 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Noted as the home of the original medical marijuana machines, (a vending machine for selling or dispensing cannabis), Zen Healing has been open for over 15 years, and some say it has one of the highest-grade selections of any store in Los Angeles. Its edibles and medicinal choices are outstanding.