It’s time for our picks for the best cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles for 2021.
The world’s biggest legal cannabis market is also a discerning one. As more and more entrepreneurs head to L.A. to stake a claim on a piece of the cannabis market, the consumer base stomps on their Chadian dreams.
People just show up and think weed is easy if you have the money to pull it off, and those that live by those beliefs have learned many expensive lessons in recent years. Nevertheless, it’s fair to suggest the suffering and failures make it easier to appreciate those who do it well. Those people that grow good pot for others to enjoy after they’ve been reasonably compensated for their work.
These people don’t build their brands around where weed will be in a decade, but more so where the quality is in this moment. Are there people on this list that any competent hedge fund manager would love to get a piece of? Sure. But it’s not because they are the kind of people that built those entities in the first place. It’s just that their product drives so much excitement others are forced to take notice.
Here is a lineup of great shops we’re sure will check all the boxes for you.
Since making the move south from San Francisco almost 20 years ago, AHHS has been a staple of patient access. But as the world moved on from the medical era, that quality of medicine AHHS strived for was exactly what the discerning consumers of L.A. were looking for as they made their way into the legal marketplace. While old school, you can expect all of the newest and most exciting heat in town.
As Cookies’ ever-expanding footprint in Los Angeles changes the face of its retail cannabis scene forever, it’s pretty wild the number of bodies they are moving through the Melrose and Maywood locations on a daily basis. It’s no surprise the San Francisco-born pot empire has made such waves locally, the strain it was named for was essentially the first thing to even dent OG Kush’s absolute reign at the top for 15 plus years when it first started popping up more locally in 2010.
The Jungle Boys
As we covered in our feature story, the Jungle Boys continue to be at the top of the pack. All their locations rank among the best in the city, driven by the quality of flowers they grow in-house and continued deals for the patients they have been providing for the last 16 years. Their recent work with the Mike and Larry is the newest heat but the Triangle Kush lineup that dropped just before the pandemic is high on our list also.
When the world needed the hype, Greenwolf brought us Zalympix this year. Would they be featured on this list anyway given the shop is a perennial destination for those in search of all things hype and heat? Likely, yes. Nevertheless, the Zalympix gathering of 16 of the best cultivators on the planet to see who would reign supreme was an absolute spectacle. As you made your way through each bag it was like visiting the best dispensary on the planet from your coffee table. We are so thankful Greenwolf gave the community another opportunity to reflect and appreciate the amount of effort the state’s top indoor cultivators are putting in. We are excited for the next edition of Zalympix, and to continue to keep an eye on the menu to see what elite pot ends up on Greenwolf’s shelves.
Catalyst has had the best pot in Long Beach longer than it has had its name. There are few spots south of Los Angeles to get your hands on comparable heat to what you’ll see daily on shelves at Catalyst as they continue to stock a who’s who of the biggest names in California for growing heat. While the menu and years of pedigree got Catalyst on the list, we also get a big kick on the wider political activities. Owner Elliot Lewis has been spot on in his public discourse on the impact that overregulation is having on California’s cannabis industry. Catalyst is also one of the most rapidly expanding operations that trace back to the medical market. We need as many of those to make it as possible.
For those in search of the most cerebral highs available, Lemonnade continues to put out some of the hottest newest sativas in the marketplace. In the year since we talked to co-founder Brett Wilson, they’ve continued to pump out some exotic noses. One of our favorite unique rosins of the year was their Medellin collaboration with Kalya. While it was gorgeous when fresh-pressed, the terpene profile it took on after a day on the coffee table was the best kind of offensive you can ask for in a headie dab. Wilson was raised in the Santa Cruz mountains so limonene is basically intertwined with his DNA.
There is a legitimate argument to be made that Dr. Greenthumbs is in possession of the most legitimately vetted and dated OG cuts on the recreational market. B-Real and Chief Cultivator Kenji Fujishima have been growing fire OG Kush for 20 years. When we asked Josh D about the cut getting out there after he won the Emerald Cup a couple of years ago, Fujishima was one of the first people he pointed to as having a legit cut. Now the Isane OG team grows other stuff too! But there was a 12-year period that they didn’t see the point in it. But great OG is great OG, as we’ve seen from new Dr. Greenthumbs locations continuing to pop up around the state.
In a world where celebrities start new delivery services to bring an eighth to your door, Hyperwolf is above all that madness. On its menu, you’ll find a reputable amount of heat a fair prices. You’ll see a lot of the most popular farms in the state, but their house selections are legit too. We even included the Rainbow Mintz on our Spooky Strains of 2021 list. Not only is the house stuff good, but you’ll save 10 bucks in hype too.
Another beloved import, Mario “Mr. Sherbinski” Guzman has had a spot in the hearts of L.A. cannabis consumers since the earliest renditions of Gelato started to make it south all those years ago. In the years since, the genetics he helped create would go on to corner a significant chunk of the marketplace. Many of the flavors on the legal market trace directly back to his work with Jigga. It’s no surprise in the years since Sherbinski first opened his flagship dispensary on Fairfax things have only gotten bigger. As Guzman spends his summers in the hills of the Emerald Triangle searching for new flavors, a rotating door of celebrities, rappers, and enthusiasts head to the shop in search of original flavors.
Green Dragon North Hollywood
Another shop growing some great pot in-house, Green Dragon features a variety of one-off feature strains only they have in addition to some more hype things of the moment. The Feria The Fetti that won the hybrid division of the High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup was absolutely a gem. We judged the category and the entry truly stood out from the pack as something very unique that still hit. Green Dragon is also one of the best places in L.A. to get your hands on solid clones.
For years, the Pottery had brought LA. cannabis shoppers one of the widest menus in town. It’s often an early landing spot for niche products, but you’ll be able to get your hands on all the popular stuff too. And in a world of weed stores impersonating Apple, we always found the Pottery had more of an artsy jewelry store vibe and we don’t hate.
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