Marijuana Culture in San Diego

Bobby Dyer
Josiah Weiss 2PiRLc GqIs Unsplash

The Southern California culture around marijuana has had a notorious draw since the 1960s hippie culture. With legalization, there are more creative and high-quality options than ever before.

Whether it’s your first time smoking or you are an expert, this is what you need to know about MJ in San Diego…

Here are the best ways to experience smoking in San Diego.


HIGH-Quality Dispensaries

-URBN Leaf

If you are looking for a beautiful dispensary that is professional and top-shelf quality, you must visit this store. It is flashy and friendly and encourages customers to ask questions to get themselves more educated. This dispensary will make you wonder what they are selling, with its clean decor and all-glass storefront you will think you have walked into an expensive department store instead of a dispensary. There is also a CannaBus for those that want an additional experience to purchase their bud.

-A Green Alternative

Fresh and PharmLAb tested to guaranteed quality and potency, this is the place for snobs and geeks of the industry that want to know the stats of their smoke. This is a knowledgable business that offers delivery to you anywhere in San Diego. It is also the first licensed dispensary and delivery service registered in San Diego so you get a little clout and history as well as a great smoke.

-Torrey Holistics

This is the first dispensary in the state of California to be licensed to sell recreational cannabis. Torrey Holistics is in the Sorrento Valley office park, which is a little further away than other options but great if you are making an exploration day of the Torrey Pines area (the beaches are to die for). There is also quick and inexpensive delivery for $5, which offers access to most of the dispensary’s product offerings. They feature fewer options than other dispensaries, choosing to focus on quality, rather than quantity.

Cost-Effective Dispensaries

With the boom in popularity, you can spend a lot of money on the high end, cutting edge products. But if you are simply looking to smoke with your friends on your vacation and not too concerned with strains and THC percentages, these are the dispensaries that are chill and still a great hook up.

-Harbor Collective

Right on the bay, you can see the huge navy ships and tankers as you approach this dispensary right outside of the Downtown area. They have high and low-end options that make it easy for you to shop and get an overall feel for this booming industry. The staff is always super friendly and will take you on a miny tour of the merch if you are in the mood.


Apothekare opened their new storefront in Mission Valley and offers an initial bonus of 20% off, just visiting their website. This shop has a wide selection, making it a popular choice for San Diegans and has comparatively lower pricing than other options around town. They have creative displays and a trendy boutique style that includes that selling of bath bombs that make it an all-around shopping trip, not just a run to the dispensary.


This dispensary consistently has deals on vape cartridges from trusted names like Jetty and Strata. Look for impressive discounts on munchie Mondays, and a $1 pre-roll deal with any purchase below $50 for first-timers. The staff is efficient and helpful which makes it more pleasant on those Friday rush, holiday weekends.


Weed Shuttle?

That’s right. You can take a free shuttle, and smoke in it, as you go to a dispensary to shop and explore the merchandise. They will also hook you up with discounts for when you decide to purchase. This is a deal and an experience all in one go!

Where to Toke

First off, know where you can and cannot light up (you can get a ticket!)

Beaches such as Ocean Beach by the Pier and relaxed nature areas are acceptable places to smoke. If you smell it in the air you are usually good to go. Sunset Cliffs and Belmont Park have also been mentioned as places that are enjoyable and acceptable to light up at.

EndNote: It is part of the Southern California culture, and San Diego is no exception. With these things to know you can have an enjoyable experience smoking in the sun.

Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.