You might think San Francisco — well known as perhaps the global epicenter of highly-priced organic, holistic, plant-based health and wellness products — would welcome CBD with open arms, and that there’d be stores on each corner selling all manner of CBD-infused goods. But you’d be wrong.
Is CBD Legal in San Francisco?
Yes, CBD is legal to purchase in San Francisco (whether in oil/tincture form or infused drinks and edibles). However, CBD-infused drinks and edibles cannot be legally sold by businesses, and both San Francisco city officials and California public health officials have recently cracked down on infused products in the city.
The Background on San Francisco’s Crackdown on CBD-infused Products
San Francisco’s CBD intolerance starts with the California Public Health Services Department, which has taken a (rather bizarre and confusing) hardline stance on CBD: raiding retailers, impounding products, and chasing CBD businesses out of state. These actions stem from the FDA ruling prohibiting the addition of CBD in food or drinks, a rule that has gone largely unenforced nationwide, but has selectively been taken up by city and state officials (e.g. the state of Massachusetts, and New York City).
San Francisco Department of Health officials have followed suit, and recently sent letters to 1,900 businesses warning them to stop selling CBD-infused products. They’ve also forced certain retailers (including the only CBD-specific shop in San Francisco, Sidewalk Wellness) to pull CBD-infused drinks and edibles products off their shelves.
As a result of all this, the San Francisco CBD scene isn’t nearly as poppin’ as you might think (relative to a city like Austin, Texas, which, with the recent statewide legalization of hemp, has seen an explosion of CBD shops and CBD-infused goodies).
But just cause it ain’t as poppin’ as it could be, don’t mean it ain’t poppin. There are still a few well-known CBD hotspots around town, and we’ve listed all the ones that we know about. Let’s start with CBD-specific shops (unfortunately in SF, this is a list of one).
Sidewalk Wellness: SF’s Star CBD joint
For all the reasons listed above, there is only one true all-around CBD store in San Francisco. If you want an immersive CBD experience, it starts and ends with Sidewalk Wellness.
Address: 3186 21st St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11AM-8PM
Sidewalk Wellness calls itself a CBD dispensary, and they sell all manner of CBD products:
- Tinctures & oils
- Bed and bath products (lotion, soap, bath salts, balm)
- Vaporizers and vape oils
- CBD flower
- Edibles (gummies and candies)
The interior has a supercool, sleek design that oozes boujee: glass cases with exquisitely-arranged products, a “flower bar” (their term), and even a little tutorial on CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
The only CBD-infused thing that you can’t find at Sidewalk Wellness is drinks, but there are other spots to find those.
Where to Find CBD-infused Drinks in San Francisco
Again, relatively speaking, the CBD-infused food and drink scene in San Francisco is lagging, and tracking down infused goodies sometimes feels like hunting a leprechaun (in fact, we haven’t found ANY restaurants with CBD-infused foods on the menu in SF yet). Nevertheless, we at Remedy Journey have religiously sought out all the CBD-infused goodies that we could find. Here’s our (partial and growing, hopefully) list.
Address: 901 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94115
Hours: Mon-Thu: 3PM-12AM, Fri: 3PM-1AM, Sat: 1PM-1AM, Sun: 1PM-11PM
Our favorite CBD spot in town, the Kava Lounge features a delicious CBD-infused sparkling juice drink with 17mg of pure CBD extract, along with a CBD-infused Nitro coffee.
They’ve also (surprise, surprise!) got kava drinks. Kava, for those unfamiliar, is a Pacific Island root that tastes like dirt and is known for its sedative and euphoric properties (picture an experience that’s 50% alcohol and 50% calm-inducing CBD).
We recommend stacking CBD and kava.
Address: 827 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Hours: Mon-Fri: 12PM-8PM, Sat: 12PM-9PM, Sun: 12PM-7PM
One of the first places in SF to offer a CBD-infused option, Steap Tea Bar’s Green Queen is infused with 10-12mg of CBD honey. It’s outright delicious, and a gorgeous drink to boot.
Address: 64 6th St, San Francisco, CA, San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7AM-7PM, Sat: 8AM-6PM, Sun: 8AM-6PM
Pentacle Coffee is a local treasure, complete with a little backroom art gallery and a couple highly talented baristas (their macchiatos are phenomenal). For $3, you can add CBD to any drink on the menu.
Address: 522 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: Mon-Sat: 11AM-7PM, Sun: 12PM-6PM
CBD-infused goodies can pop up in unexpected places, including high-end popup clothing boutiques. Seldom Seen won’t be at the location listed above forever, but as long as they are, you can find Mary Joe CBD Cold Brew Coffee there in a small cooler tucked away in the corner (the folks minding the desk are friendly and more than happy to dish up their CBD drinks sans the $500 coats).
Address: 365 11th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Hours: Sun-Thu: 3PM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 3PM-12AM
This massive two-level bar is one of the main sports and gaming hubs in the city. Their once-extensive selection of CBD beers was pulled from the menu in the city’s crackdown on CBD-infused goods, but they still have a couple of CBD-infused offerings, including kombucha and tea.
Address: 3100 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8AM-9PM, Sat-Sun: 9AM-9PM
Sidewalk Juice is a staple in the Mission, with two locations, but it’s their walk-in store on 24th that has a couple of CBD drinks: GT’s Dream Catcher Sparkling Wellness Water, mKombucha’s CBD-infused Kombucha, and Vybes Mind + Body Function CBD-infused drinks.
- Potrero/Mission District Address: 2111 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110, Hours: Mon-Sun: 7AM-10PM
- Haight-Ashbury Address: 1530 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117, Hours: 7AM-9:30PM
Gus’s typically has one of the best selections of CBD infused drinks in the city: we’ve spotted at various times Mary Joe CBD Cold Brew Coffee, GT’s Sparkling Wellness Waters, and Vybes on their shelves. Last we checked, though, we could only find GT’s.
Where Else to Buy CBD
These aren’t the only spots that you can buy CBD products, though. Two of the best destinations for anything CBD in San Francisco are marijuana dispensaries and smoke shops. Dispensaries like the Green Cross in the Mission, or Harvest on Geary, carry CBD oils along with a selection of CBD drinks, edibles, and vapes.
Even better, there are a number of marijuana delivery services that offer a nice selection of CBD products, including Puffy.com and Eaze.com.
What San Franciscans are Saying About the City’s Local CBD Culture
“The whole CBD scene here is constantly in flux, and it’s irritating,” said Anthony Torrez, a student at San Francisco State. “You find a bomb CBD drink one day, but it’s not on the shelf the next. Real spotty supply. The city can’t seem to get it straight.”
“I’m not sure why CBD is so hard to find around here. This is San Francisco! But it seems like the laws are changing fast, and I’m hopeful that the city will adapt. ” said Kaila Pambid, an EMT paramedic.
The good news is that change IS on the way: the California state legislature recently unanimously approved a bill permitting the sale of CBD-infused food and drink. Governor Newsome is expected to sign the bill, and then, presumably, the way is cleared for a local CBD culture to bloom, both in San Francisco and across the state.