The CBD market is exploding: worth $327 million in 2017, the market is projected to reach a value of $16 billion in 2025. In some cities, like Austin, Texas, CBD shops are springing up on every corner and you can find every type of CBD-infused food you can imagine: ice cream, coffee, booze, salad. But what about San Francisco?
The SF CBD scene is developing slower than in other cities due to an inhospitable legal environment (we get more into that below), but change is on the horizon, and new CBD joints are beginning to appear. Case in point: a new CBD shop on Geary, Urban Haven.
I visited and sat down with the owner to get the skinny on the city’s new CBD destination.
Background: The State of California and City of SF’s Crackdown on CBD
As a plant-based, holistic remedy closely related to cannabis, CBD would seem like the perfect trend for San Francisco. After all, SF has a reputation for being the epicenter of the hippy-dippy, organic alternative health movement. But, you may be surprised to learn that SF (and the state of California overall) have not welcomed CBD with open arms.
In accordance with FDA rules, the State of California banned the sale of CBD-infused food and drink. San Francisco Public Health officials followed suite, cracking down and sending warnings to 1,900 businesses to stop selling CBD.
But there are signs of warming: specifically, a bill recently unanimously passed in the California State Assembly which will authorize the sale of CBD-infused food and drink. Expect an explosion of CBD goodies around SF, and one of the first places you can see evidence of this: Urban Haven, officially SF’s 2nd CBD shop.
Urban Haven: the City’s Next CBD Hotspot?
For the previous 6 years Urban Haven was a vape shop, Gone With the Smoke, but after SF became the first US city to ban flavored e-cigarettes, the owner, Christopher Chin, needed to pivot. Like pretty much everyone else in the CBD business, he saw a major uptick in sales for the CBD products his vape shop carried in 2019. So he decided to pivot.
The result: Gone with the Smoke is now Urban Haven, a CBD-focused store with a variety of goods from major national retailers, including some of our favorites:
- Funky Farms CBD extracts
- CBD Living edible gummies, topical patches, soap, and bath bombs
- Avida CBD vapes
- Roxy CBD pet foods
- Medterra tincture
The city’s strict approach to CBD hasn’t yet been an obstacle for Chris, who says he hasn’t had any contact or issues with the city. But given how city officials hassled the first CBD store in SF (Sidewalk Wellness) he expects to hear from them eventually.
What prompted Chris to jump into the CBD world (besides the sales numbers)? His own experience using CBD as a muscle pain reliever for his neck and shoulders. But with the grand opening of Urban Haven and a diverse selection of the best national CBD brands flowing into his store, now he takes his CBD in a multitude of ways: “I use topicals, I use bath bombs (which are AMAZING), and I use a tincture as well,” he said.
Building a CBD Shop: Inside the Design
The interior of this store is mucho gorgeous, and as a CBD shop connoisseur myself who’s visited a whole bunch of the prettiest CBD stores in the country, I’m always curious how businesses arrived at their particular aesthetic.
With Urban Haven, this aesthetic is rustic and old school, with fresh wood paneling and a beautiful CBD bar at the back. The owner Chris told me the design was inspired by Old West taverns (hence the original name: Gone with the Smoke), and I found it to be a refreshing changeup from the typical CBD shops that go for a vibe I can best describe as futuristic coffee shop.
Visit Urban Haven at:
569 Geary Street
They’re one of the few true CBD destinations in the city, have a great selection, a gorgeous vibe, and friendly staff. What’s not to like? Whether you’re a CBD head like me or are just dipping your toes into CBD for the first time, Urban Haven is worth a visit.