Bay Area Cannasseur: Cannabis gifts sure to light up the holidays
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As we begin the first holiday season with legal cannabis, shelves are stocked with dozens of new gizmos for the pot aficionado on your list.
We checked with the Apothecarium's boutique manager Marcella Sanchez, who said the retailer's gift boxes are a "fantastic value." Sanchez, a lesbian, has put together three different limited edition gift boxes, ranging from $30-$100, with a wide variety of items inside, from flower samples to socks. You'd spend 50 percent more if the items were purchased separately, Sanchez said in a phone interview.
Another unique item, great for the Jewish stoner on your list, but suitable for everyone, is a $400 glass bong in the shape of a Hanukkah menorah, with eight bowls to hold your flowers.
Designed by the owner of the high-end U.S. glass company Grav, the Apothecarium has only two available, so Sanchez urges those who are interested to come in to see this piece of art at the 2029 Market Street location. Sanchez said the Apothecarium is the only San Francisco dispensary that stocks items from Grav.
For people who insist on keeping their equipment clean and spotless, Sanchez recommends a new bong manufactured by the Canadian company, Brnt. Made of Canadian clay, the bongs can be placed in the dishwasher, she said. The handmade clay bongs are $200.
Inexpensive gifts at the Apothecarium include $20 baseball caps — one "indica" and one "sativa" — and a selection of new cannabis-related books, most priced $10-$30. A one-day pop up on December 15 at the Market Street location will be an opportunity to buy a box of items to use with cannabis, called "Elevate," sold by a local women-owned company.
We also spoke to SPARC's retail director, Robbie Rainin, about its holiday offerings. Rainin, a gay man, said the "best value" in the store is a four-piece dab rig for $200. The package includes a glass bong and three nails.
For a unique gift, Rainin suggested a gift certificate for a two-hour arm knitting class at SPARC's 1256 Mission Street location Sunday, December 16, at 2 p.m. where students can vape before, during, or after class. (The technique uses your arms instead of knitting needles.) Students will go home with a cowl scarf, Rainin said. Advance tickets are required: https://bit.ly/2RtvNc8. (While the link references a painting class, it is for the arm knitting.)
SPARC, owned by gay cannabis entrepreneur Erich Pearson, also has a number of perfect stocking stuffers, said Rainin, including a $15 cannabis-themed vinyl record, produced with Juanita MORE!; a $10 jar of Salt Rox for cleaning glass bongs; and a $40 California cannabis hoodie.
If you'd like to enjoy a cannabis gift with the gift recipient, how about booking a tour for two with GreenGuideTours. The company offers a wide range of tours. There's a free walking tour (with a suggested $10 donation). Others range from $29-$80 per person and include the classic cannabis bus tour that features sightseeing and education; the two and a half hour bud crawl to dispensaries and lounges; and the pioneers of pot tour that the late Dennis Peron helped to design. We haven't checked out these tours ourselves yet, but recent Yelp reviews all give the tours five stars.
Lastly, there will be a free cannabis holiday party sponsored by the Brownie Mary Democratic Club Wednesday, December 12, at 6:15 p.m. at 847 Howard Street in San Francisco. Further details are on the club's Facebook page, BrownieMarySF.
Bay Area Cannasseur runs the first Thursday of the month. To send column ideas or tips, email Sari Staver at firstname.lastname@example.org.