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First Bloom

September 27, 2017

I felt a little anxious about going to a dispensary to buy cannabis legally for the first time. It’s silly, I know, but in the back of my mind I worried about not being cool enough. Would the place be filled with snide hipsters with an everybody-knows-how-to-dab attitude? Would they expect me to sample some uber-strong pot before I buy it and I’d be too stoned to get home? Was I getting paranoid before I even taken a hit?


A receptionist at the medical marijuana licensing office recommended a couple of dispensaries to me – one of them was in my neighborhood: the Bloom Room. It’s a small place, tucked into a little side street behind the old San Francisco Mint. I finally made it over there on a busy, sunny Saturday afternoon.


There was a short line at the door while security checked our IDs and medical cards. It felt a little like a nightclub. Once inside, I was told to sit in their waiting room. It felt like a cross between a counselor’s waiting room and a funky coffee shop sans coffee. This was ok – casual and fun.


Minutes later, I was invited into the main room. A smiling budtender greeted me from behind a long glass counter filled with exotic goodies. Jars of herbs lined the shelves and the counter. The skunky smell of marijuana filled the room. I’ve grown to like that smell. Living in San Francisco you can’t avoid it. The strong herbal smell lingers on every other corner – even in front of the police station.


“What can I do for you?”

“I’m looking for something that will replace my nightly glass of wine, “ I told her. “And I’m extremely sensitive to THC. I’m a bit of a wimp so I need something that’s really, really mild.”

“I have just the thing,” she said with so much enthusiasm and confidence that, of course, I believed her. “Here’s some OG Kush.”


I took it home and took a small puff. Two and a half days later, I was still stoned.

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