My First Visit to the ECO Cannabis Dispensary
By: Anthony Smith
You walk in through a glass-to-ceiling glass door. It’s actually pretty cool how this dispensary is 100% glass for the entire front wall. It allows for a lot of natural sunlight to pour in to the space, and it signifies a one-ness with the streets and community. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned here, but I love the sense of being welcomed when I step in to buy cannabis. Gone are the days where you speak to someone through a window at a 420 club with online deals you found while driving through El Cerrito, extolling your problems of insomnia, anxiety and grief to a stranger.
You’re greeted by an ECO security guard upon entry, and this guy actually talks to you! They aren’t stand-offish or intimidating. This guy is genuinely happy to see me. My ID is checked to make sure I’m of age, and my license hasn’t expired. Even the top medical and recreational marijuana clinic has a menacing security guard to make sure only those with valid ID and 21 years or older are permitted in.
You’re set up with an Experience Guide, who has the low-down on available THC and CDB in the weed store for relaxation to pathways for relief. I told him what I usually smoke (I have a special spot for cookies), and he took me right to the flower bar. I love how there are see-through jars so I can see the color of the flower. I also loved how I can smell the product. They say that smell is the number one trigger for memory, and there is something so guttural about the smell of a good plant.
I decided to buy Cloud 9, Dragon Cookie, some edibles (I have a good feeling about anything seasalted and chocolate), and a tincture. At checkout, I was told about the loyalty program and saw that my points are shown at the bottom of the receipt. What was also great was that I also got a veteran’s discount - so be sure to let them know if you have served your country.
The security guard acknowledged me on the way out, and I walked to the customer parking lot around the corner - which, by the way, it’s always great to find free parking in Oakland.
I just felt so validated, seen and heard leaving that place. This beats any other experience I’ve had at the best local cannabis club or a dispensary open late with delivery in California. I usually go to a clinic around Richmond, and sometimes this head and smoke shop in San Pablo, CA but I find myself driving to Oakland to visit ECO because I just like the vibes.