Photos: ECO CANNABIS; Tev Lee Photography
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Dispensary or delivery? THC vs CBD? Varying laws by state? How about flower or edible, extract, pre-roll and beyond. WTF?!

I’ll admit it: I’ve inhaled. I’ll also be the first to confess that I still don’t know the first thing about cannabis. As a Silicon Valley native, proud American and passionate global citizen, I find my lack of ability to contribute to the conversation unacceptable, regardless of whether or not I choose to partake. Thankfully, ECO Cannabis, the producer of some of the Bay Area’s most exceptional, sustainably grown cannabis, has opened its doors in Oakland, California.

Photo: ECO Cannibis

Understanding that traditional cannabis dispensaries can be confusing and intimidating, ECO Cannabis was created to “break the mold” of the cannabis-buying experience. As welcoming and innovative as the East Bay itself, ECO makes it a joy to learn about all things cannabis—from how it can be incorporated into your wellness routine, to current regulations.

Photo: Tev Lee Photography

Here’s the lowdown on ECO Cannibis’ new dispensary:

The dispensary itself is more stylish and cosmopolitan than dark and sketchy.

Located in hip and happening Uptown Oakland, the spa-like dispensary is intended to provide a seamless, inspiring and captivating customer experience. From the second one walks into ECO, the space exudes the feeling of a high-end retail store, with everything thoughtfully and intentionally designed to provide and an open and modern shopping experience.

It begins with an ID check (driver’s license or passport) to ensure each customer is of legal age (21 and over), followed by a warm welcome and simple iPad check-in. While dispensaries aren’t required to record your name for every purchase, they are obliged to enforce the state’s maximum purchase-per-day limits (one ounce per customer).

Next it’s time to customize. The store assigns each customer an “Experience Guide,” a personal shopper who attends to your every need, taking time to educate and make recommendations. This one-on-one interaction ensures that every client gets exactly what he or she came in for, whether it be a sleep-aid, pain and inflammation relief, or just something to promote relaxation at the end of a tough day.

Photo: ECO Cannibis

Cash still rules, but the shopping experience is elevated with state-of-the-art technology and a solid rewards program with perks.

For those also catching up, cannabis is the scientific name for the hemp plant. There are many different kinds of cannabis. The leaves and flowers of each kind produce varying mind-altering and medicinal effects when smoked or consumed. Perhaps the most talked-about strains of the hemp plant are cannabis sativa and cannabis indica.

ECO is proud of its premium cannabis flower, grown in 100% organic soil and already highly regarded around the Bay Area. In addition, the selection of premium concentrates, edibles, pre-rolls, and topicals are sourced from local growers and producers who are both passionate about their products and share their values of quality, community and sustainability. ECO Cannabis works with the finest brands in the industry, including Défoncé Chocolatier, Mary’s Medicinals, Kiva Confections, Northern Emeralds, OM Edibles, juna world, Kikoko, Loudpack, Puffco, and more. 

In addition to ECO’s own premium flower, customers will find a wide variety of other products, including a carefully curated selection of extracts, tinctures, topicals, and edibles that meet the high standards of the ECO Cannabis team. There’s also a super selection of unusual lifestyle products including Infusion devices and cannabis-centric cookbooks.

ECO Cannabis team members place the customer’s order through the iPad while shopping. Once ready to purchase, customers head to the counter, where their order is packaged and ready.

Photo: Tev Lee Photography

It’s sexy, sustainable and the perfect way to lift the local community up.    

ECO’s impact extends well beyond its doors; the company is committed to supporting the community through its employment practices, neighborhood beautification programs and charitable giving.

As an eco-friendly brand, the goal is to respect the environment and employ green business practices to conserve resources and avoid environmental pollution. The vertically integrated company operates its own cultivation facilities that use 100% organic soil. 

As “ECO” stands for “Equity Cannabis of Oakland,” ECO Cannabis prides itself on nurturing the local community; 100% of ECO Cannabis employees are Oakland residents, and 50% were previously incarcerated.  These hiring standards are in line with the City of Oakland’s groundbreaking Equity Permit Program, which minimizes barriers to cannabis licensing for Oakland residents who have been the most victimized by the war on drugs.

By Corry Cook