A sleek new dispensary just debuted in Union Square Friday morning to an eager crowd of early customers, and it's the first in the city to be owned by a Latina woman.
STIIIZY Union Square opened at 180 O'Farrell Street today — in a space next door to Macy's that was formerly occupied by cosmetics and hair-product store Beautyland. As Hoodline reports, there was a long line greeting the dispensary's opening of "easily a hundred" people, and Sunnydale native Cindy De La Vega couldn't have been more pleased to see her dream become a reality.
De La Vega holds the distinction being the city's first Latina dispensary owner, under SF's Office of Cannabis equity program. The program seeks to give priority in new dispensary licenses to applicants whose families' lives were adversely impacted by the War on Drugs and incarceration for drug crimes.
"I used to drop my mom off for work here on Powell, she cleaned hotel rooms,” De La Vega told Hoodline. “I would walk around this neighborhood just to kill time when I waited for her to get off. Here I am back now, at the opening of my cannabis dispensary. It’s been a long time coming... It's a beautiful thing."
There are three other STIIIZY dispensaries around the state, including one other already open in SF — STIIIZY Mission at Mission and 29th Streets. STIIIZY is a product line under the umbrella of The Shryne Group, which describes itself as "the synergetic integration of profitable cannabis assets and veteran professionals who have come together for the opportunity to shape this industry."
De La Vega explains that the company is 51-percent Latinx-owned. And while she had hoped to have the shop open in time for 4/20, she's glad that it's open this year at all.
Check out the shop the next time you're down by Union Square, which may be partly boarded up but is, slowly but surely, starting to come alive again.