The Westfield San Francisco Centre has just seen a marijuana dispensary of a sort open in the mall, but there is no marijuana there — just “non-medicated cannabis replicas and empty packaging.”
If you saw today’s report on 48 Hills about a freshly opened cannabis dispensary in the Westfield Mall, you might have had a question. Didn't the fancy Union Square-adjacent mall pull the rug out from a cannabis-infused chocolatier in 2017, because the higher-ups at Westfield corporate said, “Unless federal law permits the sale of cannabis products, Westfield will not lease to this type of tenant at any center it operates”? Yes, that happened. And four years later, cannabis is still federally illegal. So why is the Westfield San Francisco Centre now allowing cannabis to be sold on its premises?
They’re not. But the Westfield sure seems welcoming towards this new “plant-based wellness” shop called the Joy Reserve. It opened on the Friday before Thanksgiving, according to an Instagram post, and as their website explains, they’re only carrying “non-medicated cannabis replicas and empty packaging.”
This sounds like a “No sex in the Champagne Room” kind of proposition. But apparently, you can get the real thing after browsing the empty packaging. The store has a California “retailer non-storefront license,” which is legal marijuana policy-speak for a cannabis delivery service. That license is affiliated with a delivery service and gummy producer called Elefante.
Basically, this is a delivery service connection in a store full of empty boxes and fake weed. So how do you actually get the weed?
“We’re a storefront marketing location,” a representative tells SFist. “You would go into the storefront and they would help you place the order. They can help you set up your account, or if you create your account on IHeartJane, you can find the Joy Reserve storefront there and we can deliver to the curbside at Bloomingdale’s for you.”
Fifth and Market sounds like a pretty hairy corner to try to work it out with a cannabis delivery courier. But the rep tells us that they could eventually deliver to your home address too.
“We’ll be opening that up within the next week,” the rep says, though she adds that it “depends on where your address is.” (Such delivery boundaries are common in cannabis delivery.)
So yes, you’re just buying cannabis from an existing delivery service after looking at empty boxes and fake weed in the mall. This will surely upset cannabis retailers who’ve slogged through years of red tape to get their permit, only to see this one just waltz right in with empty boxes and a third-party delivery partner, and set up shop with no problem.
But it might not be “with no problem.” There’s no guarantee this scheme is appealing to customers, or rather, will not confuse the hell out of customers. And while it’s novel that there’s a “dispensary” in the Westfield, the neighborhood is not exactly a dispensary desert. Stiiizy, Green Door, and the Barbary Coast are all pretty much within a block. So this whole thing is an experiment, and who knows what their upscale retail neighbors will think of the Westfield dispensary that just arrived out of left field.
Image: Westfield San Francisco Center via Facebook