Is San Diego Ready for Recreational Cannabis?
On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Prop 64 making recreational marijuana legal for people 21 and older. The law is slated to go into effect on January 1st, now less than a month away. Are we prepared for this? We asked the professionals at Torrey Holistics, a licensed San Diego dispensary that has been in operation since 2015.
Take us back to the beginning, how did Torrey Holistics come to be?
Our founders set out to become a safe, legal, and reliable place for people looking to ease the symptoms of medical conditions through the benefits of medical cannabis. To date, the city has issued only 17 licenses for the sale of medical marijuana, and we are proud to have been here from the beginning and to have built a reputation as a pioneer in the industry. Today, we serve over 10,000 patients at the dispensary and are continuing to grow. We will begin delivery and pick up service in the coming weeks.
Speaking of the future, what changes do you expect after January 1st?
In preparation for adult recreational use, the state has unveiled a list of very clear rules in an effort to guide the industry through this transition. For example, customers may only purchase one ounce of non-concentrated cannabis at a time, a serving size of edibles is limited to 10 milligrams of THC, and all products must adhere to strict testing standards and carry the state’s cannabis warning label. At Torrey Holistics, we are avoiding any anxiety over the upcoming changes by being proactive. We will just do our best to stock up and staff up as demand requires, and we will continue to provide friendly, knowledgable customer service as new customers seek information about what is now available to them.
I’m glad you brought up new customers. For those not familiar, what is the difference between THC products and CBD products and how will people know which is right for them?
Great question! We carry hundreds of products in our store, which can be a bit intimidating, but our staff provides one-on-one assistance so each customer gets the information and the products that they need. In a nutshell, THC is the component of cannabis that produces mind-altering effects. Within the realm of THC products are various strains, which have varied benefits depending on one’s needs and preferences. CBD also comes from cannabis, but does not produce that sort of high. CBD products are widely used for sleep, relaxation, pain relief, etc. We even carry CBD products for pets!
For those who have never taken cannabis products before, how do you know how much to take and will marijuana interfere with prescription medications?
It is important to find your personal dosage level. Studies disagree about just how much stronger marijuana is today versus the marijuana from the 30 to 40 years ago, but it is definitely more potent due to growers crossing their most potent strains to produce a more valuable crop. Cannabis products also affect people differently because people metabolize it at different rates. We advise our new patients to take it slow. Perhaps start with an edible product with very low THC content, then wait 30 to 60 minutes to see how it affects you. As for drug interaction, virtually all chemical compounds from over-the-counter remedies to prescribed pharmaceuticals to illicit drugs will interact with other compounds. It is always best to consult with your physician before adding any new medicinal products to existing prescribed medications.
Is the city of San Diego ready for this?
Actually, San Diego is embracing adult recreational marijuana more than most other parts of the state. The city has already authorized a supply chain to manage everything from cultivation to testing to manufacturing. That does not mean, however, that the city will be lax about enforcing the laws. It is unlawful for a person under the influence of ANY drug to drive a car, and public use of marijuana will still be illegal. In addition, customers must be 21 and have a valid state or federal ID to purchase cannabis products.
Are there unlicensed cannabis dispensaries in San Diego? Why should people buy from a legal dispensary?
Yes, unfortunately there are unlicensed sellers out there. As a matter of public safety, we strongly advise people to seek out only legal, licensed, established dispensaries like Torrey Holistics. Our products are all lab-tested to be safe, and we take the well-being of our patients very seriously.
Can I purchase cannabis products with my credit card?
No, until federal laws change, marijuana sales remains a cash-only business.
What can people expect when coming to Torrey Holistics for the first time?
When people arrive at the dispensary, they are greeted by our friendly security guards. Prior to January 1st, Torrey Holistics is solely licensed as a medical marijuana dispensary, therefore, you will need to bring with you a Doctor Recommendation Card and proof of California residency such as a California Drivers License. After January 1st, we will become both a medical and recreational facility, so the Doctor Recommendation Card will no longer be required. Once you have been checked in, our Cannabis Consultants will take it from there to walk you through our products. Don’t forget to bring cash, first time patients receive 20% off their purchase!
Torrey Holistics is located in Sorrento Valley at 10671 Roselle Street, Suite 100, San Diego, California 92121. They are open seven days a week, Monday through Friday 7am to 9pm and Saturday & Sunday 9am to 9pm. For more information, please call 858-558-1420 or visit
Article as seen in the L’Chaim Magazine December Issue