Determined to experience the 10 best dispensaries in Seattle, I used the handy Wikileaf database to sort through the most popular shops in the Emerald City. I then visited each dispensary on the list, traveling from the north side’s Greenwood neighborhood to the south’s White Center to bring you this guide.
1. Have A Heart – Belltown
I love seeing the difference in environments across Seattle dispensaries. If Star 21 is on one side of the spectrum, Have a Heart Belltown is entirely on the other side.
This shop by far had the loudest music of any I visited. I felt like I might’ve accidentally hit the club. It was extremely busy and a little overwhelming at first. With that many people inside, I appreciated that after getting my ID checked nobody said anything to me until I got in line. I was free to peruse and check out all the display cases on my own.
Some staff walked around, dressed in their Have A Heart sweatshirts and t-shirts and making it known that they were available to answer questions. That is if you catch them fast enough. The shop is fast-paced and loud, so you have to be ready to catch a budtender’s attention if you need help.
I waited in line for a little longer than other shops here, but I was impressed by how quickly it went by. Like a much larger version of Ruckus, budtenders were stationed across the counter and called up each person in line to assist them. My budtender was extremely professional and polite and the transaction was quick.
2. Uncle Ike’s Flagship Store
The contrast between Uncle Ike’s and a smaller shop like Ruckus is pretty obvious. Ruckus is small and unassuming, whereas Uncle Ike’s is a very large, obvious dispensary with no reason to keep quiet. It’s Uncle Ike’s after all.
Is it my favorite environment? Not really. It feels a little sterile to me with the bright lights, tall ceilings, and bright screens on display.
When I walked in, I was greeted by an ID checker before entering the main room. There were lots of people inside shopping but it didn’t feel too crowded and I was tended to rather quickly. I thought it was cool that the shop was participating in a canned food drive.
Overall, the prices were great and I have no complaints. My budtender was quiet, made zero extra conversation with me, and had me out of there within minutes. He answered my questions briefly, but they weren’t in-depth questions and I didn’t want to get caught up talking anyway. He did exactly what I wanted: answered my questions and let me leave.
I watched other budtenders help customers with lots of questions, and they were thorough without rushing the customers through despite how busy it was.
3. Trees Pot Shop
I got a kick out of this shop and I can’t wait to return. It was decked out for the holidays and felt very cozy and warm. From the outside, Trees looks like a small dispensary but when you step inside, it goes much deeper and houses a ton of products and a large selection of glass.
My favorite part was the staff, though. They made the environment even more welcoming than it already was. One guy was dressed in pajama pants, a testament to the casual atmosphere. He was dancing to the loud music playing alongside another budtender. They both stopped to help me as best as they could, but they made sure to keep dancing every chance they could get.
I found it super refreshing. The shop already is expansive with lots of variety, but the added touch of budtenders who could both take time to help me find what I need and also be silly and make me laugh made for a memorable experience.
4. Ruckus Recreational – Capitol Hill
After coming through the door of Ruckus, I stopped to look at the rewards on the check-in machine for loyalty members. Within a few seconds of standing there, a staff member approached me and read off all the different deals I could get depending on how many points I had earned. He was thorough but didn’t keep me for long before I got in line.
It was pretty busy at Ruckus that evening. I waited in line as the row of budtenders at the counter called up the next customers one at a time. I only had to wait a few minutes though because there were plenty of staff members to go around.
The budtender was friendly and conversational. He came up with a few options for my budget and helped me choose the best one for me based on the information I provided. For such a small store, the organization of the space was well-done and made for a cozy shop that didn’t feel too cramped, even with a lot of people inside.
5. Star 21
I had zero expectations when walking into Star 21. It’s a very small green building and I found myself wondering if the place was actually open, despite the “open” signage.
Then I went inside. There was just one staff member out front and she was immediately kind and welcoming. We chatted for a moment before she began assisting me with my purchase, and I have to say she went above and beyond. She could have easily answered my questions from the comfort of the front counter, but she took the time to walk out and pull different items from the display cases to give me a more complete picture.
By the time I was out the door, I was leaving with two products instead of just the one I came in for. Not because she convinced me to spend more, but because she took the time to find a way to get me more for the amount I said I was willing to spend.
It’s a small spot, but the prices are good and the service I received was great.
6. American Mary
This shop is pretty large for how unassuming it is from the outside. I walked inside and was surprised by the huge screen on the back wall displaying a large menu of products and prices. Music was audibly playing but not so loudly that it became overwhelming.
It was busy inside and I had to wait in line for a few minutes. There were two budtenders available to help what had become a short line of waiting customers. Although there was a line, I only waited for a few minutes which I thought was impressive for a staff of two.
Overall, the shop was visibly striking with a warm atmosphere. The budtender was nice and offered some advice for using the caramel I purchased (warm it up in your pocket first) without striking any other conversation. It was a seamless transaction.
Nimbin was a classic Seattle dispensary experience for me. Two staff members decked out in Seahawks gear, a relatively small store, but friendly faces all around made up this shop.
When I opened the door I was immediately greeted by a friendly budtender. She walked me through a few products in my budget before we settled on my purchase. It was a quick process and she was very knowledgeable about what products they carry.
The wood floors, the cutout of Tommy Chong, and the DUI patrol sign all worked together to paint a picture of a small and genuine Seattle cannabis dispensary.
8. Cannabis City
The first thing I thought when I entered Cannabis City was, “this feels like a classic smoke shop or a dispensary from the early days.” This was before I realized Cannabis City was Seattle’s first recreational dispensary. The store looked like the first half of the decade to me, whereas some other shops scream the second half.
That’s not a bad thing. Cannabis City knows what they’re doing, they just keep it pretty quiet. I was the only one at the store when I arrived. I walked inside and nobody said a word to me until I approached the budtender at the counter who was quite friendly.
I told him what I was looking for and a second staff member showed up and recommended something else to give me more bang for my buck before walking away. The staff were generally friendly but not super conversational or doing the try-hard customer service performance. I asked a couple of questions though and they were clearly knowledgeable and happy to help.
I was in and out of there quickly with little theatrics and I loved it. A staff member even opened the door for me on the way out.
9. Dockside Cannabis – Sodo
Dockside’s Sodo building is beautiful and expansive. Conveniently located near CenturyLink Field and T-Mobile Park, this dispensary is central to many of the places and experiences that define Seattle.
What surprised me the most was the sheer size of the building and how bright and pretty the inside was. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in but was pleasantly surprised by the warm atmosphere. It was quiet and cozy and I immediately felt comfortable.
Chairs were arranged on one side of the room near a medical consultation center. Dockside is medically-endorsed and provides free, quality consultations for medical cannabis users. Not every dispensary does this, and few reach the level of comfort that Dockside has achieved with their welcoming environment.
The budtender who assisted me was very kind and helped me find what I was looking for in a quick manner. The other budtenders present also acknowledged me before and after being helped by my budtender. This may have been because it wasn’t very busy, but I appreciated the gesture nonetheless.
10. Grass and Glass
With a name like Grass and Glass, I showed up prepared to see a good selection of those two items and was not disappointed. This dispensary is spacious, bright, and comfortable with a large selection of products.
Not only were prices good, but I asked for something within a specific budget and the budtender took the time to show me the clearance section. This opened up even more options for me.
The budtender was friendly and attentive and the overall feeling of the dispensary was comfortable and professional. The items are displayed in an attractive manner and the music inside created a nice atmosphere without being overwhelming.