Recreational marijuana is now legal in California, where patients and enthusiasts alike can light up without a doctor’s note.
Once the market gets up and running, it could generate more in annual retail sales than the $4.69 to $5.76 billion (US$3.5 to US$4.3 billion) that the entire marijuana industry is expected to post in 2016, according to the Marijuana Business Daily.
While I waited, I flipped through a book by Leafly, a marijuana dispensary and strain review site, that explained the different effects that strains of pot might produce.
The receptionist invited me to step inside the shop. With its earthy tones and natural wood paneling, Caliva looked like a hybrid between a surf shop and an Urban Outfitters.
You won't find Rastafarian flags or Bob Marley shrines here. Caliva aims to bring the industry to 'higher standards' -- pun intended -- through smart, contemporary design.
Glass display cases show off the dispensary's wares, including marijuana flower grown on the premises. Caliva operates a massive 95,000 square feett cultivation facility.
A vape bar includes handmade porcelain and stoneware pipes from Los Angeles-based Miwak Junior. They double as coffee table art, catering to the artisanal market.
Brandon Siddall, Caliva's head budtender, says the Pax is the hottest gadget on shelves. The device, which has been called the 'iPhone of vaporizers' delivers smooth hits of vapour.
The edibles industry is exploding nationwide, and Caliva stocks a variety of savoury treats and sweets. They include lozenges, drinks, tinctures, and desserts.
Plus Gum, created by a former Facebook employee, delivers 25 milligrams of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed. The gum gets users high faster than most edibles because it's absorbed through the lining of the mouth.
Siddall says the Kiva Terra Bites, M&M-sized candies coated in chocolate that's infused with marijuana extract, are one of their best-selling items. Each pieces contains just five milligrams of THC, making it easy to customise a dose.
While some dispensaries keep their budtenders behind bulletproof glass, Caliva makes the interaction a more authentic one by removing barriers between patients and staff.
The budtender's job is to channel their expertise into guiding patients through the retail experience, much like Apple technicians at the Genius Bar. They train on every product.
If the customer is new to legal weed, the budtender might ask what kind of experience they're hoping for on a scale of NyQuil to DayQuil. Do they want rest or energy?
Loyalty cards give patients special perks, like two free tacos on Tuesday with every $60 (US$45) purchase. Caliva commissions a food truck to park out front.
The dispensary currently only sells to California residents with medical marijuana licenses, but may look to enter the recreational market once that rolls out in 2018.
Since Caliva opened shop in July 2015, the dispensary has contributed over $4.02 million (US$3 million) in tax revenue to San Jose -- making it one of the single largest taxpayers in the city.
Caliva's on-site nursery produces some 50% to 60% of the dispensary's total flower. Most dispensaries in the Bay Area source their bud from regional farmers.
Growers cut mature plants to create genetic clones, ensuring consistency from harvest to harvest. 'This is not your grandma's basement,' one of the growers tells me.
Caliva sends its plants to three different California labs to check potency and quality, and runs tests in-house to get a better understanding of marijuana's properties.
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