Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary is a unique North Hollywood storefront that cultivates its own high-quality KNBIS brand of flower on-site and sells it alongside top cannabis brands and products from other reputable manufacturers. The combination shop & grow facility is tucked away in the NoHo outlands, on a sleepy, industrial-zone side-street amidst production effects houses, auto body repair shops, and other business and commercial enterprises.
A Familiar Setting (With Parking)
Navigating to Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary reminded us in some ways of last week’s storefront destination, NoHo’s Green Dragon CareGivers. Both shops are located on side-streets off of Sherman Way in fairly close proximity, each situated amidst a panoply of non-retail industrial shops. Street parking for both dispensaries is hard to find, and the two shops each address this inconvenience by hosting parking lots with spaces for about 10 cars.
We arrived at the dispensary 15 minutes or so before its 10 a.m. opening and were lucky to find an empty street spot in which to park while waiting. The shop’s large driveway gate recessed a minute or so early, and we were quick to park as there were already a few vehicles present. We observed what seemed to be delivery workers coordinating a shipment as we approached what we thought was the store entrance.
To our surprise, the Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary entryway is actually a kind of indoor-outdoor lobby with a glass-enclosed security guard station, a comfy black loveseat, and a windowed view into the shop and grow room. The alfresco landing is abutted on one side by the glass dispensary front door and on the other by a large, metal, slide-up panel, like the kind on the back of moving trucks.
The set up makes the waiting area feel more like an extension of the parking lot than a store lobby, but that isn’t a bad thing. Our wait in this de facto lobby was pleasant, and we enjoyed watching the activity in the parking lot.
The Lobby Landscape
When we approached the front desk, a kind and thoughtful security guard perched behind thick glass greeted us respectfully and asked us to wait while he processed our first-time patient paperwork. He made a point of letting us know he would need 4 or 5 minutes to set us up.
We scanned the big board above the security desk displaying inventory, prices, and deals, noted the dispensary’s Fall, 2017, “Best in Southern California” Leafly award, given based on customer feedback. Fountain of Wellbeing’s security desk also displays the shop’s BCC license and lists contact information for a designated “neighborhood liaison,” who mediates and resolves any issues arising between the dispensary and nearby businesses and residences.
While we waited to enter, the guard busily answered phone calls and assisted vendors, employees, and customers, yet he still had us ready to shop on time, as promised. We appreciated his hard work and thanked him as we strode into the dispensary’s inner sanctum.
A Cultivating Dispensary
Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary, like nearby Green Dragon, is medium-sized, hosts cannabis plants as well as processed cannabis, and features a balanced yet varied selection of cannabis strains and products. The building in which the business operates is two stories and suggests a huge dispensary inside. In reality, much of the space accommodates a vibrant indoor grow featuring several strains of the dispensary’s proprietary flower.
Heavenly KNBIS Vanilla Kush
Although we sampled and bought a gram of Green Dragon’s branded house badder last week, we failed to check out their flower. At Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary, our budtender thoughtfully invited us to gaze upon and sample the aromas of some of their premium house flower strains. The shop’s KNBIS Vanilla Kush smells particularly heavenly and is coated in trichomes, giving it a dazzling, Frosted Flakes appearance.
An Unpretentious Budtending Professionalism
Our budtender was a cool, long-haired, laid back, yet sincere, guy, evoking Zen-like calm and he communicated with a direct, dispassionate, unpretentious professionalism that felt genuine and authoritative. His matter-of-factness reminded us of last week’s Green Dragon budtender in a good way. We considered for a brief moment buying an eighth of the incredible Vanilla Kush but ultimately admitted that we rarely smoke flower anymore, and instead asked to check out some of the extracts spied on the shop’s Weedmaps menu.
Competitive Tax-Included Pricing
Fountain of Wellbeing’s wax prices are a couple of dollars cheaper than Green Dragon’s for comparable products. Their grams of Raw Garden sauce and resin, for example, sell for $35, tax included, while at Green Dragon, the same grams are priced at $38.33, also with tax included. Given the many similar strengths and positive qualities shared by these two worthy dispensaries, we feel that the $3.33 difference isn’t enough to suggest a meaningful distinction between the two. Both shops are superb.
Our Fountain of Wellbeing budtender was also quick to confirm prices when asked and did not need to search for them or double-check with others. He quoted tax-included prices, just as the budtender had at Green Dragon. We appreciate the effort budtenders at both dispensaries make to provide customers with information on demand.
Raw Garden Recommendation
Our Fountain of Wellbeing guide didn’t try to upsell anything to us. He simply answered our questions and displayed to us what we wished to see. He recommended Raw Garden wax, the current consensus choice for low-cost, high-quality live resin, and demurred when we suggested Apex Extracts as a comparable brand choice.
The ‘tender showed us some of the other wax selections in stock, such as Brite Labs Jelly Wax, but as we’d already made a shortlist and didn’t see anything better-looking, we picked our 4 pre-selected grams of wax to fill indica-dominant and occasional sativa-dominant needs and awaited the tax-included grand total.
Disappearing Discounts (More Please)
While Green Dragon CareGiver’s first-time patient discount is a generous 15%, Fountain of Wellbeing dispensary offers a lesser, 10% reduction. To a small extent, this mitigates the narrow price differential for grams of wax at the two shops, reinforcing the dispensaries’ comparable strengths for discerning consumers.
Our only real complaint about both dispensaries is that neither offers daily or weekly discounts, diminishing the likelihood of our long term patronage. The lack is troubling to us as our wax budget relies on such discounts to maximize our resources to acquire sufficient products to sample and review. Regular weekly discounts would assure our consistent, long-term patronage at either Fountain of Wellbeing or Green Dragon.
In short, if we can’t get a break on taxes on a Fountain of Wellbeing “Waxy Wednesday” or a Green Dragon “Terpy Tuesday”, we’ll need to keep searching for a dispensary that offers such breaks. We strongly encourage both dispensaries to rethink their business plans and consider incorporating discounts as effective and meaningful methods to reach customers and ensure their loyalty and return business.
Raw Garden Tally
When we were ready to make our Fountain of Wellbeing purchase, our budtender provided a pre-tax total, a tax-included total, and a final total with the first-time patient discount applied, letting us know exactly how much we saved on our inaugural visit. Our purchases included:
- Raw Garden Sangria Sauce
- Raw Garden Kosher Berry Live Resin
- Raw Garden 3 Bears OG Live Resin
- Raw Garden Extreme OG Sauce
We’ll be sampling these offerings over the next few days and will post a full complement of detailed reviews in the next week or two. We are very pleased with the Raw Garden strains and wax varieties we brought home and have no doubt all are potent and enjoyable. In fact, we’ve already sampled 2 of these and have much to say about them. Stay tuned.
Leaving Logistics: Drive Carefully
After paying and tipping our excellent host, we headed back to the parking lot and were struck at how truly compact it is, and how challenging it might be to navigate when full. Were the lot even half full, most cars would need to back out awkwardly, if not precariously, for lack of room to turn.
The logistics are made trickier by the very narrow driveway allowing barely enough room for a single car. Drivers can’t see approaching traffic on the other side of the wall, while customers (those not parked in the lot) use the driveway as a pedestrian entrance. In short, there’s little room for logistical error when arriving and departing, so drive carefully.