Green Dragon CareGivers is Legit & Local

Green Dragon CareGivers in North Hollywood is a discretely situated, security-focused cannabis collective with a respectable inventory selling both cannabis plant clones and cannabis products at competitive prices. The North Hollywood shop is a legit local venue for acquiring safe, legal marijuana, and is designed and organized to ensure customer privacy and security. Their staff is focused on customer service, cannabis knowledge, and clarity and accuracy in all transactions.

Entrance to Green Dragon dispensary
The signage makes it easy to find Green Dragon amidst the many surrounding businesses (photo: Google)

Long Slog Across NoHo

This past week I again broke away from my neighborhood dispensary circuit and drove north-west through the valley sprawl to check out Green Dragon CareGivers and purchase a few of the wax extracts listed on their Weedmaps menu. Green Dragon is located on the Van Nuys/Panorama City side of North Hollywood, just off of Sherman Way, between Coldwater Canyon and Woodman Avenue. The shop is seemingly hidden away in plain view in a busy Valley industrial zone.

A MMJ-Focused Co-op

Green Dragon CareGivers is an old school cannabis collective serving medical and recreational patients. Although Weedmaps lists the shop as a “recreational” dispensary, Green Dragon’s menu displays only “tax-included for medical patients” prices, suggesting a focus on customers with medical referrals. In fact, the first question I was asked upon approaching the store’s front desk was “Do you have a medical recommendation?”.

A Collective Agreement to Shop Responsibly

Green Dragon dispensary is one of the few remaining post-legalization cannabis collectives here in the east San Fernando Valley. The shop requires customers to complete a written form and initial and sign a contract that affirms the donation-based nature of the collective and enumerates the members’, i.e., customers’, rights and responsibilities. All of the customer rules stipulated to in the agreement are standard, common sense dispensary rules which most of us already follow.

Spacious Parking Lot

The first challenge all dispensary shoppers face is finding nearby parking. Only a few local dispensaries, like Project Cannabis – NoHo and Sun Valley’s Exhalence, feature large parking lots with ample room for customer vehicles. Green Dragon also hosts a spacious parking lot and features at least 10 easily accessible, dedicated, spaces. All street parking outside the dispensary lot is taken up by employees of the surrounding businesses, so parking space is essential to Green Dragon’s survival.

A Spare But Functional Lobby

The shop’s dimly lit dispensary lobby sits behind a large, heavy, steel door and features a few chairs for waiting customers. I pushed open the door, walked straight up to the front desk window, proffered my driver’s license and affirmed I was a first time customer. The clerk asked for my doctor’s recommendation and I sat patiently and filled out dispensary paperwork while the clerk added my data to the computer system.

Thoughtful Wax Inventory, Competitive Wax Prices

I researched Green Dragon’s Weedmaps menu before heading over and made a short list of strain-specific extracts to check out. The dispensary’s wax inventory reflects a thoughtful balance between brand and product variety that fits the store’s modest scope. The selection is respectable in size and variety, giving customers adequate brand, strain, and product choices at prices that are comparable to other Valley dispensaries.

Green Dragon doesn’t feature as many wax products as Elevate or The WEED, but they carry more than other shops like Zen NoHo. The prices for Green Dragon’s products listed on their Weedmaps menu include medical taxes, so customer can figure out exactly how much they’ll be spending before they shop.

Inside the Green Dragon

With the front desk’s approbation, I pushed through two more large, heavy doors, and emerged amidst the brightly lit cases and displays making up the shop’s inner sanctum. The cannabis showroom at Green Dragon CareGivers is modest in size but is clean and well lit and products are displayed in a clear and organized manner.

Green Dragon interior with clones
Green Dragon’s back wall features young, verdant clones, while their cases feature a wide variety of products (photo: Google)

As I walked in, I noticed several pots containing short, vibrant, green plants (clones) on shelves along the back wall, a relatively uncommon sight at most dispensaries. I looked to my right and spied six, perhaps seven, display cases lining the south side of the shop and a couple of inches thick security windows installed on the other. Within milliseconds of entering the room, I was greeted affably by a budtender and, after returning the greeting, wasted no time in expressing my interest in checking out Green Dragon’s wax products.

Shopping for Wax

The budtender was friendly and accommodating and opened display containers for me as I ran down my list. I picked up a few of the items I’d preselected: A gram of the dispensary’s own legal, tested, Green Dragon strain badder, and a gram of Beezle’s Banana Reserve live resin sauce. As I scanned the shelves, the budtender made an effort to upsell the very expensive 710 Labs brand wax ($85/gram), but I politely declined. I didn’t begrudge him the effort because it’s simply part of his job.

Cali Green Gold: A New Brand

I instead zeroed in on a stylish, green box from Cali Green Gold, an extracts brand totally new to me. I spied a gram of their Dairy Queen live resin and thought it would be worth spending an extra five bucks for the opportunity to try a wax product from a new brand. Dairy Queen is a superb hybrid strain that relaxes the body while keeping the mind alert, so I added a gram of the Cali Green Gold live resin and let the budtender know I was ready to be rung up.

Green Dragon CareGivers Cares

I really appreciated the budtender keeping me apprised of the total cost of my purchases while I shopped. He regularly checked his tablet after adding or deleting a selection and provided a running total. When I was done shopping, the budtender confirmed the final cost and compared for me the price both with and without the first time patient discount. In the end, I really valued the budtender’s professionalism in balancing his duties, e.g., upselling more expensive wax, with good customer service.

Green Dragon display cases
Products are well-organized in Green Dragon’s orderly, brightly lit display cases (photo: Google)

Ensuring Accuracy, Protecting Privacy

Budtenders at Green Dragon guide customers as they shop, displaying products and providing relevant information, but they don’t handle sales. They record a patient’s choices as they’re made using a hand-held tablet. When a customer finalizes his selections, the budtender sends the order wirelessly across the room to the cashier seated behind one of the thick glass panes on the opposite wall.

Orderly Transaction Details

After thanking my budtender, I took a few steps across the room and greeted the cashier who confirmed my total to make sure it was correct. After I paid, the cashier provided my change and asked me to wait while he filled my order. I wasn’t able to leave a tip because there were no tip jars and because the budtender doesn’t handle cash.

I sidestepped a few paces until standing before the fulfillment window and watched the cashier pull my order. He confirmed that each of my purchases was correct as he placed them in a bag, then stapled the bag with a very detailed receipt delineating all of the prices, discounts, and taxes. I’d never received such a thorough receipt at any dispensary before.

Friendly Folks & Saving Face

I thanked the polite and professional cashier and excitedly attempted to leave the shop through the wrong door. The budtender kindly volunteered that all first-time customers make the same mistake, enabling me to save face. I then walked through the correct door, strolled back to my car and departed for home.

I’ve been enjoying my purchases ever since visiting the dispensary and look forward to reviewing them in detail soon. Green Dragon CareGivers is worth the trek if you’re looking for a friendly, down-to-earth, old school dispensary with adequate, affordable inventory and without all the corporate bling. Just remember to pick the right door when exiting.

Primitive Zippo
Doing high dives into the California cannabis industry, cannabis culture, cannabis-friendly music and anything else cannabis-related residing in the vast expanse of my turgid cranium.

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