The city's Office of Cannabis this week approved the application filed earlier this summer for FGW Haight to operate a cannabis dispensary at 768 Stanyan Street, currently a residential garage on a quiet block near Kezar Pub and facing Golden Gate Park.
FGW Haight is a new venture spun off by owners behind nearby pinball arcade and screenprinting shop Free Gold Watch — Matthew Henri and Marti Brass — along with longtime San Francisco community mentor Damien Posey.
Asked how soon the project would get underway following the approval, Henri said, "Now we're on to the fun parts, we can design up the store and start construction." Henri said if all goes well with city permitting, construction could be underway before the end of the year.
Posey, who also has his own line of cannabis products called Higher Purpose, said that while an on-site consumption lounge was originally part of the plan, COVID-19 had put that on hold for the time being.
Still, Posey said, "personally, for me, cannabis consumption is very important to me as a social justice issue," alluding to the social significance of having a safe, controlled environment to enjoy cannabis without being targeted by law enforcement.
Posey added, "It would be ridiculous not to support the community that we're in," saying that from hiring to product selection and community safety, FGW would be a neighborhood-oriented outfit. "Hiring locally, supporting local brands, community support, making sure the neighborhood is clean, making sure the neighborhood is safe — those are going to be priority number one," he added.
Henri added that as longtime neighborhood residents, gunning to open a new dispensary felt like a risky move at first "to put our necks out on this project. We didn't know what to expect" neighbors to say or how they would react. But Henri said he was pleasantly surprised—"not one person came through against" the application.
The cannabis supply for the shop will be led by a partnership with Harborside, a Canadian company with long roots in Oakland, Henri and Posey confirmed.