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New SF cannabis lounge will feature a secret garden—and we got a sneak peek

Al Shawa, owner of Russian Hill Cannabis Club, poses for a portrait in front of the garden that distinguishes the club’s forthcoming lounge. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Peaceful, calm and Zen. That’s how cannabis dispensary owner Al Shawa wants you to feel when you step into his new Russian Hill consumption lounge, expected to open this February.

The hip hangout for consuming flower (and admiring flora) is the latest addition to Shawa’s family of pot shops, which includes Mission Cannabis Club, and may be one of the most Edenic places where you can both purchase and puff in San Francisco. 

Customer Namita Dilawri shops for cannabis products Russian Hill Cannabis Club on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

The secluded lounge is tucked away at the back of the Russian Hill Cannabis Club, which opened at the end of last year in its namesake neighborhood. Artfully outfitted by restaurant designer Michael Brennan, it overlooks a tiered garden shaded by sinuous trees, with ivy crawling up the walls of a neighboring building. The Standard got a sneak peek of the garden-adjacent lounge as its outdoor earthy plot nears completion. The Russian Hill Cannabis Club has been in the works for over two years. 

The Russian Hill Cannabis Club features a lounge overlooking a garden, which makes it one of the most Edenic places to puff in the city. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

While you won’t be able to smoke in the garden—that’s not legal under California law—you will be able to consume edibles and cannabis-infused drinks in the lounge when it opens. Once a ventilation system on back order is installed—ideally by 4/20, Shawa hopes—you’ll also be able to spark up while pondering the greenery outside.

Shawa is also in talks to have food from neighboring cafe, Fueling Station, available for delivery. Those who join Russian Hill Cannabis Club’s membership program can leave any leftover weed they purchase at the dispensary in a lockbox on-site for the next time they visit.

Al Shawa, owner of Russian Hill Cannabis Club, poses for a portrait inside the club's forthcoming lounge overlooking a tiered garden. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

Ultimately, Shawa wants the Russian Hill Cannabis Club’s lounge to feel like a laid-back living room. 

“I want to create a very peaceful, serene place for people to come in and just relax,” said Shawa, who also hopes to open another cannabis venture on Union and Buchanan streets by 4/20.  

Russian Hill Cannabis Club 

 📍 2424 Polk St. 
☎️ (415) 800-8033