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Decade-old cannabis dispensary closes, blames ‘deteriorating’ Downtown San Francisco

Cannabis leaves hang silhouetted on a window
Cannabis leaves hang silhouetted in a window of a dispensary. The Jessie Street location of cannabis dispensary The Bloom Room announced its closure after 11 years in SoMa. | Source: Justin Katigbak | The Standard

The Bloom Room, an 11-year-old cannabis dispensary in San Francisco’s SoMa, announced Friday that its 471 Jessie St. location would close—until conditions improve Downtown.

“Due to the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco, to ensure the safety of our Customers and Team Members, we have made the difficult decision to close Bloom Room San Francisco until conditions improve,” a message on the website reads.

The dispensary will remain open through Feb. 6, and all products are on sale at 30% off.

Several other businesses on or around that block of Jessie Street have closed in recent years, from club and venue Mezzanine to a Blue Bottle Coffee and a branch of the San Francisco Fire Credit Union (now a possibly illegal tiny-bed sleeping complex for tech workers). 

“Unfortunately, we’ve waited for things to turn around as long as we can wait,” founder Stephen Rechif said. “Sales have been dipping continually because people don’t feel comfortable coming to the area.”

He named the cleanliness of Central SoMa’s streets as a factor, as well as an impending construction project across the street that would almost certainly bring further disruption. Rechif also cited the area’s open drug sales and usage—something that may strike observers as notable coming from a dispensary owner. 

“Comparing cannabis to the things that are going on around us—it’s not anything in the same realm,” he said.

Overall, Rechif expressed gratitude to the San Francisco community that sustained the business for more than a decade—several years before California voters permitted recreational cannabis use via 2016's Proposition 64. Dispensary members who had met their spouses at the Bloom Room’s vape table have been emailing him their remembrances since the closure was announced, he added.

It may not last forever, either. The Bloom Room doesn’t own the building, but Rechif holds a license to sell cannabis that will remain tied to that address. The 3-year-old Bloom Room location in Pacifica will remain open. 

“I do think this location will reopen at some point,” Rechif said. “It might be a couple years—but [I] don’t see anyone else moving in there.”

Astrid Kane can be reached at astrid@sfstandard.com