Get the Lowdown on Cannabis Dispensaries in SA

As we progress into a more cannabis-friendly future, many businesses and practices have started using CBD oils, edibles, and dry herb for their medicinal properties. CBD has been shown to provide support for various people struggling with health issues that haven’t been solved using modern medicine. Some of these dispensaries also provide herb and other products for recreational use — just be aware of the current legislation, and stay on the right side of the law.

What Is a Dispensary?

A dispensary is a store that specializes in marijuana and other weed products. There are legal and illegal dispensaries, so exercise caution when visiting a new store that hasn’t received the legal mark of approval from the government. In the USA, where marijuana is legal in most states, you can simply walk in, buy your product, pay, and walk out, but the focus is normally on medicinal use. [Only about a dozen states in the USA have legalized cannabis for recreational, rather than medical use.] 

Online Stores

These wonderful stores are incredibly helpful for those who are too nervous (or otherwise unable) to venture into a physical store. Every transaction is handled through an encrypted chat forum such as WhatsApp or Telegram. You will usually need to be referred by an existing client. Once on the ‘mailing list’, you will receive a monthly or bi-monthly menu that you can choose from. You simply order, do an EFT, and within days your product will be delivered to your home by a third party or courier service — et voila! You have your herb without even leaving your house.

Physical Stores

Cafés — These are often public coffee shops where edibles and joints are consumed openly. These were popularised in Amsterdam, where recreational marijuana use is legal and weed cafés are scattered all over the city.This is what most people imagine when thinking of a weed café — however, due to the laws in South Africa, local cafés are not quite the same: you can’t sit down for a cup of coffee, a space brownie, and a joint. We have to keep things a bit more discreet.

Clubs — By paying an annual or monthly membership fee, one is able to consume cannabis in a private location. Normally these clubs would have areas where one can sit comfortably among like-minded individuals and be free to light up. These clubs can be quite exclusive and the owners will often ask for a medical background to make sure that you are mentally sound as well as do a credit check to ensure that you will pay your fee in a timely manner.

Holistic — These shops are often more like marijuana-friendly clinics. Many of these holistically-focused shops have doctors, chiropractors, and traditional healers on staff that will first speak to you about the conditions you are struggling with, then recommend a specific CBD treatment. These shops prefer to avoid any products with THC (the psychoactive compound in weed) and stick with topical CBD products such as creams and sprays. These shops also sometimes sell tincture which is an extremely pure form of marijuana resin (not a dab) that one can ingest. 

Common Mistakes People Make When Visiting Dispensaries

Not knowing what you want — When visiting a dispensary for the first time, the staff will normally make a point of asking you what you are looking for, so that they can give informed recommendations and ultimately try to provide the best possible experience. If you have specific medical issues that you are trying to combat with cannabis, you need to mention any pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. This will let them know how much you can handle and if they should avoid giving you edibles that will negatively affect your blood sugar.

Not asking questions — If you are unsure in any way, ask questions. The staff at dispensaries are there to help you and should answer any questions you have about the various strains, and the effectiveness of those strains, be they for specific medical or recreational needs. They will advise on anything else you are uncertain about.

Dispensaries in South Africa

Cape Town

Goodleaf — the first legal CBD store in the mother city.

Cannabis Club — a private club for a cup of coffee and some herb.

Zootly - Online, retail and wholesale distributor of the highest quality cannabis growing and consuming products.


Canna Culture - a cannabis clinic focused on organic medication, Marley Coffee, cannabis beer, and edibles.

Holistic Releaf - this store stocks CBD oils, balms, honey, and more — all focusing on healing and marijuana’s medical benefits.


The Herban Legend — this store is filled with top-quality canna products.

The 420 Café — a classic coffee shop with an added herbal bonus. Just don’t try to smoke your own herb here, all will be provided.

Cannapax — a cannabis dispensary with high-quality marijuana products, including delicious edibles.

We hope that this information has given you some more confidence in visiting dispensaries in South Africa for the first time. We are in an uncertain time because legislation has not been enacted, and it’s still possible to get arrested for buying or selling weed. So pick a store that looks legit, ask some questions, and you could end up with exactly what you’ve always been missing.