Shop Talk: Jesse Henry, Executive Director of Barbary Coast

Barbary Coast, an SF-based medical cannabis dispensary collective with a vaporizing and smoking lounge

Jesse Henry


As the Executive Director, what is your role at Barbary Coast? 

My role as Executive Director is overseeing the day to day managers on a daily basis and keeping the company pointed in the right direction within our industry. Being the face of the company with our community and the city; promoting our brand and how we operate to our city and community leaders. Working with other business owners and community leaders to help programs that benefit people who need help within San Francisco. And business development on new projects.

How did you first get into the cannabis space?

My wife went through a bout with breast cancer about 8 years ago and I really saw how cannabis helped her through her chemo treatment. She’s doing great now and we had a daughter a year after her treatment ended. I really wanted to be able to provide that same benefit to other people going through medical issues.

When did you open/work with your first shop?  

We opened Barbary Coast in January 2013.

Which products are your bestsellers? (Please list a couple brands in addition to product type, if possible.)

Pranna, Beezle Extracts, Gold Seal SF, Kiva, Kushy Punch, Terp X, Hagalicious to name a few.

What is the most rewarding part of running a dispensary? Most difficult? 

Being born and raised in San Francisco and being able to employee 30 people and providing medicine that is helping sick people as well as giving back to our community.  We donate to a number of youth groups throughout the city on a monthly basis.

What sets your shop apart? 

We test every product we sell on our menu to ensure it’s clean, safe, and free of mold, pesticides, mildewcides and residual solvents. We work exclusively with artisan growers and really have the top selection of flowers and concentrates available.

What piece of advice would you give to new brands trying to get on shelves? 

Figure out what area of the market your brand fits into and be consistent.  

What advice would you give to someone interested in opening their own shop? 

Again it gets down to establishing a brand with your philosophy of how you want your shop to run and being consistent with that brand.

What new products are you most excited about carrying? 

Any of the CBD and CBD/THC combination products.  

Are you rolling out any new shop features or locations in the near future? 

We just opened a consumption lounge 6 months ago and that has been a big success with our patients. We are currently working on a new location in the Sunset District on the west side of San Francisco.

What are your thoughts about future legislation at your local and state levels? Is there any particular industry or legal shifts that are you’re concerned or excited about? Please explain. 

It’s all so up in the air now we’re just waiting for the dust to settle and get some clarity on where it’s going to go. 


This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Barbary Coast is a San Fransisco Medical Dispensary and Lounge located at 952 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103.

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