1326 Grove St., San Francisco, 94117
Top-Selling Strain: BASA Nova and Girl Scout Cookie
Top-Selling Concentrate: LoudPack
Top-Selling Edible: Kushy Punch
How and when did your dispensary start up?
Tariq Alazarie founded the Bay Area Safe Alternative (BASA) in 2003—it is one of the longest uninterrupted dispensaries in the country.
What’s the story behind the name of your dispensary?
“BASA” means “Basis.” Over the years with government uncertainty toward medical cannabis, we provide a safe foundation for medicine access.
What does your dispensary offer customers that they can’t find anywhere else?
BASA has some of the best prices in the San Francisco Bay Area, especially on edibles. BASA has one of the largest selections of free-weight flower. BASA is the launching pad for the new Prophet brand of flower, concentrate and Laughing Prophet pre-rolls. BASA is centrally located near Haight Street and Golden Gate Park, [and we offer] free parking!
How has the cannabis industry changed since you have been in the business? Where would you like to see it go?
It’s wonderful to see the advances of the cannabis industry. Though, legalization rings hollow if the banking and taxes void isn’t fairly rectified. We want America to get its act together and deschedule cannabis as a [Schedule] I violation—this country needs to enthusiastically support medical cannabis research and its prescription, develop the cannabis industry as a tool against poverty, and enable the industrial application of hemp.
What are the biggest challenges you face in this industry as a dispensary? . . . Biggest joys?
With normalization comes the risk that mom-and-pop dispensaries are elbowed out—the escalating cost of real estate and taxes, can make business cost prohibitive. The joy is our durability in helping many people for years.
What is the one thing you want patients to know about your dispensary?
We are not boutique. Our overhead goes into patient care, providing quality medicine at great prices.
If someone wanted to open an access point and get their feet wet in the industry, what advice or counsel would you give them?
Customers rule—satisfy them! Know your trade and don’t bullshit.
What is the most important thing you hope to accomplish while in the cannabis community?
Expansion. Ethos. Excellence.