The People and the Place
A palm tree and a giant green cross distinguish the large warehouse from its neighbors in the industrial core of San Jose. Needless to say, it’s hard to miss Caliva. As you walk into the waiting room you could easily be walking into a trendy spa. Clean lines, hanging plants, natural materials, and bright open spaces set a tone of laid-back sophistication. The dispensary has a long counter that can fit up to 6 budtenders during the busy lunch and post work rush making the dispensary luxuriously spacious.
Believe it or not, the building is over 100,000 square feet. While it may seem a bit overboard for a dispensary, Caliva is not just a dispensary. Taking locally sourced flowers to the next level, they grow a large portion of their cannabis in-house. Marketing Manager Ashley Erickson beams “We have control over every stage of the process from seed to sale.” Caliva aims to grow 70 percent of their own flowers. By growing their bud in-house, Caliva can better respond to customer preferences such as the popular CBD strain Charlotte’s Web. In addition to CBD-rich strains, Caliva plans to offer limited edition heritage strains. Having a lab onsite, they can test flowers for potency, mold and terpenes at any stage of the growth cycle. This is a seriously unique advantage for the growers.
“We have control over every stage of the process from seed to sale.”
– Ashley Erickson, Caliva Marketing Manager
Outside of their own product, the dispensary also sources product from local organic favorites like Santa Cruz’s Blue Belly Farms, or Oakland’s Dragonfish that grow rare genetics such as Leroy OG—a Caliva favorite. Cannabis is sold in reusable bags to minimize waste. Budtender Brandon says, “We don’t want to be just a pot shop, we want to help you solve your issues. It’s all about helping the customer explore.” Brandon feels that the patients he works with are not looking to get stoned, instead they are interested in micro dosing throughout the day or pain management. We luckily visited Caliva on Taco Tuesday when patients who spend $45 dollars get two free tacos from the taco truck in the parking lot. If that’s not California cannabis culture at its finest, I don’t know what is.