8001 S. Hosmer Street, Tacoma, WA 98408
Why you should go: over 10 different kinds of cannabis, some of the best customer service imaginable, lots of cool glass, feels like some kind of intergalactic space pharmacy.
When we were in college we took a trip to Venice. We can remember very clearly St. Mark’s Square, and the labyrinthine trail we found through the red brick, twisting around alleys from the train station toward the city center. Along the way sometimes one of the narrow streets opened a bit, revealed a tiny shop of sparkling glass, expertly blown, glowing out from the dusty burgundy. A beautiful city and a beautiful art form.
We’ve been appreciators of blown glass ever since, which made us really excited to check out Clear Choice Cannabis in Tacoma, since they bill themselves as “Washington’s premier retailer of artisan glass.”
Like some of those galleries in Venice, Clear Choice can catch you by surprise. It’s at the far end of a mini strip mall, and they don’t have a ton of signage posted out front. It took us a few seconds to realize what we had found. Once you’ve shown ID and made your way inside, though, it’s clear that you’ve come to a place committed to providing a unique, elegant shopping experience.
The dark lime green walls, nearly red hardwood floors, and florescent lights above the main room – sprinkled throughout with various shades of neon – make the main room feel like a cross between the modern art wing of a museum and an intergalactic space pharmacy. Each counter has been built into the wall and is well lit from behind, which makes every station seem to glow and provides each budtender with what looks like her own visible aura. Everything is spread out along the walls, with a large bar at the far end and another to the left of the entrance, which we very briefly assumed was the coat check, as we very briefly assumed we had come to the world’s most weed-friendly art gallery.
On the day we visited there was no line, but the woman working behind the counter assured us that it can get pretty busy.
It makes sense. They have a large selection of buds in a variety of quantities. Although they are currently without edibles, the menu has 11 different types of flowers, as well as a 12th available as a concentrate inside of Juju joints. Weekend Review Kit likes Juju joints. They are extremely discreet and convenient. WRK wishes everything in Washington wasn’t so single use, with so much disposable packaging, but we really, really like the Juju joints.
The service at Clear Choice is unbeatable. They’re happy to talk you through each selection, and the things they recommended are unique and interesting. Chatting with the employees, you feel like you’ve found someplace special. You can tell that they not only truly enjoy their work, but they are also very good at it. It was no problem for them to answer any question we had about the specific strains. Our budtender spoke highly of the Sleestack, a hybrid of two other mostly sativa seeds. His recommendation was impeccable. There are some amazing sativas coming out of Washington right now. It’s an exciting time for those of us who take our cannabis with a bit of creativity, and the Sleestack can be counted among the best.
Once you’ve made your purchases you can take your time looking around at all the glass they have on display. It’s an impressive collection, with a large selection and variety to match the flowers you just spent a long time admiring and choosing. The showroom is set up to deal with a lot of foot traffic, so there is enough space to look at everything without feeling like you have to maneuver your way through people waiting in line.
Clear Choice is top notch, from the large main room with the flush counters to the walls packed with fascinating glass. They sell great cannabis too, about which they know a tremendous amount. By the time you leave, it will feel like you’ve made friends with someone hosting a gallery tour. If you like a stimulating cannabis experience, Clear Choice is a must visit.
Are there things that could be better about the shops in Washington? Sure. It will be a bit more expensive than you’re used to and sometimes you can’t get as much as you want. However, having visited all the shops in the Seattle area, it is WRK’s belief that these business owners are all doing their best with the limitations inherent to the current system. WRK is confident that these are just the natural roadblocks on the way to the end of cannabis prohibition, but we don’t feel that it is fair to grade these shops when so much of what they can offer is beyond their control. Therefore, we are giving five Kits to shops as long as they present a clean store, friendly and informed assistance, and product that is accurately described. Instead of offering just a simple, somewhat arbitrary grade, WRK will do our best to accurately represent what to expect when visiting a Washington recreational cannabis business.