Ngaio Bealum is a Sacramento comedian, activist and marijuana expert. Email him questions at

I’m looking to experience Cali and would like your opinion on the finest this state has to offer. Any recommended strains or places to visit?

—B Rockk

I am glad you asked. With springtime on the way, now is the perfect time to start planning daytrips through the cannabis countryside. You will need a letter of recommendation from a California doctor. Technically, you don’t have to be a California resident to get a letter of recommendation, but some clubs will not let you inside if you don’t live in Cali.

And now, letter in hand, let’s work our way around Northern California. The problem is, there are so many good clubs it’s hard just to pick a few favorites. In the Bay Area, I like Green Door, SPARC and Bernal Heights Wellness in San Francisco, Magnolia Wellness and Harborside Health Center in Oakland, and in Berkeley, CBCB and Berkeley Patients Care Collective are top-notch. Heading east on I-80, you may want to make a quick stop at 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center in Richmond, not just for the cannabis, but also because they are located in a shopping center full of Asian restaurants. I recommend some Red Congolese to go with your pork buns.

If you are going to swing through Vallejo, I suggest you hurry because the dispensaries are all in danger of being shut down despite the jobs and taxes they create for the city. Closing all the clubs in Vallejo would be a shame, since there is a vast medical marijuana desert between Vallejo and Sacramento. Everyone should call the Vallejo City Council and tell them (politely) to get their shit together. However, if the clubs are still open when you get there, check out 101 North and California Herbal Relief Center.

Up here in Sacramento, all of the dispensaries have been smashing it lately. I am hesitant to pick favorites, because my inbox is going to explode with all kinds of “why didn’t you mention us?” messages, but here goes: I especially like A Therapeutic Alternative, Northstar Holistic Collective, 12 Hour Care, All About Wellness, Horizon Collective and Cloud 9. Two Rivers Wellness is also a good spot.

As to particular strains, I like any good outdoor. Northern California has always been known for growing the best outdoor weed. We are like the Napa Valley of cannabis. Some dispensaries will refer to outdoor pot as “SunGrown.” I guess it’s all branding these days. The thing is, it doesn’t matter what you call it. A good outdoor strain generally tastes better than a plant grown indoors. It’s all about the terroir, as the French say. Plus, outdoor is usually more affordable. You may also want to look for some regional strains, like Three Kings from Humboldt, or Ken’s Granddaddy Purple or BOG’s Sour Bubble.

Just hitting all the clubs in Sacramento and the Bay Area should be enough for a fun-filled weekend. If you want to talk about the farmers market in Clear Lake or visiting a farm in the Emerald Triangle, write me another email.