The Best Stops on Oakland’s Cannabis Trail — Starting With Rose Mary Jane

If you’re looking for a cool cannabar to try some effect pairing, we’ve got a rec

July 28, 2023 6:15 am
Neon pink sign saying "Rose Mary Jane"
Rose Mary Jane.
Rose Mary Jane

For those who don’t like smoking their weed, a new “cannabar” in Oakland, near Lake Merritt, might be the solution. As one of the anchor businesses on the recently formed Oakland Cannabis Trail, Rose Mary Jane’s boasts some other claims to fame: It’s the first Black woman-owned and equity-owned cannabar and lounge in Oakland, and currently the only licensed cannabar in the city. That means guests can order any number of cannabis-infused drinks — that are otherwise alcohol–free — and sit and share them together in the space, just like at a regular bar. 

“We have an actual, built-out bar, just like any bar that sells alcohol,” Sway Macaluso, the general manager for Rose Mary Jane, tells InsideHook. “But instead of serving alcohol, we serve cannabis-infused mocktails. We’ve curated a menu to highlight some effect pairing, which is basically the way you want to feel. You can pick what kind of beverage and flavor profile you’d like, then you pick what dose you want to infuse your cocktail with. The house-made drinks are non-infused, so you pick an infusion shot, and pour it over your mocktail.” 

The lounge doubles as a retail space, with an on-site dispensary that strives to sell mostly other equity-owned brands that share similarly inclusive values. Macaluso notes that the dispensary is designed as a feature of the bar and lounge, instead of the main attraction. Guests can enjoy food, beverage and vape consumption, as Rose Mary Jane also offers a “buy and try” policy for any edibles they sell. 

Since they’ve been included as one of the stops on the trail, Macaluso thinks the platform has helped normalize cannabis consumption, and she likes how it provides a framework for visitors to explore the area. “The Oakland Cannabis Trail is such a unique feature, especially since the Bay Area is a mecca of cannabis,” Macaluso says. “Cannabis has been a highlight for this city, and to be spotlighted on the trail is such a pleasure.” 

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As someone who has worked in cannabis for close to a decade and a half, Macaluso first got into the marijuana space as part of the “compassionate cannabis” movement back in 2008. She started off at the Berkeley dispensary CBCB (Cannabis Buyers Club of Berkeley), which she dubs “a historic location, these days, because it’s still open.” Now that recreational use has created a huge explosion in the sale of legal weed (the “green rush”), it’s her roots with medical cannabis that keep Macaluso going. 

“What kept me in this industry is that I started during the compassionate era,” she says. “We were able to give cannabis out to patients who really needed the plant medicine to help them. If it wasn’t for those who started the compassionate use act back in the day, we wouldn’t be here in the recreational use market today.” 

In that spirit, here are a few other stops on the Cannabis Trail, as well as local brands that Macaluso recommends — kicking off with a compassionate cannabis distributor called ReCompass, which often partners with Rose Mary Jane.


“Right now, as we’re talking, I’m stuffing compassion bags for ReCompass. It’s run by a girl named Nicole Redler. They facilitate giving out compassionate cannabis, which is for people who are still cannabis patients [or] SB34 patients [who] can come and get free cannabis medicine. People like Nicole and myself are trying to make sure that the legacy of the people who have come before us is preserved. I definitely want to shout out both her and ReCompass, because their work is so purposeful.”

Happy Trails 

“In terms of brands, I want to shout out Happy Trails. They are a women-owned and equity-owned brand in Oakland, and she has done some amazing work. It’s sold at dispensaries, and we sell it at Rose Mary Jane as well.” 

Root’d In The 510

“This is another Black-owned, equity-owned business on the Cannabis Trail. Rickey McCullough owns that one — it’s going to be a beautiful establishment.”

Blunts + Moore 

“Then we have another outdoor lounge, at Blunts + Moore — another Black-owned, social equity license holder. It’s owned by Tucky Blunt, and Tucky actually is the first African-American man to be granted a social equity license. Ever. He’s the first one. He [also] has an outdoor lounge called The Happy Lounge.”

Huckleberry Hills Farms

“I personally love Whitethorn Rose — that’s my favorite cultivar, or strain, right now. Huckleberry Hills Farms is actually an Emerald Cup 2023 award winner. It’s a sativa — it’s light, it’s sweet, it tastes like Sweetarts.”


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