Big Sur Canna+Botanicals – Carmel, CA
Aram Stoney and John DeFloria are co-founders of Big Sur Canna+Botanicals (hereafter BSCB) in Carmel, California. With serendipitous names like Stoney and DeFloria — yes, those are their real names —these two seem destined to work with cannabis. And what better place to serve the plant than their gorgeous hometown? Stoney and DeFloria have been friends for 35 years as part of the local surfing community and as travel partners; combining athletics and activism, the pair who met and bonded over their love of waves are now riding the wave of cannabis rebirth.
Nestled in a quiet shopping mallat the mouth of Carmel Valley and perched at the coastalentrance to Big Sur, BSCB is designed to be “warm and comfortable, like other places in Big Sur — more like an art gallery than a pharmacy. It’s just missing the wood burning stove,” DeFloria states, then wonders aloud if they should install one in the shop. The waiting room is smartly decorated with wood and leather furniture laden with Big Sur jade and abstract art by Paul Seftel, making it one waiting room where you’ll actually enjoy waiting.
BSCB is the first and only Monterey County dispensary to receive a complete license. Founded in 2014, BSCB was first a garden and delivery service, and in July 2015 — the start of Monterey County’s moratorium on cannabis businesses —BSCB received an exemption, then proceeded to get an approved license in June 2016 before opening its storefront doors in September of last year. BSCB has actively participated in the regulatory process and helped draft the ordinance, meeting with supervisors, hosting open houses and involving the community. As Stoney puts it, “We’re trying to be good neighbors and good stewards of the industry — transparency is key.” With a refreshing nod to both the medicinal and recreational sides of cannabis, Stoney sums up their philosophy: “It’s not just about smoking a joint at the beach — although there’s nothing wrong with that relaxation benefit — cannabis is medicine, and BSCB believes that cannabis serves many purposes, both medicinally and socially. It’s a balance.”