Pot Shots: A Photo Book of L.A.’s Weed Dispensaries

October 3, 2013 | Andy Cush

To create Pot Shotstheir aptly-titled photo zine, Ryan Mungia and Jim Heimann simply drove around with their iPhones. Whenever they saw a cannabis dispensary, they’d snap a cell phone pic from the car, then keep driving.

The photos are sparse and strictly documentarian, showing the dispensaries as they’d appear on any normal day. To hear Mungia tell it, that was part of the point.

“iPhones are part of the cultural zeitgeist and so are marijuana dispensaries to a certain extent,” he told Wired. “We felt it was appropriate to list our gear and method for this project because documentation was the primary goal. Shooting from the car was a practical necessity. We didn’t want to draw attention to ourselves. Despite being legal, it’s still a very paranoid business and most of these establishments don’t appreciate a camera pointed their way.”

According to Mungia, roughly 30 percent of their subjects have since closed, and so the project can be thought of as a kind of time capsule.

“We were very conscious of the transient nature of these pot shops. Looking to the future, hopefully someone will look at these places as we look at speakeasies from the Prohibition era.,” he says. “The difference is that these establishments aren’t as clandestine in their exterior appearance as speakeasies were.”

See some highlights in the gallery.