Monday, March 4, 2013

My First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Visit


I selected The Green Door, my neighborhood dispensary, for my first medical marijuana 'access point' experience. In addition to their convenient location, they had over 40 reviews online and were voted best medical marijuana dispensary by the Seattle Weekly in 2011. They are discreetly tucked into a multi level strip mall at 12th and Jackson in the International District.  The exterior could be mistaken for a spa - I went past it twice before locating it.
The Green Door: discreetly tucked away in a strip mall in Seattle's International District

I rang the bell and was buzzed into the humid, skunky smelling waiting room. The walls were green with dark wood accents and a flat screen television playing a Bob Marley documentary. Mike, the gentleman working there, introduced himself through the glass window. He was an easy going 30ish guy with long dreadlocks tied up in a turban. He reviewed my medical authorization paperwork and my drivers license. I had to complete a single page of paperwork which included a reminder of the limits of how much marijuana I can legally posess in Washington State (24 ounces of dried cannabis) and a statement to the effect of designating the Green Door as one of my medical cannabis care providers through some sort of collective gardening agreement. After reviewing my paperwork, they took my photograph and ushered me back toward the bud room.

The legal marijuana experiences I've had in Europe were heavily slanted toward hashish - coffee shops in Amsterdam and the open air hash market in Christiana, Denmark have relatively little cannabis flower selection. But the Green Door is a legitimate enterprise with a wonderful selection of cannabis. There were over two dozen different varieties of dried cannabis available - not including concentrates.

Really?? Really... Collards with Cannabis! Fun new product from CannaHaute cuisine
The bud room was well organized, clean and inviting. One wall had all the dried cannabis arranged in jars from 100% Indica to 100% Sativa, with hybrids in between. Another Mike, a mid-twenties gentleman with short brown hair, served as my budtender. I followed Dr. Z's advice and described my condition to him and asked for recommendations. I wanted to try a range of different products, so I selected a full indica, a full sativa and a few hybrids. Information about the producers and analytical data on the strains were not available.

For the full Indica, I went with one of Mike's recommendations and selected the Grandaddy Purple.  The medium sized buds were indeed quite purple and had the classic floral sweet 'purple' aroma and a decent frosting of crystals. It gave a soft, pleasant smoke that conveyed a fragrant 'purple' taste with a bit of a kick to it.
Cannabis from the Green Door

I decided to go with the Sour Diesel for a Sativa dominant strain (90% Sativa, 10% Indica). The buds were small and compact with an aroma dominated by a waxy fuel-oil aromatic note which was disappointingly subdued. A slightly musty aromatic note came through during smoking that tasted a bit flat. This Sour Diesel was intensely psychoactive, but not a flavor I'd seek out again.

My favorite strains tend to be Indica dominant hybrids and I've been curious to try some of the 'cheese' strains I have heard about these past few years. The Blue Cheese (80% Indica, 20% Sativa) came as nice chunky nuggets, but they lacked the aroma intensity I would expect from a strain named after something as pungent as blue cheese.

Medibles from the Green Door
The best strain in the bunch was the Ace of Spades (70% Indica, 30% Sativa). I asked Mike the budtender about the provenance of the strain, and he told me was a hybrid of Jack the Ripper and Black Cherry Soda. The aroma intensity of the Ace of Spades was stronger than the other strains I obtained from the Green Door. The smoke was thick and strong, without being harsh or hot in the throat. Psychoactively speaking, this delivered a pleasant buzz that was relaxing without giving the partial lobotomy feeling. I did, however, get the Motorhead song 'Ace of Spades' stuck in my head for a few days which didn't make me feel like much of a genius either.

In general, prices ranged from $10/gram to $12/gram, some strains were on special for $8/gram. Volume discounts are available for all strains. For being a first time patient, I received one pre-rolled joint - I chose the sativa strain Cynex as my free gift.

There was a case of medibles which were all expensive ($10 for a brownie, $8 for a bon-bon, $10 for a soda) but I tried a few products anyway. I was a little disappointed in the chocolate caramel brownie from The Chocolate Cure. Its portion was generous and its potency was good (one brownie was at least two, and probably more safely four doses). Unfortunately, the cannabis butter flavor was a bit dirty - something that could be easily improved by incorporating an additional water washing step in their oil/butter extraction process to suck out some of the chlorophyll contributing to that grassy taste.

All of my medicine was labeled with my name and the name of the strain. While Mike was weighing and packing my order, I thumbed through a copy of 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes' by Jack Herer. Thinking back to reading the book back in college about 20 years ago, I was saddened that hemp is still not legal in the US. But I was heartened when I realized that I was purchasing better quality marijuana, at a better price, from a better selection than ever before. Maybe the legalization of industrial hemp is next!

-------------(c) 2013 Stoner Living Blog

6 comments:

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