Vancouver Island has been a hotbed of cannabis for decades. When I moved here about eight years back, it immediately became apparent that a combination of a relaxed lifestyle, more privacy than a bigger city, and an escape from the faster pace of metropolitan centres all contributed to the perception of a stoner haven. “Island time” is a real thing.
When Canadian cannabis legalization hit, long-time consumers were appalled when we tried the earliest offerings from most licensed producers (LP). The quality was just not there, particularly compared to the robust illicit offerings available on south Vancouver Island.
Then there was Broken Coast: a small LP with a nimble dedicated team. They were producing the best product in the legal market, and they were here, on Van Isle, to boot.
Since then, they were unfortunately bought by Aphria Inc. during the first crazy wave of mergers and acquisitions, for over $200 million dollars.
I say “unfortunately” because I try to support independent small business in every way I can, and a big publicly traded company like Aphria is not that. Add accusations of alleged involvement with schemes to enrich founders and insiders at the expense of shareholders, and it is tough to justify supporting Broken Coast’s parent company.
That said, I hope the founders of Broken Coast, who took real business risks, got paid well. This is an example of a cannabis company that did it right, and I don’t begrudge them cashing in their chips when their bets paid off.
Getting the weed
This came from my local shop in Victoria. I was doing an interview for a print column at the coffee shop next door and suggested that the journalist I was speaking with come take a look at my favorite legal shop.
We went in, had a brief chat with a trusted staff member, and he let me know that Broken Coast had just dropped some new bud, called Stryker. It is identified as Star Killer, which was created by celebrated U.S. breeders Rare Dankness.
I spontaneously bought it. (For a review, of course.)
Everything but smoke
I have sampled Broken Coast’s weed before, with some mixed results, but their stuff always looks and smells good. In a world of tiny dry buds their big nugs and proper moisture has always been nice to see.
This looks good enough. The eighth is three bigger buds with some smalls to fill it up. It smells good, too, with an oddly pleasant baked goods and cat piss combo, like a piss ‘n’ vanilla muffin.
It breaks up perfectly, and rolls nicely. No complaints here.
It tastes great, with floral sweetness dominating, and a bit of skunkiness. The first half of the joint is very enjoyable. The smoke is thick and tasty at first, but it does lose flavour and gets a bit harsher later in a joint.
I have had issues with burnability from their product before, which seems to be 95 per cent fixed for this batch. It isn’t perfect, but it keeps going and burns quite clean.
Stryker (Star Killer)
Solid. Good smell and flavour. Nice relaxing effect with some euphoria. Potency didn’t blow me away or anything, but I got nicely stoned and enjoyed the experience. Smoke got slightly harsher as the joint burned down, but not a reason to stay away.
Executive Director, Inside the Jar
Gardener. Gambler. Skeptic. Talker. Toker.
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Seed. Stem. Stash. Smoke.
Despite the perception of Canada as a cold and snowy landscape, cannabis has been grown outdoors here for generations, long before prohibition was lifted in 2018. In Rock Creek, a small town in British Columbia’s Okanagan region, an area adored for its long, dry summers and endless rows of wineries and fruit orchards, a portion of a sprawling 2,200-acre ranch once dedicated to ginseng and cherries is now filled with rows upon rows of cannabis and hemp.
“My partner and I set a goal to make the best cannabis-infused cookie we could. What we learned very quickly was that our cookie recipe was great, but the process of infusing our butter was damaging its integrity. So we set out to find a way to infuse butter—not for maximum potency—but for the best possible flavour, and to preserve what makes butter magic.”
“Weed infused in various candies, brownies, or cookies generally takes much longer to kick in and there’s inevitably a few moments half-an-hour post-consumption in which I say, out loud: “I’m not sure this thing is working.” Then, like one of Mike Tyson’s fists to the face, the full might of a deceptively delicious baked confection takes hold, and for the next few hours—I’m high. High high. And sometimes, too high.”