Legalization has come a long way from the 2014 implementation of the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, or the MMPR, which first allowed commercial production of cannabis for medical use. There are now hundreds of licensed growers, with more coming every week. Micros and small standard cultivators have become much more prominent, and many large-scale producers are struggling.
One thing that has been lacking through all of this is legal cultivation businesses that remain outspoken advocates. As a country, it took thousands of illicit businesses, a multi-billion dollar sophisticated underground economy, decades of advocacy for medical access, several calls for an end to the drug war, and a move away from a socially conservative anti-science government for legalization to come about.
Early in the process, however, we saw licence holders expand to large publicly traded companies, most of whom had no interest in advocating for those that paved the way for this policy change.
In many cases, these companies lobbied for the exact opposite, suggesting there should be law enforcement actions taken against those still operating illicitly. This, while profiteering mining executives and former drug cops jumped into the legal weed business.
It may be inevitable that legalization brings corporatization, but some of it has been nauseating. Companies like Organigram and Aleafia will never get a dollar from me, so don’t expect a review of any of their products in this space.
The company whose product I am reviewing today, Citizen Stash, falls on the other side of this conversation. I can’t say how refreshing it is to see their messaging. When I head over to their website, I see prominent acknowledgements of civil disobedience, diversity, and inclusion.
Of course, I also see every current hype word in the industry right now, with lots of craft, small-batch, premium, hand-crafted, purpose-built, high quality, blah, blah, blah. They have this bingo thing down.
Citizen Stash is located in Mission, B.C. They are owned by publicly traded Experion Biotechnologies Inc., so I wouldn’t characterize them as a tiny independent producer, but so far, they have received generally positive attention for their cultivar selection and quality.
Getting the weed
This was acquired locally, pre-COVID-19. Many shops here in Victoria are now closed, including the one I shop at. Hopefully pre-orders and pickups end up being the plan going forward. It would be even better if the Liquor Distribution Branch gave up their monopoly on e-commerce. (Here’s to dreaming.)
This came in cheaper than many, at just over $30 plus tax. I managed to lose the receipt prior to this review, so I don’t have the exact price. I have said it before, but it is worth mentioning that this price point is becoming more populated, and it is for the better.
Everything but smoke
It smelled decent on opening the jar, with a weird rotten lemon thing going on. The plastic jar was packed right to the top, with relatively good-sized nugs. It looked like a decent start.
Unfortunately, the reason the jar was so full is because the weed was bone-dry. It is among the dryest products I have seen outside of the huge-scale operators.
It crumbled to dust, and rolled a bit awkwardly as a result.
There was both good and bad going on with this example. The taste was nice enough. I got herbal citrus notes with some sweeter fruit like berries. The pronounced herbal taste was not my favorite, but overall it was pretty nice.
It didn’t burn great, though. It was a bit uneven and dark, although it did burn all the way to the end. The dryness also made the smoke a bit harsh.
I didn’t find it all that strong, but the effects were relaxing and focusing, which is a pleasant combination. It seemed like it would be a good stress reliever, without the knock-out effect.
This would have been much better if it was not so dry. It looks nice, has a good aroma, and decent effects. It’s better than the flood of mids we’re seeing, but far from the top.
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.”