If you follow me on Twitter, you've likely heard the news: I got my medical marijuana (hate that word) card. To me this is a huge deal & a long time coming. It cost a lot--to me--and was kind of a pain, but if you lived in the uber-conservative part of the country I do, you'd understand just how surreal it is to see the most liberal mmj laws in the country get passed in your own backyard & dispensaries popping up everywhere. There are SIX dispensaries in this one small town near me.
There was a time when my state was convinced we'd be dead last to EVER legalize any kind of cannabis; be it medical, recreational or even basic decriminalization. This is a state that voted for Trump across the board in 2016--every single county was red. A place where liquor stores close on Sundays to honor the Sabbath & the lottery wasn't legalized until recently due to deeply held religious beliefs about gambling being a sin. We were also the last to legalize tattoo parlors, which happened not back in the 20th Century but in 2006. So while getting access to legal weed may not be a big deal to a lot of folks these days, it is to me.
The card itself is much fancier than my driver's license & is good for 2 years, during which time I can stock up on FAR more cannabis products than I'll be able to use in that time. (I'm a very lightweight smoker & actually prefer CBD to THC). But as someone with multiple health conditions at a young age, it will be nice to have the option to reach for dispensary-quality ganja for years to come. Especially with all this vape cartridge nonsense. I can also legally grow up to 6 plants though this won't be happening with my current roommates unless I want to do the red Solo cup autoflower stealth grow again.
In all my years using cannabis, I've only smoked flower & vaped oil via a vape cartridge as well as a few failed forays into edibles. I'm an absolute virgin when it comes to concentrates, topicals or any of that. Prices here are still inflated: 15/gram of bud is the standard, with lower quality stuff selling for 10/g. Vape carts go for no less than $60/gram which is okay since they last me so long. (I decided to just eat the oil out of my last one since I got worried about vaping--worked like a charm). My plan here is to thoroughly review every different form of weed product I try so inexperienced peeps like myself can get a good idea of how they work in terms of effects, duration, time to onset, side effects & other stuff. So if that interests you, check this blog frequently for new reviews. I'm by no means an expert or connoisseur--there are plenty of other (paid) weed writers out there to fill that market. If you want to know which brands & forms are quality, look here.
The "scene" here is a work in progress. I keep seeing the same few strains on all the dispo menus which tells me we haven't likely diversified our wholesale growing quite enough yet. There's still a lot of "stoner science" being passed off in articles as the gospel truth, such as the idea that flushing your soil 2 weeks before harvest makes for "cleaner bud" and that white ash is somehow indicative of a purer product. And I've read some horror story reviews from patients who dealt with sexism & racism lobbed at them by dispensary owners who then had the gall to clap back at them in the public comments. So we've got some wrinkles to iron out. I suspect a few of these green rush capitalists will be weeded out (pun intended) with time & competition as the market stabilizes, which is not a bad thing. 170 licensed medical dispensaries in our not-very-populated state is more than California has altogether (not counting the grey-market ones). I ain't complaining, but there are definitely some uneducated & overzealous greedy types out here cashing in.
On the other hand, I've also heard glowing stories & experienced great kindness personally when going to apply for my medical card. People who otherwise would be unemployable getting a second chance at a career in this business--nice, hardworking people who just happen to lack high school or college educations but have a passion for helping & working with the cannabis plant--which is a much safer avenue than the oilfields, farming or repairing gas pipelines (the only alternatives around here). Maybe if more conservative-minded, uptight people puff on the good weed they'll start to relax a bit...put down their guns & maybe even open their minds to new ideas like evolution & climate change existing.
Meh. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. 😙
Update: I made my first stop inside a dispo today, October 3rd 2019. Unfortunately I was highly impaired from eating a bunch of benzos + codeine to prepare for a horrid medical procedure so I couldn't fully take in everything the store had to offer. But I did pick up some goodies to try. Review for one of them here.