Good day, heshers. Another 4/20 day of celebration is upon us, let the deep dispensary discounts and hyper aggressive marketing actions begin.
This unofficial holiday has evolved into a Record Store Day for pot products, so it seems like a good time for your loyal correspondent to crawl out from my hole, mutter “Sorry I haven’t rapped at ya in a while…”, and tell you where it’s at, from where I’m at, weed-wise. And if you read on, I’ll tell you how to get half off your next bud delivery, courtesy of your old pals here at the Beat. That’s right, it’s 2022 and we are helping you score.
I predicted a while ago that the market for high grade herb in the $30 to $35 price range was about to improve significantly, but this has not really occurred. What I see instead this year is an even more deep division of the market for eighths of flower into three segments: $25 and under, $50-ish, and $75 and over. But fortunately, what has happened is that the $25 eighth has gotten noticeably and reliably better. That’s great news for those of us on a budget. And since Cheap Thrills is what we’re all about, here are our recommendations for a chilled out Marijuana Party this Wednesday, April 20.
You’ll have to look elsewhere for concentrate and edible recommendations – I’ve simplified my life and don’t often bother with those. But I do like to smoke good pot without spending a lot of money on it, and here’s some of the ways that you too can do that.
BEST BARGAIN BRANDS: The overall quality of lower-shelf weed took a step up this year. While it’s fairly easy to find a jar with a nice appearance and a THC count north of 20%, I think I can spot herb that has been modified to lose its gnarly odor, possibly to avoid complaints from the farm’s neighbors, and I just can’t love it as much. I like wild things – wild cherries, wild mushrooms – that are funky, reeking with the salt of the earth. The names on this list really stood out in terms of total quality – taste, smell, potency and overall effect. Nice things are nice, might as well get ’em while you can.
- Cannasseurs Club House Brand – This NoHo based dispensary has an unusual pricing methodology involving a door fee, where you have to decide how many items you will purchase before walking in. These fees range from $10 for one item down to $25 for four items, but then starts again at $10 for the fifth item. This while process is counter intuitive and sometimes baffling to new customers, but the long and short of it is: stick to their most inexpensive house weed, you will walk out of here paying between $21.25 and $25 per eighth of fresh, delicious herb that is certain to be 30% THC or higher. My last purchase there, a single bag of old favorite strain London Cheese, had been packaged the day I bought it. All the hallmarks of gourmet are there, the lingering cheesy smell, the low-end head rush that really does feel like a wedge of Stilton has begun melting into your brain. This kind of quality is not easily found anywhere for $25, let alone $21.25. We reviewed them in-depth a while ago, prior to an extended shutdown for unknown reasons, but multiple recent visits confirm that they are back without missing a beat.
- Connected Sungrown and Alien Labs Moongrown. Both of these companies claim top shelf pricing for their indoor bud, but their greenhouse products have started showing up in the bargain bin. I have no objection whatsoever to sungrown herb, California Outdoor has always been some of the finest stuff known to man. When companies like this get their seed genetics working to impress the $85-a-jar crowd, the results from their greenhouse grows are pretty stellar. I like to look at the gap between “THC” and “Total Cannabinoids”, and the bigger the distance, the better. If the two numbers are nearly the same, it likely means the bud was bred to be turned into vape oil, where THC count is everything and terpenes and other beneficial compounds may be lacking. My last jar of Connected Gushers measured about 26% THC to 31% Total Cannabs, that’s what I consider a nice gap. Every single jar from these two has been memorable, and they’re popular enough that fresh drops tend to disappear quickly, so keep an eye out for them and pounce when you see them.
- Too Short and North Country Pharms. Both of these brands seem to come from the Bay Area, and pop up only occasionally at my local. But when they do, I order early. These have repeatedly been exceptionally terpy & tasty offerings, each bearing a distinctive fruity aroma upon first opening, and the kind of warm, lingering effect that one craves.
- Dank You. This was a most welcome discovery on a trip to San Francisco, when I was cash-poor and running out of herb, and stumbled onto a shop with this brand at an introductory price of $11 an eighth. I wasn’t expecting much, but was rewarded with a fresh, lovely bag of nice sized nugs, with a pleasant, sweet citrus aroma, quality I’d have been OK paying $30 for. I was very pleased to find that Blaze has also started carrying this one, at the regular price of $20 a bag out the door, but that’s still a steal for weed of this quality. With its ultra simple packaging – you only ever know if you are purchasing an sativa, indica or hybird, never what strain – it seems like this brand may be processing the overflow for more established companies who wouldn’t normally let their stash be sold for so little. Whatever the method, this is a highly credible, quality offering at a low price that should have Pacific Stone users raising an eyebrow. Since December, I’ve purchased strains from about five different harvests, and am yet to be disappointed. One of theirs had a nice gap – 22% THC to 28% Total.
- Glass House Farms. Local to LA, this company does quality at a fair price, and isn’t afraid to let a nice, juicy thirty-plus-percenter go for the usual price. Their buds tend to be among the nicest aesthetically – jumbo sized, beautifully pruned and fragrant. And talk about a gap ratio – their luscious Garlic Starship which I obtained for St Patrick’s Day rates at 31% THC and 40% Total – luxuriously high for a non-infused piece of weed. I used their GMO, purchased yesterday, as a model for this photo and you’ll see, the primary weight of the thing is in two large pieces.
- Talking Trees. This Humboldt brand has been a very good lower-intensity choice, typically around 20 to 23 percent with a nice cure and full flavor.
- Runners-up – the brands who have been pretty good to excellent on various occasions and I would buy again easily for $30-ish based on recent experience: Elyon, Humboldt Farms, Farmer & The Felon, True North, Dime Bag, SF Roots, Monterey Kush Co.
- While it’s possible I caught them on a bad day, the couple of names I cannot really recommend quality-wise are Grizzly Peak and Honeyleaf. I had two bags of the former that really did taste like something they found out in the woods. And the latter, while admirably going for the bargain price concept that I like so well, produced some terribly compressed, brittle nugs that required intense grinding to become smokable. Best of luck to both of these companies turning their beat around in the future. We need all the good cheap brands we can get.
BEST DELIVERY SERVICE: Having checked out a handful of the locals, I’ve remained loyal to these two.
Blaze On Demand is pretty regularly at my door in less than an hour, sometimes significantly less, like I have to avoid pressing “order” on the app until I get home from the bank or the driver might beat me here. That has happened. They specialize in the $20-$25 eighth and carry a lot of the brands I talk about here, with a $50 free delivery minimum making it the easy choice for a small shopping trip. I like companies that roll taxes into the posted price, it helps me do math when I’m all high. Their list of products changes hour to hour, so it’s hard to rely on your favorite brand being available on the day you place your order. But if you can be a little flexible with your choices, there’s usually something worth getting in their “Hot Deals” section where the $25 and under crowd hang out. Their house brand is pretty good too, at $60 a quarter it’s still a below-average price for above-average quality.
Amuse.com is a bigger operation, with a higher minimum- $65 pre-tax, call it around $100 out the door. It’s a bit further away and orders placed late in the day get delivered the next morning, But they regularly run specials that just make the head spin, like the one currently on for 4/20 Week where as of this writing, Roots ounces are being offered for $42 pre-tax, Pacific Stone ounces for $85. Even at the standard price of $125, Cypress ounces seem like a fantastic deal, but they’ve been spotted on special as low as $85 recently. Whenever you’re ready to drop a good $100+ to stock up, and don’t strictly need someone at your doorstep right away, it’s worth looking into their daily deals.
If you want to check out Blaze, and get your first order for a whopping 50% off – that’s, like, almost half! – visit their site here and use the referral code: B9A125DC
If you want to check out Amuse and get $30 flat off your first order, write to the author here and I’ll email you a personalized code you can use.