I have a confession to make: Since Canada legalized cannabis in October 2018, I have only been to the cannabis store a handful of times – until recently that is.
Being a registered medical cannabis consumer allows me to purchase directly online from any licensed cultivator of my choice. I can also grow my own, which my partner has taught me to do very well. And sometimes I still (like many others) make my cannabis purchases in the same way I made them pre-legalization — from an unregulated source. Between the prices, the slow product innovation, quality and convenience, there wasn’t a real incentive for me to visit the Ontario Cannabis Store or a local licensed retailer.
But recently that has all changed. Now that the cannabis 2.0 product wave has hit, I’ve found myself at my local cannabis store more times last week than in the entire year before. Cannabis consumables and vape pens has finally got me surfing.
My first visit ended up being mostly research.
I went on a Monday to get some things for a Thursday night performance of The Phantom of the Opera. The new products had hit shelves just days earlier, and I wanted a couple things that would enhance my theatre-going experience without having to rely strictly on flower — in a crowded setting it can be smelly and not long-lasting enough. And I wanted something “special” for the occasion (in other words: I was looking to spend money). But I wasn’t the only person willing to shell out for new weed products: The store I went to was sold out of most of what I was interested in.
The convenience of a quick, tasty, effective on-the-go-hoot is such a gift.
I went back on Wednesday. The place had been fully restocked, but there still weren’t as many options as I had anticipated – not all companies have new products to offer. But that didn’t stop me from finding some great items, including Tokyo Smoke’s cannabis-infused dark milk chocolate edibles. At 2 mg of THC per piece, the five chocolate squares (each embossed with their minimalist logo) were perfect for my partner and I to divvy up through the night of the play. We are edible light-weights, so we had one each and both felt a perfect little ‘flushy’ buzz within 30 minutes – it was a nice little addition to a pre-show puff and a beer during the show. They were also absolutely delicious, which is a little dangerous if you are trying to refrain from eating the whole bar at once.
We also decided on a Redecan Trainwreck Redee 510 thread vape kit, which comes with a battery, a charger and one 0.45 g 510 thread cartridge filled with high-THC, hybrid distillate with a sativa terpene profile. It tastes piney, earthy, light and I loved it immediately. My favourite part? You can take really thick long pulls with ease – something I have noticed is often not the case with vape pens. And since we were there, we also bought a pre-roll at the suggestion of the lovely Canna Cabana employee helping us: An LBS Sunset pre-roll (15-28 per cent THC potency) which didn’t smoke evenly — I should have loosened the bud by rolling it between my fingers before lighting it. But it did the trick. We were both very baked before the show.
The following week, I was bracing myself for a hectic few travel days that required me to be “on” for long periods of time. So I bought another Redecan vape kit and a cartridge with Zktlz, which is a little sweeter tasting then the citrusy Trainwreck. This way I could take my pen along with me on long work days and leave one with my partner to use.
Having the pen on hand as I hurried from meeting to meeting was a total game changer.
The extract tastes great, but produces very little smell. The efficacy is incredible, I felt the effects within seconds, and they lasted for hours between single pulls. The convenience of a quick, tasty, effective on-the-go-hoot is such a gift. The biggest pro for me? Having a pen like this on hand when I commute from Hamilton to Toronto allows me to hoot without missing a bus or a train to do so. Having a couple pulls on a vape pen between connections, when your feet are tired and your spirit is weak, makes a long commute so much more bearable! And then when I was finally home, I was hungry and ready for dinner — instead of ready to sit down and roll a joint, which is what usually happens after a long day out. The pen has saved me so much time.
Next thing on the list for me are cannabis drinks – I really want to test the purportedly faster onset time. I want to see if I will have a similar experience as I did with the pens where I discover a new way to incorporate cannabis into my life! I could see myself having a cannabis-infused drink out at a party or event.
Concentrates are also on my list. Yes we have access to them in vape pens… but I want to dab! I keep checking back to see when these new products will be available in stores and online (legally, cannabis companies can offer them, but no one has yet).
There’s a lesson here.
For people like myself who have been smoking weed for years, we’re likely going continue to in the way that we did in the past. But if you provide us with new, convenient and quality options that are readily available elsewhere — like what I’ve been seeing coming out in this second wave of products — then we’re going to buy them, too. And chances are we’re gonna enjoy them and become repeat customers. And while we’re there, we might even buy a few things we can get elsewhere, too.