Lansterdam in Review is a new column written by Kyle Kaminski, a City Pulse staff writer and cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. With recommendations directly from staff at local dispensaries, Kaminski buys and samples some of the best recreational bud in Greater Lansing, gets real high and then writes about it.
When someone pitched an idea for a summer cocktail guide at our last staff meeting, I knew we couldn’t forget about pot. We owed it to our readers to also recommend some top-notch, locally sourced bud that pairs just right with some extra free time and a warm, summer afternoon.
And for one of City Pulse’ first recreational-focused marijuana reviews, it only made sense to consult Lansing’s first licensed recreational dispensary. The fine folks at Homegrown Cannabis Co., 5025 S. Pennsylvania Ave., were quick to whip up a list of recommendations.
Now, I’ve smoked just about daily for a decade, so tread (or puff) lightly on some of these powerful strains. Each of them are 18-22% THC, and the pre-rolled cones sold over at Homegrown have been known to knock less experienced smokers directly onto their asses.
These are all sativa-dominant strains, which usually equates to a boost of energy rather than a dose of couchlock (like their indica cousins), a perfect pairing for Michigan’s unofficial start of summer last weekend. The budtenders at Homegrown set the menu. I buckled in for the ride.
The daunting task of sorting through the best summertime strains available in Lansing began on early Friday evening. I stopped by Homegrown and darted north, finding myself outside of a tent in the middle of the woods, somewhere near Ludington, at the start of Memorial Day weekend.
Skunk Chem, Pre-rolled cone (0.7 gram)
Price — $15, THC content — 19.38%
Sweet Tarts. Although the label on this pre-rolled cone said it was harvested back in February, months in a jar did nothing to inhibit the incredibly pungent aroma of this summertime sativa. It smelled like someone doused a candy-filled joint with Red Bull. And it kind of tasted like it too.
Billed as a sativa-dominant cross between Super Skunk and Chemdawg, this Skunk Chem first fills the mouth with a rich, earthy, dirty-but-in-a-good-way, sort of flavor, with a hint of citrus. And even though the sun was on its way down, this bud hit with all the punch of my morning coffee.
A nearly immediate tingle vibrated across my head, leaving me with an almost anxious sort of energy that really wasn’t meant to be enjoyed while sitting down. Naturally, I became the chief architect of the campfire, fixated on arranging the logs for a perfect burn while verbally unpacking an entire work week — surely a thrilling monologue for my fiancée to endure.
Perhaps I should’ve saved this one for the morning. About 90 minutes later, I found myself cracking into a pack of hot dogs that was meant for the next day. I didn’t get to sleep until 2 a.m.
Citrix Pre-rolled cone (0.7 gram)
Price — $15 THC content — 19.28%
I’ve always been a big fan of wake and bakes. This sativa hybrid cross between Grapefruit and LA Confidential smells and tastes like a tall glass of orange juice, making it the perfect stoner breakfast — especially before hitting the woods for a morning hike with a dog dying for a walk.
While this joint was actually paired with coffee, I’m not sure it was a necessary combination. I found myself fixated on the sheer beauty and the unadulterated silence of the nature around me. A clear-headed spaciness had me wrapped up in deep thought — but about the present.
This strain would probably be terrible for a car ride. It’s the type of bud that would make me either 1.) clean my entire apartment in one sitting or 2.) toss the laundry in a pile and take a two-hour stroll down the river trail. Either way, I’m blasting my headphones the whole time.
Pineapple Express Self-rolled joint (1 gram)
Price — $12 THC content — 21.6%
This strain has serious name recognition. I mean, they titled a Seth Rogen movie after it. I was excited that Homegrown tossed this one into my weekend variety pack, and it didn’t disappoint.
Pineapple Express is a sativa cross between Trainwreck and Hawaiian, and this particular batch smelled and tasted like fruit punch. It’s a good thing I saved those tropical vibes for the lake, because it’s the perfect strain for an afternoon float that won’t leave you asleep at the beach.
A long-lasting energetic buzz lasted into late in the afternoon, leaving me perfectly content to dial in some classic jams on the radio, chat with my fiancée and watch the sun flicker over the water for hours. But don’t forget to bring some drinks. The cottonmouth can be unavoidable.
Mixing booze and pot can be disastrous, but energetic strains like Pineapple Express — in careful moderation — can be a decent pairing compared to other sleepy buds on the market. The thought of eating an entire bag of chips was the only thing able to bring me back to camp.
Tropicana Cookies Self-rolled joint (1 gram)
Price — $18 THC content — 18.2%
The folks at Homegrown must have connections on the moon, because this purple strain is from another planet. The tiny nuggets that rolled out of the package might’ve been the densest bud I’ve ever handled. And none of it was green, just dark purple moon rocks with orange hairs.
This bud (the most expensive on the list) is a cross between Tangie and Girl Scout Cookies, which tasted immediat sely of lemons and alerted the mind like a splash of ice water. For early Sunday morning, this bud kicked me into overdrive, a great pick for another stroll with my dog.
It wasn’t a good choice, however, for packing up the campsite at the end of the weekend. The cerebral buzz from the Tropicana Cookies gave me a rush of energy, but none of it could be aimed toward something productive. It was almost like being distracted by absolutely nothing.
Instead of rolling up the tent, I had a particularly good time watching my dog chase around squirrels while chatting about wishful summer plans with my fiancée. After the slap-happiness of the early afternoon eventually ended, I found myself asleep in the car on the way back home.