The Beginnings Of Upscale Bud

Obama Admin. Unveils New Policy Easing Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

Whitney Mallett looks into the origins and usage of marijuana brand-names:

The demand for all these different strains is relatively recent. Once upon a time, pot was pot and you bought what your dealer down the street was selling. But a new breed of cannabis connoisseur has emerged alongside increasingly nuanced legal restrictions. In the Netherlands in the 1970s, coffee shops dispensing marijuana tolerated by the government started cropping up. For the first time, there were dozens of different strains on the menu. Today medical marijuana dispensaries in North America offer a similar range of choices.

But crops of the same strain can vary:

Marijuana Man [aka Greg Williams] agrees that increased legalization will lead to a more regular product. But he also points out that Mother Nature is still bound to create unpredictability. “Each crop is going to be a little bit different,” he explains. “In Amsterdam, I would go in and buy Haze and then go in again and ask for the same thing, and the guy would say, ‘It’s not as nice this time.’” Just as wine from the same type of grape and the same vineyard varies dramatically year to year, marijuana of the same strain and same growing conditions varies too.

If I live that long, I fancy a retirement to Colorado or Washington or perhaps even Ptown where I can blog as a legal canna-critic. We have wine critics. And food critics. Why not a critic of the thing that makes food and wine even more blessed? By then, the subtleties, the mixes of CBD and THC, the nuances of sativa and indica strains will all be turned by the genius of the free market into something quite marvelous. We will finally have made of this weed what was long made of the simple grape.

And we will all be happier. Which is the point of America, right?

(Photo: Dave Warden, a bud tender at Private Organic Therapy (P.O.T.), a non-profit co-operative medical marijuana dispensary, displays various types of marijuana available to patients on October 19, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. By David McNew/Getty.)