As 2018's early greenhouse cannabis crops trickle onto dispensary shelves and the seasonal outdoor harvest grows into maturity, summer heats up on Oregon's existing million-pound weed surplus, and retailers are incentivizing fast commerce with never-before-seen low prices.
Since we first broke down the numbers on Oregon's oversupply back in April, I've kept an eye on the state's lowest-cost flower options, and with the recent emergence of the $5 eighth—boldly advertised on billboards and in shop windows—it seems the time is nigh to report back to you guys.
Why the urgency? These high-value, low-cost benchmarks will not last forever. Rather than indicating a healthy supply chain or cost-saving cultivation techniques, the most affordable buds we're seeing are symptomatic of failing farms and value propositions that will disappear as soon as the state's least lucky recreational growers cut their losses and exit the market.
Sure, cheap weed will always be out there. But nobody is promising the budget chronic of the future will be as good as it is today, because today's price-quality index is predicated not on sustainable production costs but on market oversaturation.
Which is to say, take advantage now if you want to experience some high-value budget flower that'll be worth telling your grandkids about.
Below are my two favorite everyday budget deals on the Portland market, and a third that lends itself nicely to edibles chefs.
Grown by High Noon Cultivation Co.
Cannabinoid content: 23% THC, 0.1% CBD
About the grower: Self-described "low-till," living-soil farm High Noon Cultivation Co. is an organic-equivalent indoor producer known for its house-bred Irish Cream and semi-ubiquitous Granola Funk. High Noon achieves a rare intersection of ornamental, organic and craft expressions, producing art-gallery nugs that taste and smell as good as they look. The farm also keeps an eye on sustainability, so you can feel a bit better about smoking indoor as we jump headfirst into hothouse-phase climate change.
Aroma and flavor: As the name would suggest, Pinesicle has potent pine sap and sweetened condensed milk at the nose, incorporating pepper and skunk back notes that amplify when set to fire.
Typical effects: The Pinesicle comes on slow as a series of cascading stupefactions—a warm, giddy uptick in mood that will replace any existing capacity for cognitive sharpness or lucidity. While labeled sativa, this is not get-shit-done weed. Rather, it's a feel-good cultivar that will crest in lethargic elation, lending itself a solution to the blues best saved for when productivity isn't a concern.
BUY IT: Electric Lettuce, 203 NE Weidler St.; Farma, 916 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; Jayne, 2145 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Triangle Kush Tangle
Grown by Resin Ranchers
Cannabinoid content: 31.9% THC
About the grower: In the past, I've described Resin Ranchers as the "Multnomah Falls of chronic," by which I mean this indoor craft producer's drops are considered natural wonders by many weed enthusiasts: waterfall-pretty by look, scent and flavor, while frequently surpassing the 30 percent THC threshold. And while I don't personally chase the numbers, I do go chasing new and novel nugs—and Resin Ranchers tend to deal in many of the weed internet's most talked-about breeders and cultivars. .
Aroma and flavor: For those of you who know your weed, this one shouldn't be too much of a surprise. It's a mash-up of the Tangie's oranges with the Triangle's fuel, like a brass monkey made with gasoline.
Typical effects: Take the Tangie's cerebral stimulation and improved mood, add the Triangle's body and anti-inflammatory notes, and then up the psychoactive potential with the heavy dose of THC. For some, this combination of effects could result in a productive high—but a little bit goes a long way, as larger servings present a potential for a racier, ahead-of-center, speedballish experience.
BUY IT: Kings of Canna, 1465 NE Prescott St.; Archive Portland, 10645 SE Henry St.; Zion Cannabis, 2331 SW 6th Ave.
Grown by Fidus Family Farms
Cannabinoid content: 19.6% THC
About the grower: Once upon a time, the Multnomah Village dispensary Calyxes was Portland's finest example of vertical integration, releasing proprietary flowers that outperformed those of the bulk of competitors by long, swinging strides. Fast forward a few years, pass over a lengthy stint of licensing limbo, and you'll find Calyxes all boarded up. But the shop has since triumphantly reopened under new management and new name: Fidus PDX. You might recognize Fidus Family Farms, an organic-equivalent, micro-tier indoor operation formed in 2015, for its take on Quantum Kush, which has been circulating in Portland for the past couple years. Now you can visit Fidus' full lineup in person at the dramatically renovated brick-and-mortar space once known as Calyxes.
Aroma and flavor: Shiatsu's aroma touches on a harmony of opposites and anomalies: sweet tomato leaf and sour red grapes, M&M shells and piney junipers. The flavor is notably more simple—a long, rogue, spicy note that's probably due to the cultivar's ocimene-dominant terpene profile.
Typical effects: Sedate, body-deep and a little spacey, Shiatsu Kush is nighttime herb that should aid in sleep and relaxation.
BUY IT: Fidus PDX, 7501 SW Capitol Highway.