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Dispensary Review: Tommy Chims Smokes Proper Cannabis' Weed 

click to enlarge Proper's south county dispensary has a modern apothecary feel. - PROVIDED BY PROPER CANNABIS
  • PROVIDED BY PROPER CANNABIS
  • Proper's south county dispensary has a modern apothecary feel.

In retrospect, it’s a little surprising that police dogs were ever even able to smell the subpar pot that dominated the black market back in the day.

That vacuum-packed, seed-filled, so-called “schwag” weed — or “Bobby Brown,” as my group of friends dubbed it — certainly wasn’t anything to look at, smashed into bricks as it was, let alone anything that one would call “aromatic.” And yet I vividly remember sitting in a friend’s kitchen once as he and his dad cut open some tires to free the sealed-up packages within, which had been soaked in mustard so as to keep the K-9’s off the scent.



That memory came to mind as I walked into Proper Cannabis (7417 South Lindbergh Boulevard, 314-328-0446) on a recent sunny afternoon, whereupon I was instantly punched in the face with the absolutely overwhelming smell of high-quality weed. Proper Cannabis was the first group in the state to be granted a license to both cultivate and manufacture medical marijuana under one roof, and while that work doesn’t technically happen at this location, the considerable size of the brand’s operation — its wares can be purchased at multiple otherwise unaffiliated dispensaries in the St. Louis area, even — makes it easy to imagine they keep a lot of product in this building.

In other words, were I a dog tasked with helping The Man hassle other human beings over the things they put into their own bodies, I would have begun barking wildly the moment I stepped foot in the door. Being that I’m just a person, and therefore that would be regarded as completely insane behavior, I instead walked up to the front desk, where a kind woman behind glass asked me for my ID and medical card before buzzing me into the shop’s waiting area — or, as the woman dubbed it, her living room. After about two minutes, my budtender came and led me into the floor of the shop.

Let me tell you, this place is something. For fans of Schitt's Creek, this will be super easy to explain: Imagine if Rose Apothecary gave up on selling Body Milk and got into the weed business instead. For the rest of you, think clean, crisp lines, midcentury modern furnishings and an overall high-end, boutique feel. Proper teamed up with the locally based construction, design and contracting firm IMPACT Strategies to renovate this building and the brand’s Warrenton location with a classy black-and-white design featuring wood accents, geometric fixtures and millwork finishes, and the end result is sophisticated but inviting and without pretense.

Upon entry, my budtender led me to a long glass counter with a line of barstools, where he directed me to sit down while we discussed the shop’s products. Since Proper Cannabis cultivates and manufactures its own weed, he was exceptionally knowledgeable about all of the offerings on hand, speaking about each one with a casual authority that indicated clearly that he knows his stuff. At the time of my visit, the shop had a pretty wide variety of flower strains, concentrates and edibles on hand. At this stage in the Missouri medical marijuana game, it’s pretty much a cultivator’s market — many of the dispensaries that have yet to open their doors are having difficulty securing product, I’ve been told, and the supply/demand dynamic is currently swinging in favor of the suppliers. So once again, Proper’s cultivation license has kicked them a couple steps ahead of the game and allowed them to stay pretty well stocked.

I went with an eighth of Alien Rock Candy ($60), a gram of both GMO Cookies and Cookies & Cream ($20 each) and a Honeybee peanut and pretzel chocolate bar containing 100 mg of THC ($35). Proper offers first-time customers 20 percent off their purchase, so after taxes ($14.03 altogether) my total came to $122.03. As I checked out, I remarked on the building’s overwhelming aroma; my budtender chuckled and mentioned that he can’t even smell it anymore, which is frankly remarkable.
click to enlarge Proper Cannabis' "Alien Rock Candy" is the brand's calling card — and with good reason. - TOMMY CHIMS
  • TOMMY CHIMS
  • Proper Cannabis' "Alien Rock Candy" is the brand's calling card — and with good reason.

I dug into the Alien Rock Candy, rated at 15.82 percent THC, first. Its dark green buds are flecked with a few lighter spots and dark orange hair clusters, and large trichomes that have the appearance of tiny water drops. When I opened the bag I was met with a warm smell of fresh-cut grass and hints of coffee, and the buds broke up nicely, somewhere between sticky and keefy. On inhale I could detect some light, sweet berry and citrus flavors, and I found the strain to be fairly cough-inducing. Alien Rock Candy delivers a relaxed, mellow high that makes your body feel fantastic without pummeling your brain into a stupor. Proper’s website refers to the strain as its “calling card,” and it’s easy to see why.

Next up was the battle of the cookie strains. The GMO Cookies boasts beautiful, light green little popcorn nuggets speckled with dark green spots and thick, crystally orange hairs throughout. Breaking these buds up was a breeze, bringing a strong, fuel-like smell along with something I couldn’t exactly identify. (I wrote “old peoples’ house” in my notes, but that’s not quite right. Maybe some floral hints? But like, sour ones?) On inhale this strain is exceptionally smooth with a great, fairly pure “weed” taste that will be familiar to anyone who has smoked their fair share of the good shit over the years. With a whopping 25.7 percent THC rating this stuff left me feeling relaxed and hungry immediately, with a creeping pressure behind my eyes and even the onset of a little paranoia, which, as I’ve mentioned in a previous review, mostly just serves to indicate that I’ve gotten myself pretty outrageously stoned. Considering its sky-high THC content, though, that’s not a surprise. The Cookies and Cream struck me as remarkably similar in both appearance and effect. A 22.53 percent THC hybrid strain, the main differences were in its smell and taste (this one was sugar sweet and robust on inhale) and how it breaks up — I’d definitely recommend a grinder here, unless you like getting your fingers all sticky. My budtender had mentioned that this strain hits different people in different ways, with some experiencing a more energetic high and some a more sedating one. I definitely fall into the latter camp.

I was pretty excited to try the Honeybee chocolate bar — I’d already sampled some Honeybee black cherry cola gumdrops I’d picked up at Jane Dispensary for a previous review, and they were easily the tastiest edibles I’ve ever had. Honeybee, Proper’s edibles line, is spearheaded by longtime St. Louis chef Dave Owens, who formerly worked as chief chocolatier for Bissinger’s for twelve years, and I figured if the gumdrops were phenomenal, Owens’ professional background must mean the chocolate is absolutely divine. Boy was I right! The peanut and pretzel milk chocolate bar is creamy and sweet, and a little salty, with a nice satisfying crunch from the nuts and pretzel, and almost no taste from the THC — really just top-tier stuff. As far as effects are concerned, I ate three and a half squares, or 35 mg’s worth of THC, and found it to be a relaxed but not overwhelming body high that was absolutely phenomenal for my chronic pain — I’d been having a particularly rough day in that department, but the pain melted away as soon as the edible kicked in.

In the short time it’s been open, Proper Cannabis has already begun positioning itself as a heavy hitter in Missouri’s nascent medical marijuana industry, thanks to its quality products, vertically integrated business model and its ability to supply other dispensaries in town. I suspect that as time goes on the brand will only grow bigger and better, especially since they’re already off to such a great start.

In other words: That smell when you walk in the door? Well, that’s just the smell of success.

Higher Thoughts

Welcome to Higher Thoughts, wherein ol’ Tommy Chims smokes one strain from this review — in this case, Cookies and Cream — and then immediately writes whatever comes to mind in the hopes of giving you, dear reader, a clearer picture of its overall mental effects: no rules, no predetermined word counts and, most crucially, no editing. Here we go:

I think they should do a remake of John Wick wherein Keanu Reeves dies but the dog lives, and then the dog goes on a blood-spattered, action-packed killing spree all the way up the chain of bad guys, leaving a river of gore and hot lead in his wake as he exacts doggy revenge. There could be a training scene in Dog Wick where the dog learns to fire a gun and use a sword with his little paws, and he could do all sorts of cool karate moves and shit, maybe using his tail or something. And then during the one scene, when Liam Neason is like, “I have a particular set of skills,” or whatever, instead of a cool speech it’s just this dog gripping a phone with its paw and barking into it with an icy stare on its face while the guy on the other end pisses his pants.

What’s that you say? That’s from the movie Taken? I guess this is the part when I admit that I have never seen John Wick or Taken, honestly. They’d both be better movies if the main character was a gun-toting badass karate dog, is all I’m trying to say here. In retrospect I am sorry for my outburst.

Was that helpful? Who knows! See you next week.

Thomas K. Chimchards is RFT’s resident cannabis correspondent and dreamer of karate dogs. Email him tips at tommy.chim@riverfronttimes.com and follow him on Twitter at @TOMMYCHIMS.
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