No matter which way you slice it, 2022 was a big year for cannabis in the Show-Me State.
Missouri's medical marijuana market has continued to mature, and cannabis companies have been adding more variety, higher potency and some downright fun formulations to their inventory. And of course, no one piece of weed news was more seismic than the passage of Amendment 3, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state as of December 8.
While those without med cards will have to wait until February to start making purchases at dispensaries, we card-carrying stoners here at RFT thought it would be altruistic of us to round up some of our favorite products we picked up in the past year as a way of hopefully giving you a head start. Read on, take notes, and we'll see you in the stores next month.
Missouri's Own THC-Infused Red Hot Riplets
Missouri's Own made a big splash when it released its line of Red Hot Riplets infused with THC. The "twice-baked" chips, as they are playfully dubbed, quickly became one of the hottest tickets in Missouri's medical marijuana market, flying off the shelves at every dispensary at which they are sold. It's easy to see why. Show me a cannabis enthusiast who doesn't like to tear into a bag of chips when they're ripped, and I'll show you a unicorn. The time-honored act of stuffing one's face with greasy salty crunchiness while high as a kite spans generations; this development simply streamlined the process. Each package contains about 20 milligrams of THC and costs $14 before taxes. As for flavor, these things are 100 percent Riplet, with that familiar crunchy, spicy kick and just enough sweetness to light up the taste buds. Once the high set in during my initial session, I felt pretty damn couchlocked, positively glued to my chair, though I was still able to think pretty clearly. Not only that, I was still feeling the effects four hours later when I decided to turn in for the night, ultimately sleeping like a baby.
Cookies' Gary Payton Strain
When vaunted cannabis company Cookie's opened its north county location in June, I celebrated the occasion by purchasing an eighth of its Gary Payton strain, due both to its stellar reputation and to the hypnotizing quality of the pro athlete's eyes on the store's interior signage. An eighth cost me $56.84 after taxes and clocked in at 26.48 percent THC. Upon opening the bag, I was met with a powerful floral smell with peppery notes and a light citrus bite, in keeping with the fact that caryophyllene, limonene and linalool are the strain's dominant terpenes. On breakup, this stuff was exceptionally dense, almost like Play-Doh, and left my fingers pretty sticky. On inhale, the taste was exquisite, with a pleasant spiciness on the back of my tongue that reminded me of a fine cigar. It was also exceptionally smooth, and I could rip my spoon pipe as hard as I wanted with no risk of coughing. Gary Payton's reputation is that of an exceptionally balanced and relaxed high, and that reputation is decidedly well-earned. I found myself to be in a stellar mood, not too buzzy and not too zoned out, high as hell with no trace of anxiety, and plenty energetic. It was among the most even-keeled highs I've ever experienced and enough for Gary Payton to rapidly become one of my favorites in the Missouri market.
Vibe's Gelato Strain
I tracked down Vibe Cannabis' version of the popular Gelato cultivar at the south-city location of 3 Fifteen. I got home, cracked the lid and the enticing smell invaded my nostrils immediately, with notes of sweet berries everywhere. Dusted with a nice layer of trichromes, the nuggets within had a light-green color with dots of purple flower encased in orange hairs that popped in the light. Upon inhale, I noted that the smoke had a nice round mouthfeel to it, similar to what I've noticed in an Ice Cream Cake strain. The berry notes I got from the nose came through in the flavor. As for the high, it brought on some fantastic effects, making me feel happy and uplifted. The body high felt great, like a gentle hug. This is my new weighted blanket. The initial high settled in both the head and upper body, gradually building on the body high into the legs. This could easily be dangerous couch-lock weed, no question. I'm normally skeptical about dispensaries' THC tests, but this definitely was a heavy hitter and every bit of the 30.48 percent THC on the label.
HeadChange's Jurassic Gas Live Sauce Cartridges
One of the major movers and shakers in the Missouri medical marijuana space has been HeadChange, with its lineup of terpene-forward concentrates. Their cartridges are "live," meaning they include the terpenes from the source flower — they're made from diamonds and sauce, in fact. I was impressed with their Jurassic Gas carts, high in limonene, nerolidol and linalool, and clocking in at 69.9 percent combined THC and THCA. The strain is a cross between Jurassic Kush and Gas Truffle; I paid $57.34 for one half-gram cartridge. HeadChange's emphasis on terpenes and taste meant my expectations were high, and I wasn't disappointed ripping clouds of the Jurassic Gas. Its bubblegum flavor was more of a slightly more old-school gum like Big League Chew, and there were prominent fuel-like notes on exhale. The taste was not overwhelmingly gas, but more of a sour tart turned sweeter, while not too sweet like a Runtz or other candy terpene strain. The cartridge was enjoyed over a weekend, and I felt more comfortable toting it around than the usual joint, since it is far more discrete. It was also not as obtrusive in the house, and because of that I blew through it fairly quickly. I'd definitely purchase it again.
Good Day Farms' Rainbow Sprinkles Strain
My batch of Good Day Farms' Rainbow Sprinkles strain was rated at 19.98 percent THC-wise, and the label helpfully displayed the strain's terpene profile as well, which includes limonene, nerolidol, linalool and caryophyllene. Upon opening the pouch, I was greeted with a spicy, fuel-like scent that hit sharply up in my sinuses, as well as some citrus notes. The buds sported clusters of long, orange hairs dispersed among dark greens and plenty of purple, and they appeared frosted, with tiny, white crystals that sparkled in the light. On breakup, that spicy smell brought some deep sweetness with it that was quite pleasant. On inhale, I found this strain to be exceptionally smooth — even when taking large rips, I didn't cough. As for effects, it brought a focused and energized high, and I found even the most mundane things to be absolutely fascinating, as evidenced by the fact I spent a considerable amount of time reading about (non-cannabis) weeds on Wikipedia during my review session.
Cookies' Helium Strain
Upon digging into Cookie's Helium strain I was immediately punched in the face with a citrusy, piney Lemon Pledge smell. The dense, strawberry-shaped buds were a dark forest green, covered in dark orange/rust covered hairs. On breakup, the insides were a bright lime green, speckled liberally with little reflective trichome droplets. On inhale, the flavor had a strong fuel-like taste with an intensity that felt similar to what I might expect doing dabs, but to my surprise, on exhale it had more of a pleasant floral flavor, and it was an exceptionally smooth smoke. It brought a strong, clean high, with no couchlock and not much in the way of appetite stimulation. My brain was pretty thoroughly scrambled and I found it difficult to concentrate, but in a good way, with my mind pleasantly flitting around from one thought to the next like a butterfly. My chronic pain, which had been bugging me all week, was not nonexistent, but was not so insistent either. I didn't feel much in the way of anxiety, but I noted that I definitely could have gotten to a pretty anxious place if I hadn't made the wise decision to stop before I finished the bowl. This is powerful, top-shelf stuff to be treated with care.
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