$40 ounce… Gone forever?

In the past, when my car broke down or needed mechanic work for whatever reason, I generally call around to every mechanic in a nearby radius to get quick price quotes on my replacement transmission/tires/brake pad/ whatever issue I have.

More and more everyday this is how people are going about purchasing bulk marijuana. Over the past year, a significant percentage of the phone calls received at our shop are consumers inquiring about the cheapest ounce of flower for sale.

Where does the $20 you spend at the weed store go?

Two to three months ago you could call your average Tacoma marijuana retail shop and their cheapest ounce of flower would range from $40.00-$60.00. Twenty-eight grams for $40.00. That’s friggin’ cheap.

Fast forward to now, if you call into your average Tacoma marijuana retail shop asking for their cheapest ounce of flower they’re going to tell you $75.00-$80.00. Everybody, lend me your ears, that’s still friggin’ cheap.

Over the last two years Washington’s weed market, similar to Oregon’s, over produced useable flower, which drove prices down and created a demand for that $40.00 ounce. Today, as a retailer looking around for a producer/processor to sell us an ounce at a price point that allows us to get it to the consumer at $40.00 is impossible. With a less than standard 2.5x mark up to cover our own costs and excise taxes Tacoma’s bulk purchasing consumer is demanding a $16.00 ounce from the producer/processor.

Companies that sold their ounces at that $16.00 price point to retail shops do not exist anymore. That is a less than sustainable price to sell packaged marijuana for that is consumer ready.

Some company’s in Washington’s market have a business model in which they operate at a loss to put pressure on the market and drive consumers to their stores or create a demand for their product. This is happening at the producer, processor, and retail level.  

Personally, I am worried what effect this business model will have on the future of the industry. Lets say 30 years pass by and all the sixteen marijuana retail licenses within the city of Tacoma are controlled by 2 people, and they operate as a hive to hike the prices up or only carry certain farms and basically take out the things which make this industry good for the consumer, diversity, fair competition, small businesses, etc.

Whoa now, Ill pump the brakes on the theorizing of the future of Tacoma’s weed market… Back to cheap ounces. I am predicting that the average price of a normal budded ounce in Tacoma’s market will not drop below that $60.00 to $70.00 price point. Unless of course the retail store is letting them out the door at a stupid low price to drown the market.

Happy 7/10, Fresh drops on HOC Tacoma dab wall

horizontal company logo linking to online ordering
Click the pic for online ordering

There are a lot of holidays out there and I can easily think of two that directly affect our wonderful stoner culture. Of course the Mecca of stoner holidays 4/20 (April 20), and the lesser known 7/10 (July 10). What’s the story behind 7/10 you may ask? Why is July 10th all of a sudden a stoner holiday? As far as I know it’s literally only the word “OIL” spelled upside down and backwards. Which if you ask me is kinda lame, but you know, it’s not about how the holiday was created, it’s about what it stands for, and any holiday that stands for fat dabbies for everyone, I can get behind.

Western Cultured BHO

So let’s get to the goods. We’ve been making some serious upgrades to our dab wall as of late by bringing in a couple of real heavy hitters into our top shelf category. Western Cultured (on IG, here), American Extract Co (on IG, here), and Lifted Dreams Extracts are just a few of my favorite additions regarding new companies on our dab wall. Western Cultured has a Banana Split freshly dropped today that is retailing for $35.00/gram. It is the one that I have tried so far out of our new Western Cultured stock and it did not disappoint. All of Western Cultured extracts are processed by X-tracted Laboratories (aka Refine Seattle) who have a very unique process and blend of Hydrocarbons that in my opinion make some of the tastiest terpy/waxy/saucey extracts Washington has to offer.

American Extract Co and Lifted Dream Extracts are both our new top shelf diamond and sauce brands. Both companies take the model of processing with only the best growers in the state to produce the most gnarly diamonds and sauce we can get our dabbers on. American Extract Co sources flower from Lucky Devil, House of Cultivar, and many more top shelf producers. Lifted Dreams Extracts often partners with The High Point, which another one of the top shelf brands that we carry in flower. The High Point’s Sin Mint Cookies is an item which is extremely hard to keep on the shelves so if you see it I highly suggest you snag it while it’s still in stock! Lifted Dreams extracts are retailing for $45.00/gram whilst American Extract Co is retailing for $40.00/gram.

Dank BHO from American Extract Co

If nothing else, 7/10 day is a great day for stocking up a little stash of some special stuff. With deals all over the city on amazing oil, you can build a little war chest of dabs for special events or parties.

If we can’t see you today, don’t panic, it’s cool. You can stop in any and every Saturday for our weekly Shatterday sale!

And wait there is more, Sunday through Thursday from 9:00pm til close we run a happy hour sale so remember us on your late night re-ups for that extra bit of savings.

Happy 7/10 y’all!!

Cold-Start Dabs

The first time I took a dab… wow… seems like quite a long time ago. Probably around 2011, my homeboy from work at the time told me to come blaze before work, naturally, I said “Hell yea!” Little did I know the doorways that were about to be opened into the fantastical world of hash oil dabbing.

            I vaguely remember my buddy’s rig at the time, probably your run of the mill bong with a titanium nail equipped, perfect for hot dabs with no flavor and all that punch that goes with smoking hash oil. Before you go to judge me remember it was literally my first time dabbing and the year was 2011, so yeah, cut me some slack.

            Anyways, I was on my way to work, stopped by my dude’s place, took my dab, left shortly after. BOY-O, did I get the most baked I’ve ever been in my entire life!

           I continued to voyage my bicycle to work at the local steakhouse where I worked as a line cook at the time. When I arrived, needless to say, my manager saw right through my Visine lacking eyes, told me I wasn’t allowed to use any sharp knives for the day, and banished me to the dish pit, I abided.

            Fast forward eight years and I’m doing a demonstration on how to do a cold-start dab for my legal weed shop’s online blog. God bless America, and especially our beautiful Pacific Northwest.

           “What is a cold-start dab?”, you may ask? I’ll give you a quick description, as well as a video in which I will demonstrate the speedy cold-start dab.

            A cold-start dab is achieved by simply scooping up the desired amount of hash oil and placing it into a non-heated quartz banger, attached to whatever rig you may have. I personally have never attempted a cold-start dab on any other type of rig besides your standard quartz banger setup. You proceed to cover the banger with your carb-cap, prepare yourself for your dab as you heat up the banger for 10-15 seconds (depending on the thickness of your banger).

            You then use your carb-cap to move the oil around your banger as you hit that shit! Way to go dudes and dude-ettes! You have just completed your very first convenient and tasty, cold-start dab.

            Here is my quick video demonstration, enjoy!

Cultivar, Chemovar: What’s the point?

So probably at least once or twice every day one of our customers says to me in the most Dazed and Confused-esque way. . . “Man . . . you got like the dream job man… Do you like get to test all these strains?” to which I reply in my most Half Baked-esque way, “Hell yea dude! And you best believe it my man! And the proper term is cultivar.” Okay, I may leave out the latter in my best attempt to not sound like a douche-bag, much to my boss’ dismay.

It had to have been about three to four weeks ago my boss was super excited to geek out on the latest terminology he heard from a key speaker at the Terpestival. The words “cultivar” and “chemovar” are more informative synonyms to words I classically knew as cannabinoid/terpene profile and strain.

So, long story short, he informed us about this new terminology to help classify marijuana correctly for lab technicians and growers and everyone in-between. Nicholas Demski, a writer for terpenesandtesting.com, gives a clear and concise description of the differences between the term cultivar and chemovar.

A cultivar is what a grower might cultivate, a variety of a plant created or selected and maintained though cultivation, For cannabis; Sour Diesel, GG#4, and OG Kush are all examples of different cultivars, so yeah its means the same thing as the term potheads have used for decades, strain.

A chemovar is the term used when considering cannabis from a more scientific approach. By observing the terpene profile, cannabinoid presence, and other elements of the whole plant that are not inert, labs are able to identify different chemovars within the cannabis plant.

Demski paraphrases Dr. Ethan B. Russo in saying scientists don’t have the luxury of using generic names for plants that vary so wildly in their appearance yet have strikingly similar compound structures. Russo says that cultivars are eminently malleable, and are as simple to alter as writing a new label. Chemovars is needed for precise dosing and consumers looking to replicate an exact effect. Lab technicians need to isolate these measurable chemical markers found in cannabis to help classify the industry and differentiate between plant chemistries, and the physiological effects the plants will trigger.

Before I give you my opinion on this spicy new terminology, I highly suggest reading a piece by Dominic Corva, titled ‘The Chemovar and the Cultivar.” Corva does a beautiful job explaining the differences between some of these newer terminologies and how they relate to older ones we might be using wrongly.

So back to my opinion piece . . . I am 100% for the unifying of cannabis culture and mass informing of any thing that has to do with a positive effect in the industry, especially when talked about by significant industry players like Dr. Ethan Russo, and Dominic Corva. But holy shit, most consumers aren’t ready to hear these pretentious sounding words describing weed.