Along a bougie strip of colorful brick businesses on Toronto's King St. West that includes doggie spas and cupcake bakeries sits 416 Medicinal Health Center, one of the city's most high end dispensaries.
It's currently carrying some of the most sought-after—and expensive—cannabis products in Canada, including a strain that has its own mythology based on a bull-riding weed grower from the 80s.
With demand booming due to pending legalization, weed entrepreneurs have been busy creating products far more suited to celebrities and finance bros than teenagers willing to settle for dime bags of shake.
Here's a sample of the top shelf products on the market right now for when you get rich:
All dollar amounts are in USD
Aghani Bullrider. Photo courtesy 416 Medicinal Health Center
God's Vagina 2.0
Cost: $430/ounce or $15/gram
Both of these strains come from Vancouver grower Jef Tek and are highly exclusive. 416 Medicinal may be the only dispensary in Canada that sells them—at $430, an ounce goes for about double market value. God's Vagina 2.0 is described as an "uplifting sativa" that "has minimal to no burnout and will keep you going all day" while Afghani Bullrider, legendary amongst stoners, is an indica-dominant hybrid that "delivers a strong body without the full sedative effects some indicas can have."
But why the fuck do they cost so much?
"It's the love that goes into it," said Amy Weinstein, who works at 416. "Not many people put that amount of care into their plants." Weinstein said it's taken 30 years for Jef Tek to get the Afghani Bullrider strain to its current incarnation. The bud is sold to "celebrities" and is hard to find. Knockoffs don't exist; it's all coming from one grower.
"People are willing to pay more because people want to get their hands on it," Weinstein told VICE, noting "a lot of people don't know anything about it, but it's expensive, and that's why they want it." While I was conducting the interview, local DJ Matt Jones dropped by 416 to purchase some Afghani Bullrider, having rushed in from work when he heard it was carried there.
"The flavor is out of this world. It doesn't taste like weed. It has this fruity kind of taste to it."
This blunt costs more than $150.
$75-$200 per stick or $20/gram
This is an all cannabis blunt—you can smoke every single part of it.
"It's got everything in it—kief, hash, shatter, wax," said Jamie Carlton, manager of Qualimeds dispensary. All of that kushy goodness is rolled around a skewer and wrapped in cannabis fan leaves and hemp wick and cured.
Each contains four to ten grams of weed; Carlton said a six to seven gram Thai stick will burn for at least six hours.
"It's definitely either an all-day thing or a couple of friends, party type (thing)."
Live resin made with limonene
This stuff is made by Vancouver extraction specialist Horatio Delbert, who has his own extraction "think tank" and makes limonene hash oil (LHO), a solvent-free and potent cannabis concentrate.
LHO is similar to butane hash oil (shatter), but instead of using butane to do the extraction, Delbert uses limonene (found in orange peels), which proponents argue is better for you.
Qualimeds sells live resin, which is made using the same (complicated-sounding) process as LHO.
"They take the plant live, cryogenically freeze it in liquid nitrogen, and then they extract the oil at that point with limonene," she said.
The benefit is the flavor profile.
"It's a lot cleaner," Carlton said, comparing it to black licorice.
Caviar, as it is sometimes called, are super potent lil buds of weed. To make them, you cover buds in oil, dip them in kief (resin glands), and vacuum seal them. Then you can bust one up and smoke it. Rapper Kurupt has his own version, which he's dubbed Moon Rock.
This is just good marketing.
$23/bottle that contains 300 mg of cannabis extract
There's a lot of shit happening in the edible scene right now, but Chrontella and Pif, plays off Nutella and Jif peanut butter, are novel enough to worth mentioning. Jars cost about $23, and they're pretty small, containing just three servings.
"It's taken the cannabis community by storm," said Carlton. "It's not just a cookie. Now I can medicate with my morning toast."
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