Dec. 9 2015 12:16 AM

Emerald City offers wide variety of medical marijuana products

South Lansing’s Emerald City may not have a real wizard, but it does have wizards of weed — and plenty of greens to pick from.

Emerald City is conveniently located at the corner of South Cedar and Riley streets, directly across from the Fleetwood Diner (which, coincidentally, is known for its Hippie Hash). The large parking lot is accessible from either road.

As I entered through the front door, I immediately noticed the reception window on my left and a large waiting area on my right. I provided my ID and Michigan Medical Marijuana card, and I was checked into the system. I was told there would be a oneminute wait. The lobby was comfortable and featured a TV and reading material. It was clean, looked nice and smelled pleasant. But before I could even sit down, I was buzzed through the back door into the green room.

On the way to the back room, there is a painted mural of the employees and owners — a nice touch for a local business. The green room features a tall, bar-style counter display with two identical stations, allowing the shop to service two patients at a time. (In my experience, the staff asks both parties if they are comfortable with having another patient in the room before bringing two patients in at once.)

I started inspecting the jars on the counter and the wall display of edibles and oils. I like variety, and, with over 35 flower strains to pick from, Emerald City provided that. The budtender pushed a few jars to one side of the bar, telling me those were Indica strains. He pulled a few jars back to the other side of the bar and indicated that those were Sativa. The remaining jars were hybrids. I asked a few questions, and the budtender answered them with ease and accuaracy. Watching a skilled budtender is comparable to watching a skilled bartender. The trade is important to them, and they take the time to hone their skills.

Emerald City also featured a wide selection of edibles, lined against the back wall. This section is great for the many patients who don't or can't smoke and need alternative forms of marijuana. They also have a variety of concentrates, from CO2 extracts to crumble, shatter and activated oils (which are typically eaten or put into food). After a two-minute smelling extravaganza, I picked out two different stains of flower: Kandy Kush and Critical Hog. Both were $10 per gram. I also picked up a box of marinjuna-infused chocolates for the evening.

But I didn’t stop there. I also purchased a portable, discreet Platinum Vape pen with a THC-filled cartridge. Vape pens, sometimes called electronic cigarettes or e-cigs, provide many of the benefits of traditional smoking while physically simulating the sensation of smoking.

A few minutes later, I was safely in my smoking cave twisting up the Kandy Kush. My fingers quickly became sticky. This was not surprising, as this is generally a high resin producing plant. My fingers looked like they were covered in sugar and smelled like sweet lemon candy. After the first few hits, I felt my aches and anxiety melt away.

Next up was the Critical Hog. As I broke up this bud, it reminded me of the smell of a florist shop: a mix between sweet and floral with earthy undertones. As I smoked this strain, I noticed a feeling of mellowness setting in. This strain is known as a “creeper,” meaning that it can take a few minutes to feel the full effects. I found that the Critical Hog helped relieve my back pain, muscle spasms and tension. It worked so well, in fact, that I returned later to get a quarter-ounce of this strain for $50.

Steve Green, who writes this column every two weeks, uses marijuana to prevent seizures. He has no business ties to any dispensaries or products.

Emerald City

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday 2200 S. Cedar St. (517) 253-0397,