Lansterdam in Review: Editor’s Choice 2021

I smoked a lot of weed this year. These are the products that stood out.

One columnist’s totally biased guide to the dankest pot in Greater Lansing

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Over the last two years, this weekly column has afforded me the opportunity to sample hundreds of different cannabis products from every pot shop in Greater Lansing. Most of them have been good. Some have been great. But only a few products have been truly outstanding.

So, for the second year, I present: The ultimate annual listing of some of the best cannabis products in Lansterdam — in no particular order, based entirely on personal preference and curated through hundreds of tedious hours conducting highly scientific sampling procedures, mostly while lounging around in sweatpants, watching Netflix and munching on some Doritos.

Lume — Blueberry Crumble Lightning Roll
Lume — Blueberry Crumble Lightning Roll
Lume — Blueberry Crumble Lightning Roll

My jaw dropped when I first saw the $65 price tag on these luxurious pre-rolled joints from Lume. Unless you live over on the snazzy side of Moores River Drive, these are probably best suited only for special occasions — like a birthday joint. But if you’re willing to splurge, get ready for a masterclass in getting high. They’re the best joints I’ve ever had the pleasure of smoking.

Filled with premium indica Blueberry Crumble, coated in sticky THC distillate and then rolled in a heavy layer of Orange Cream kief, these delectably sweet tasting joints represent the trifecta of dessert-like cannabis concoctions. They also have a mind-numbing THC content of 44.9%.

P.S. My birthday is Nov. 11.

Skymint x DNA Genetics — Chocolope Wax
Skymint x DNA Genetics — Chocolope Wax
Skymint x DNA Genetics — Chocolope Wax

It was a big deal when Skymint announced a collaboration last year with Amsterdam-based DNA Genetics and rolled out seven of the most widely sought, potent and internationally acclaimed cannabis strains available in Greater Lansing. I featured the Clementine strain in last year’s guide, and Top of the Town voters followed up in November by naming it the best sativa.

This year, I found a new personal favorite in the same lineup: Chocolope. The crossbreed between Chocolate Thai and Cannalope Haze won the High Times Cannabis Cup in 2007 and is widely known as a potent sativa. And in concentrated form, those energizing and uplifting effects are exacerbated tenfold with a very potent cerebral high that doesn’t fog up the brain.

Pure Options — Rainbow Belts
Pure Options — Rainbow Belts
Pure Options — Rainbow Belts

This strain is exclusive to Pure Options. And it’s clear why they want to keep it for themselves. The first harvest dropped in April at nearly 25% THC, and it’s been a crowd favorite ever since.

A bouquet of tropical fruity scents — citrus, grape, papaya — bursts from the jar, interwoven with spicier, lavender-like floral notes. The buds were incredibly dense and shimmered chartreuse with crystalline trichomes under the light.  Don’t let the candylike name and aromas fool you, however. Its tangy and complex flavor profile carried much more spice than fruit.

The effects also come on very quickly. Just a few tokes led me to an hour-long wave of relaxation under the sun — making this a great strain for someone dealing with anxiety or pain.

High Life Farms — Royal Chocolate Bar (Blueberry Cheesecake)
High Life Farms — Royal Chocolate Bar (Blueberry Cheesecake)
High Life Farms — Royal Chocolate Bar (Blueberry Cheesecake)

Regular readers of this column know I don’t drop this word too often, but this is truly the best cannabis-infused chocolate I’ve ever tasted. I’m a bit biased because cheesecake is my all-time favorite dessert, but I’d probably buy these chocolate bars even if they didn’t get me high.

That said: This chocolate got me incredibly high.

Decadently creamy white chocolate (apparently dyed purple) was blended with natural blueberry cheesecake flavors. The underside was coated in a crunchy, salty, pretzel-like crust. The ingredients are simple and the $20 bar divided nicely into 20 bite-sized (5 mg THC) pieces — perfect for dosing at whatever specific level suits your needs. For me, it was the whole bar.

High Life Nuggies are also worth a mention too. These crunchy bite-sized pretzel cores were absolutely loaded with peanut butter and dipped in THC-infused chocolate. They’re also lightly dusted in salt for that penultimate combination of salty and sweet — another top-notch edible. 

Redemption Cannabis — Goo Berry Vape Carts
Redemption Cannabis — Goo Berry Vape Carts
Redemption Cannabis — Goo Berry Vape Carts

The cannabis wizards at Redemption may have truly perfected their recipe for dank vaporizer cartridges earlier this year — namely by removing THC distillate as an ingredient altogether.

Most vaporizer cartridges are filled with distillate, which typically involves processing and isolating THC from the cheapest and least potent parts of the marijuana plant. Live resin, however, is produced by freezing the flower immediately to retain more of the character, flavors and aromatic profiles of the original strain. As a result, the high is often much more potent.

The best part? These cartridges actually taste like real weed, not artificially flavored bullshit.

Gooberry is another indica-dominant hybrid perhaps best suited for spending a rainy day inside the house. It has a sweet and spicy flavor profile with obvious notes of blueberry and pine. For me, this fruity and spicy strain was the perfect companion to binge watching Netflix all year long.

Pincanna — The Smallz
Pincanna — The Smallz
Pincanna — The Smallz

This column has also served as a guide for finding the cheapest pot shops in town. The current mark to beat: $99 ounces from Pincanna, the closest dispensary to Michigan State University.

The Smallz is one of the lowest tier product lines at Pincanna, an in-house brand created specifically to house its smaller sized buds and harvests that fall below the desired THC threshold. Top shelf products are branded under different lineups, like Radicle Genetics. But don’t discount the brand just because it’s from the bottom of Pincanna’s barrel. This isn’t shake.

The Blackberry Kush is an indica-dominant cross between Afghani and Blackberry, known for its relaxing effects that tend to soothe the body just as much as the mind. The dark green buds were dense and layered with trichomes. Some even had a purple hue. Despite the fruity name, I detected far more earthy and cheesy notes than any sort of berry aroma coming from this bag. And for being the cheapest weed in town, one joint still got me comfortably high for the evening.

Kyle Kaminski is City Pulse’s managing editor and a cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Editor & Publisher Magazine has also labeled him as “arguably, the state’s authority on everything you need to know about cannabis.” Have a suggestion for a cannabis product? Email kyle@lansingcitypulse.com.

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