Lansterdam in Review: 2021 Gift Guide

Seven dank stocking stuffers for the family pothead — and more

Former caregivers offer unique strains as holiday season approaches

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This week’s paper is filled with all sorts of unique gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season. Unfortunately, very few of those featured gifts were designed to get you mind-numbingly high.

But fear not, Lansing potheads. I made sure we reserved plenty of space for this week’s Lansterdam column to assemble a special stoner gift guide — including several products that I had to painstakingly sample last weekend just to make sure they were good.

All the flower strains featured in this guide came from Local Roots Cannabis Co. — which was voted as Greater Lansing’s best provisioning center in this year’s City Pulse/Fox News 47 Top of the Town contest.

The kicker: Each of these pot brands are also run by former medical marijuana caregivers, all of whom deserve some credit for laying the foundation of Michigan’s licensed cannabis industry.

Michigrown — GMOG (Flower)
Price: $15/g
THC: 24.2%

This strain was grown about two miles from Lake Michigan at Michigrown’s cultivation facility in Muskegon, which prides itself in zeroing in on the biology and chemistry behind the plants in order to ensure each strain showcases its “full genetic potential,” according to its website.

These perfectly trimmed buds were dense, light green and totally layered with frosty dusting of trichomes, which shimmered yellow under a magnifying glass between pinkish-orange pistils. They also had a bright, floral aroma — like a skunky sort of lavender brushed with rosemary — and a spicy (yet smooth) flavor profile to match pine, parsley and the sweetest touch of skunk.

GMOG is crossbred with Legend OG, which supposedly carries relaxing indica-leaning effects. I found this strain to be perfectly balanced — enough energy and euphoria to happily go about your daily business and also just enough relaxation to still kick back and watch TV on the couch.

Real Leaf Solutions — Mac N’ Cheese (Flower)
Price: $10/g
THC: 18.2%

Kalkaska’s Real Leaf Solutions has developed a reputation for growing some of the state’s most unique and sought-after strains, and its latest batch of Mac N’ Cheese is certainly one of them. These large, fluffy buds had a pungently pleasant skunky, piney and cheesy sort of smell that carried over into an incredibly tart flavor profile with bright hints of mango and lemongrass. A few hits gave way to a mentally uplifting but physically sedating type of high that seemed to lean toward the indica rather than the sativa side of the typical effects spectrum. I found this strain to be a perfect pairing with some video games to unwind after work on Friday.

Redemption Cannabis Co. — Forbidden Jelly (Flower)
Price: $38/3.5g
THC: 19.9%

This strain is the result of a partnership announced this year between two brands owned by former caregivers Redemption Cannabis Co. and Driven Grow. The duo announced plans in June to roll out some rare and highly sought strains in Lansing, and they kept their promise.

This indica-dominant hybrid is a cross between Jelly Breath and Forbidden Fruit — and it might be the most pleasantly fragrant weed I’ve ever had the pleasure of smoking. These dense, plum-colored buds smelled like a dessert bouquet of blackberries, cherries and grapes. That sweetness carries through on the taste with earthy, musky undertones and a touch of diesel.

One joint left me zoning out on my phone with a dumb smile on my face for most of the night. Be warned: The euphoria induced by this strain also comes with a major case of the munchies.

Fresh Coast Extracts — Lilac Diesel (Vape)
Price: $25/0.5g
THC: 81.3%

Fresh Coast Extracts — a close partner of Real Leaf Solutions in Kalkaska — is a grassroots collective of caregivers whose stated mission reads, in part, to “inspire incredible moments.” If that includes getting people high off high-quality vape pens, then mission accomplished.

Ethos Genetics bred the balanced hybrid strain used to create these half-gram live resin cartridges, which are jam-packed with an odd combination of sharp, chemical diesel notes and sweet, fruity berry flavors — along with a spicy overtone that’s accented by sour citrus and pine.

Just a few puffs is enough to get the job done. That 81.3% THC percentage is not a typo, folks.

Like the last three flower strains, you can also find these carts at Local Roots in Laingsburg.  

Presto! — THC Gummies (Edible)
Price: $12
THC: 100 mg

Lake Orion-based Glorious Cannabis Co. is expanding into Greater Lansing this month with a new lineup of THC-infused gummies that are set to hit the shelves any day at several retailers, including Bazonzoes, Jars, Homegrown Cannabis Co. and Gage Cannabis Co. in Lansing.

Presto! — its subsidiary brand — has been known primarily for its vaporizer cartridges since they hit the Michigan market in 2018. This week marks its grand entrance into the edible market with a wide array of flavors like blue raspberry, blood orange, fruit punch, strawberry lemonade, watermelon and root beer. I managed to get my hands on some free samples late last week.

Even though a half-bag left me comfortably stoned for the better part of Sunday afternoon, it’s the flavor that stood out with these THC-infused treats. Many edibles have a bitter aftertaste or obvious marijuana undertones, but these soft, sugar-coated triangles were delectably tangy and fruity sweet. My favorite was the “punk drunk potion,” which tasted just like Hawaiian Punch.

Pure Options — Kush Mints & Watermelon Zkittles (Clone)

Why only give someone a bag of weed when you can give them the whole plant?

Lansing-based Pure Options is breaking new ground this week as the first pot shop in Michigan to sell plants for those who want to grow their own marijuana at home. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday (Nov. 26) the first 200 customers who buy $50 in select Pure Options products will receive a coupon for a free clone plant of the highly coveted Kush Mints or Watermelon Zkittles strains. 

And beginning on Monday (Nov. 29), sales will open to the public at pureclones.com. 

“We are not threatened by people growing their own cannabis plants. In fact, we welcome this new avenue for our customers,” Pure Options founder Sam Usman Jr. said in a press release.

These sound like great gifts for the DIY crowd and the real cannabis enthusiasts in the family. It’s also the gift that keeps giving — just wait until those clones are ready for harvest next year.

Kyle Kaminski is City Pulse’s managing editor and cannabis enthusiast who has been smoking marijuana just about every day for the last decade. Every week, Kaminski samples some of the best cannabis products available in Greater Lansing, gets real high and writes about them.

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