?Alternative Care Clinic, at 5609 Fourth Ave. S. in Georgetown, had only been open a week when I stopped by on a recent Saturday, but the shop already had a well-appointed office, a friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable staff, and, most important, well-stocked shelves of cannabis.
Velvet Hammer of the gods.
I had only been inside Alternative's lobby for five minutes or so before being called back to the bud room. The cannabis shelves had about a dozen strains, with price points at $8 a gram (Velvet Hammer and Orange Blueberry), $10 (Blue Angel and Pineapple), $11 (Sensi Star and Grape Ape), $12 (Rogue and Grandaddy Purple), $14 (Purple Kush, Alaskan), and the top of the line at $15 (Purple Jamaican, Super Dawg, Purple Trainwreck, Big Bud, Trainwreck).
I sampled one of the low-end strains (Velvet Hammer), a mid-range (Grape Ape), and of course I couldn't resist the sweet, glistening Purple Jamaican.
Velvet Hammer, the "house strain," was surprisingly good for $8. Its superabundant orange hairs, diesel-like aroma, and quick onset showed it to be a bargain. It's an even better deal if you buy three grams, in which case you'll get a fourth gram free, according to budtender Srdan.
Grape Ape, while tasty, seemed slightly underpowered at $11 a gram. What initially seemed a promising come-on dissipated too quickly, never building into quite the medicated state I had expected.
?And then there was the Purple Jamaican, one of the most superlative smokes I've had recently. The buds were so covered with trichomes they felt fuzzy to the touch, and I had absolutely no complaints with its somewhat looser-than-average trim, since the sugar leaves have every bit as many crystals as the sticky, intoxicating calyxes. The strain revealed its sativa-dominant Jamaican heritage with an energetic, euphoric onset and lengthy but lucid sustain. If you're a patient who needs to address nausea or anxiety issues but wants to stay mentally sharp enough to work, this may be your strain.
Purple Jamaican, thy beauty is to me, like glorious ganja strains of yore...
Even more impressively stocked were Alternative's medible shelves. From the shop's own branded chocolate bars, made in-house and available in five varieties (regular, mint, cranberry orange, pecan, and almond) at $15 a bar, to Dr. Munchie's Caramel Corn ($10 for a single serving, $15 for a double), there's something for every taste. Medicated Italian soda is available in flavors including strawberry cream, watermelon (which surprised me, I liked it so much), créme de banana, orange cream, and sparkling lemonade, all for $9 a bottle.
Alternative also is one of only three dispensaries which has a nice selection of potent and tasty options from Ettalew's, a local patient-centered company specializing in high-quality medibles created to make life more bearable for people with cancer, AIDS, lupus, hepatitis, and chronic pain. The list of Ettalew's medibles priced at $8 is long--ginger snaps; chocolate-chip (gluten-free), butterscotch-oatmeal, and peanut-butter cookies; absolutely divine sweet Southern cornbread; Lillabelle's strawberry granola bar; and Chex mix (gluten-free and dairy-free for those with limited diets).
Ettalew's Cake Pops, at $5, come in two varieties: red velvet cake dipped in white chocolate, and vanilla cake dipped in milk chocolate. Also available for $5 are the Weedish Fish Gummies, and, from T.H.C. Treats, banana chips, which I found quite tasty.
Alternative Care Clinic is open from 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, and from noon-5 p.m on Sundays. For more information, visit mmjwa.org or call 629-2122.
Steve Elliott edits Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor, and humor.
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