I discovered New Image Health & Wellness in Port Orchard while looking for another access point using Weedmaps. That must be really frustrating for the owners of Greenthumb Port Orchard, but the simple fact is, the two shops are so close together that when I used my phone’s GPS to find Greenthumb, it told me I had arrived when I passed by New Image. Seeing the green cross, I wheeled in and parked, and didn’t notice until a bit later that the street address was slightly different. (Don’t worry, Greenthumb, I’ll see you soon.)
Once inside the relaxed but smartly appointed lobby, it only took a few minutes to fill out and verify the paperwork, then it was back to the bud room with budtender Kody. He’s one of those easy-to-get-along-with, laid-back budtenders who isn’t interested in debating or one-upping the patients (yes, there are a few of those); he seemed more interested in just helping me find the strains, concentrates, and medibles that I needed and offering his own input about experiences with the medicine.
New Image had about a dozen strains the afternoon I visited, ranging from pure indicas on the left to hybrids in the middle of the counter and sativas on the right. Upon Kody’s recommendation I selected Blue Cheese, an indica, and on my own initiative picked the intriguingly monikered El Alquimista (“The Alchemist”), a hybrid.
One of the first things I noticed about both strains was that they were tightly trimmed, almost California-style; no bushy sugar leaves here. I also quickly noticed that these flowers were actually dry enough to smoke, with none of the borderline dampness found in some shops, where you’re paying for water weight, and none of the near-petrified, hard-to-incinerate flowers produced by some obsessive jar-curing methods that seem to value cosmetics over usability. No, these buds were a breeze to crumble and roll into joints.
El Alquimista feels like a sativa dominant, and is thus a good daytime strain. Its sweet-tasting flowers work wonders on nausea and pain without slowing you down as a pure indica strain would; on a day when I’d been hobbled by pain, The Alchemist gave me the relief and the inspiration to actually get out in the sunshine and do a little photography, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
Blue Cheese offers even more pronounced pain relief, but with its pleasantly sluggish indica effect, it’s a better nighttime medicine. After dinner or at bedtime, this is a deeply soothing, calming, and centering smoke, to be savored both for its medicinal effects and its namesake flavor.
New Image carries a respectable selection of medibles, along with BHO and hash; they were out of kief the day I visited. Medicated brownies (made using cannabutter and cannabis canola oil) and Oreo Bars (containing hashish) are tasty and worthwhile, especially at just $5 each.
Steve Elliott edits Toke Signals, tokesignals.com, an irreverent, independent blog of cannabis news, views, and information.
NEW IMAGE HEALTH & WELLNESS 5050 S.E. Mile Hill Road, Port Orchard, 360-519-3668. 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily.