About five months ago, Hope Alternative Medicine became Silverdale’s second medical-marijuana access point; until then, Greenthumb Silverdale had been the only dispensary in town. Hope Alternative has a warm and homey feel to it, and on my visit, proprietors Scott and Kim (a married couple) had gone to the trouble to make the tastefully decorated reception area exude holiday cheer, so I was already in a good mood even while they were verifying my paperwork.
This shop had somehow slipped under my radar for the first four and a half months of its existence. It’s not in a place you’d notice unless you were actually looking for it (behind the State Farm office, on the ground floor). But by using the handy dispensary-locating resource THCFinder.com, I was pleased to note a second marker showing up on the Silverdale map on my computer screen.
Hope Alternative, conscious of being the second shop in town, aims at a somewhat more mature and calmer clientele than Greenthumb Silverdale’s, according to Scott, who said he wants to give older and more infirm patients a place where they’ll feel more at home. “I’m not saying they’re doing it wrong,” Scott said. “I just wanted to open a place where people like me would feel more comfortable getting their medicine.”
The shop has an across-the-board $11 per gram pricing scheme—in other words, fair but not fantastic. But if paying a buck or two more per gram means getting quality meds, that’s an acceptable trade-off, and based on the two strains I tried (Funk Skunk, a sativa dominant, and Block Head, an indica), you get true top-shelf quality for your 11 bucks.
Funk Skunk had just a little more moisture in the flowers than is conducive to even burning in a joint, so pipes or vaporizers are recommended. The strain’s energetic sativa zing provides welcome pain and nausea relief without sleepiness, making it a good choice for daytime medication. Its sugary, calyx-heavy flowers are almost scentless, with just a hint of sweetness.
Block Head’s phat, dense, dark-green nugs don’t have an overwhelming smell, either—just hints of a smooth, musky earthiness. But its indica wallop is satisfying and unmistakable after three or four tokes. The taste has a bit more sweetness than is suggested by the bouquet, and the buzz is immediate, heavy and profound, with a noticeable body component to the high, followed by typical indica sleepiness with continued toking. (Yes, I’m suggesting this is a good evening or bedtime strain.)
Hope Alternative offers a small but tasty selection of medibles, including Cocoa Pebbles treats, infused Goldfish, peanut brittle, and brownies, all for $6 each. New patients get a free medible on their first visit. Concentrates, including prefilled cartridges for vape pens, are also available.
Steve Elliott edits Toke Signals, tokesignals.com, an irreverent, independent blog of cannabis news, views, and information.
HOPE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE 9576 Ridgetop Blvd., Suite L-103, Silverdale, 360-516-6750. 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Thurs., 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.