The Market Is Upside Down
Another reason to reconsider mids in California: the market is all distorted. As regulations bite down, the supply chain is in turmoil. Low-priced cannabis can sometimes be higher quality than the product riding the top shelf.
We’re finding disappointing, weak-smelling, outdoor-grown cannabis with a trendy name like Lemon Tree going for $70 per eighth. By contrast, the same club, SPARC in San Francisco, had amazing store-brand Pineapple at $35.
Across the state, you’ll find a similar dynamic: $65 Cookies eighths missing their trademark aroma, sitting next to $40 indoor, high-grade bud with an off-trend name like “Orange Sicle” so loud it jumps out of the jar and slaps you.
Traditionally, the look, smell, taste or effect of mid-grade cannabis might be sub-optimal. Mids might consist of small, airy “popcorn” buds instead of large, dense attractive nugs.
“Don’t be foolish enough to stuff your blunt with $60 of flower while underfunding your 401K.”
Mids can be too dry or too brown due to its age, or because of how the cannabis was harvested or stored. Mids are often grown outdoors, or under cheap coverings called “hoop houses.” They can taste a bit grassy, owing to a bad cure. Or they can hit a bit harsh, owing to leftover nutrients in the flowers. Even great bud can become mids if it’s stored too long or improperly.
But nowadays, price won’t always match quality. Some stores have their own farms and in-house brands that cut the middleman out to bring you wholesale prices. Meanwhile, some branded bud is a year-old, and multiple middlemen have tacked on their fees to the retail price.
How to find quality mids? You have to look beyond THC percentages on dispensary menus. Actually examine the herb and smell it. Go to places that let you open jars and work your nose. Unlike Washington and some other states, sniffing samples is still legal in California. Smell for terpenes, the plant’s aroma molecules, which shape and enhance the effects of THC. If a product doesn’t have riotous terps, it’s a hard pass at any price.
Recently at the Local Sesh—a small Northern California event where you could buy and smoke legal cannabis—mids were all the rage. Yes, there was Synergy Strawberry Kiwi at $75 per eighth. But all the action was at the mids table:
- You could get Blue Dream from Honeydew Farms for $35.
- Autumn Brands had a $35 no-tax Chemdawg from coastal greenhouses near Santa Barbara.
- Red Tail Farms’ Orange Cookies was a steal at $40.
- Humboldt Sky sold heirloom, solar-powered, rain-watered “Rise” at $35.
- Flowerdaze Farms—way up in Trinity County—took home an Emerald Cup in 2018 for their regenerative farmed bud. At Local Sesh, Flowerdaze had fresh, on-trend, Key Lime Pie for $35.