The recreational market in Alaska has become competitive. We have stores opening up all over town with more coming on board soon. We’re finally at a place where we can be picky about what we buy and where we buy it. Many of us have found shops and cultivators we prefer. We’re now even able to get on Weed Maps and look for who has what on sale when. It’s rather remarkable for those of us who lived through the times of handing $40 to our friend’s older brother and then waiting for a week or so to get back a $20 bag. The times they are a changin’!

I’ve mentioned previously that I prefer to highlight the good in the industry. I’m a cup’s-half-full type of girl. It can be tricky for me to navigate criticism sometimes. Criticism can be beneficial for growth though, if done appropriately. So, I’m ready to be a bit critical, because this market is too full of nop notch, high quality Cannabis to be messing around with anything less.

I recently went into Enlighten for a visit. They’re offering specials on certain grams, a mix-and-match sort of deal, 3 for $35. I picked up a few. I’m always a sucker for The Frost Frontier because I know the weed is going to be high quality, so I got some Alaskan Blackberry. As usual, the buds were deep purple nuggets of heaven. I’m a fan of consistency, which is why I’ve come to love their product.

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To be honest, I picked the other strains without really looking at them. I wanted to try a few things I hadn’t experienced yet, which led me to the purchase of Raspberry Roots Steampunk Diesel. I wanted to like it, and I guess it was ok in the end, but I must admit it gave me a moment of ‘What in the world?’

The first bud I pulled out of the package looked like a shwagy, bottom of the plant, barely matured, spindly thing. I tried to take a picture of it because I was rather surprised it was being sold in a gram bag. The camera didn’t capture it properly though. I smelled the bag...no distinct smell. Huh. I wondered what it would taste like and feel like so I decided to try it first, since I had the least expectations for it.

It didn’t taste like much. Great, I wondered. Did I just buy bunk weed? But, low and behold, I actually got quite stoned, so there’s that. The stuff works, it just doesn't look the best, taste the best, or smell like much.

There’s competition on the market now. I know if I go into House Of Green, I’m going to get high quality weed at an honest price. I know it’s going to contain a full flavor profile, I know it’s going to be properly cured, I know it’s going to be priced well.

I know I can go into Enlighten, or Great Northern, or Uncle Herb’s, or any other store around town and I can find great weed.

There’s no reason to buy shwag anymore.

It’s not just Raspberry Roots. We’re seeing it all around town. We’re seeing lazy trim jobs and large stems. We’re seeing popcorn nugs being sold for the same price as colas. Some of us are paying attention. When our friends and family ask us where to go or what cultivators we prefer, we’re learning we have preference. It’s no longer enough to simply have weed to sell. Consumers have gotten a taste of the good stuff and we’re willing to seek it out.

If you’re growing less than stellar weed, that’s OK! There are plenty of ways it can be used effectively. Make it into a concentrate or sell it on the cheap. What’s not OK is to sell it for the same price as the high quality stuff, because we notice and then we don’t buy it again. And even worse – we tell our friends.

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