Classic Cannabis Flower Strains We’d Like To See in Florida’s 2019 Market

As we’ve discussed before, 2019 will be a significant year in the growth and development of the Florida medical marijuana program. Trulieve and Curaleaf led the innovation of the market in 2018 by introducing their flower pod products; these come in a 3-pack of ceramic pods that are each filled with cannabis flower, totaling to around 3.5 grams or 1/8 ounce.

Trulieve in particular has already offered a relatively large selection of medicinally valuable strains like Sour Diesel and 9lb Hammer during 2018, and with the hearing on the smoking ban coming up on January 8, we expect to see some signs as to how extensively the Florida cannabis program will expand this year.

Either way, we expect to see more dispensaries offer flower products and a wider variety of strains in 2019. We’ve compiled a list of strains we’d like to see in this year, based on factors such as medicinal value and overall novelty. These are flower strains we think would sell well and expect to see at least of few of them making their way into the market this year.

1.) Blue Dream

We’ve already seen a few Blue Dream vaporizer products become available this year, particularly at Liberty Health Sciences. We expect to see at least one MMTC offer Blue Dream flower this year due to its overwhelming popularity in the national cannabis market and the fact that it produces a high yield, up to 3-6 oz per square foot of crop. With well-rounded medical benefits that come together for a calm euphoria, Blue Dream would be an excellent hybrid strain to introduce to the Florida program.

2.) Grandaddy Purple

Another strain that is already available in vape cart form, and even as a distillate in Trulieve’s Truclear line, GDP is a classic powerhouse indica that is known for its ability to counteract insomnia. As full flower sales gear up, we think that the high yield of this strain coupled with the novelty of its vibrant purple colors and the value of its heavy indica effects, we think we’ll see this strain become available in flower in the coming months.

3.) Pineapple Express

Beyond the fact that it’s “hands down the dopest dope I’ve ever smoked” (bonus points if you catch the reference), Pineapple Express is another high-yield strain that would hold great value as sativa-dominant hybrid in the Florida MMJ program. We’ve noticed that most hybrid strains available to date have been indica-dominant, but we feel that sativa-dominant hybrids are extremely desirable and would do well in the program. Besides – what patient would turn down the opportunity to try the strain that is the namesake of a well-known stoner flick?

4.) Cheese

There aren’t currently any strains available that have any smell or taste reminiscent of Cheese, a classic hybrid strain known for obliterating depression, stress, and anxiety. With a medium yield of 1-3 oz per square foot of crop, this strain doesn’t yield quite as much as the other strains before it on this list, but the novelty and the name itself may make up for that setback. With medical benefits that would help hundreds of thousands of Florida cannabis patients suffering from mental ailments, we think Cheese would find its way into the hands of many Florida patients.

5.) Hindu Kush

A classic pure indica strain named for the Hindu Mountain range, this strain brings on relaxing and calming effects without necessarily putting the patient to sleep or making them overwhelmingly drowsy. Hindu Kush returns to the theme of high crop yield, making it desirable for growers, and is said to be a good treatment for stress, pain, insomnia, and depression. We think Hindu Kush would be a good alternative indica strain for patients who want to feel indica effects without being knocked out or heavily couch-locked while medicating.

6.) Maui Wowie

Like Colombian Gold, Maui Wowie is a classic landrace sativa that comes from its namesake in the Hawaiian Islands. Judging from how well reviewed and acclaimed Trulieve’s Colombian Golf flower has been, we think that Maui Wowie would be another good sativa strain to introduce to the Florida medical marijuana market. Maui Wowie is said to have light sativa effects that aren’t particularly racy, making it a good choice for patients who need extra motivation but dislike the anxiety that power sativa can sometimes induce.

7.) OG Kush

Another well-balanced hybrid strain that has gained considerable game on the west coast of the United States, the earthy and sour-lemon smells of OG Kush have become a stable scent of many west coast cannabis strains that came after it. We feel that the name of this strain alone will be familiar to many Florida cannabis patients and may be a good “familiar” choice for new patients who have had prior experience with cannabis, whether from the black market or another legal state. OG Kush could be a versatile choice for medication as it has both indica and sativa effects that are said to crush depression under a heavy euphoria.

8.) AK-47

Another well-known cannabis hybrid strain that produces the classic cannabis side-effects of “the munchies” and “the giggles”, AK47 provides that most people have come to associate with cannabis. AK-47, like most of the strains on this list, produces a high yield. With sativa-dominant effects that are said to be good for creativity and socializing, this strain would be a good choice for patients looking for relief from anxiety and depression. AK-47 is also said to be an effective appetite stimulant, adding versatility to its potential medicinal benefits. We currently don’t know of any AK-47 products in the Florida cannabis market, and we aren’t sure why – this strain is simply a classic. We hope to see that change in 2019.

Closing Thoughts

This list is by no means all-inclusive, but it is compromised of strains we think are some of the most well-known that aren’t already available in flower form in Florida. Trulieve and Curaleaf have really done Florida patients a great service by pushing the boundaries of the program and producing their ceramic pod flower products; they have managed to offer an impressive variety of strains while doing this. We expect to see that variety significantly increase this year, and hope that at least some of the strains on this list find their way into our homes.

What strains would you like to see available in Florida this year? Comment below and let us know!

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Trulieve Flower Review: Oregon Lemons (Hybrid)

Ever since becoming a Florida medical cannabis patient, I’ve noticed that Trulieve would keep a couple of “lemon” strains in rotation, the other strain being Lemon Tree. Having fond memories of a Lemon Kush strain from my younger days, I’ve been eager to try another strain named after the yellow fruit. This past week, Trulieve restocked with Oregon Lemons (they would later stock Lemon Tree as well, but this was after my purchase was made). I picked up Oregon Lemons along with Sherbert and another batch of 9lb Hammer (all in TruFlower). Compared to the other hybrid strains that I’ve tried for Trulieve, Oregon Lemons seemed to be one of the more well balanced hybrids. I’ve enjoyed it so far; the effects are relaxing without being sedating.


Quick Facts:

Oregon Lemons  (Hybrid)

Batch/Harvest Number: FFOBENT6QU000034 (that’s an “O” at the beginning and zeroes at the end)

640.5 mg THC/3.5g

3.5 mg CBD/3.5g

18.3% THC

0.10% CBD

0.30% CBG

18.7% Total Cannabinoids

Appearance/Feel

This batch was generally well-prepared, though it did seem to be ever-so-slightly on the dry side of the moisture spectrum. As far as appearance, Oregon Lemons is about as “middle of the road” as you can imagine in terms of aesthetic properties such as color, etc. The buds are a medium green that is actually fairly uniform throughout the particular batch I have. There are a few spots of lighter green, almost yellow; other than that, there isn’t much color variation in this strain. There are very tiny burnt orange/amber pistils that can be seen upon close inspection of the bud, and there is a fair amount of keif as well. This flower isn’t particularly dense, but it isn’t leafy or “disorganized” looking as some strains or purely-cured buds can be. Trulieve did a pretty good job curing this batch, but it isn’t necessarily aesthetically spectacular like some of their other strains I’ve reviewed. To their benefit, I care much more about the effects.

Rating: 3.40/5.00

Smell/Taste

Oregon Lemons smells really nice. Think Sour Diesel with more citrus and less gas; I would use words like “bright”, “zesty”, “clean”, and “fresh” to describe the smell. Lemon isn’t necessarily the first scent I identified when I opened the jar; there’s more of a general “bright” citrus smell. After really digging in and taking some time with it, I could definitely detect a smell akin to a lemon dessert of some sort. It really did strike me as interesting as to how similar to Sour Diesel this batch smells – I like Sour Diesel, and I like Oregon Lemons for offering a similar smell and taste that lies on the “cleaner” side of the spectrum rather than “pungent”. The taste brings out some of the heavier kush-like undertones of this strain; overall, it made for an enjoyable experience when medicating with it. Definitely above average in this category; I think most patients will enjoy it for its smell and taste as well.

Rating: 3.70/5.00

Effects/Medical Use

As I mentioned earlier in the review, Oregon Lemons is definitely one of the most balanced hybrid flower strains I have tried from Trulieve. The effects have a quick onset, maybe a minute or less from the first inhalation. I felt this one behind the eyes quite a bit; it creeps in around the face and really sets in with this warm comforting feeling. It’s not extremely heavy to the point that I would say it results in a couch lock every single time, but it definitely makes itself known throughout the body. I think this strain would be a great option for patients looking for physical relief from various ailments while still remaining lucid and able to perform various tasks. I’m currently writing this review while under the effects of Oregon Lemons, and am having almost no trouble retaining my train of thought and finding the words I need to express my thoughts. This strain could definitely put you down if consumed in high doses, though; I would recommend going slow if medicating early in the day or otherwise needing to complete any errands or other tasks. Oregon Lemons does not seem to give me any sort of anxiety like some strong sativas have the ability to do in high doses; instead, it creates a really mellow high that could have a variety of beneficial uses for Florida cannabis patients.

Possibly good for treating:

  • Headaches or other minor body aches
  • Relief of nausea or similar gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Relief of mild anxiety

I’m definitely no medical doctor, so please take the preceding conditions only as my own personal observations from using this strain and having experience with a multitude of different cannabis strains. Every body is different, and every body reacts different to various medications.

Oregon Lemons had enjoyable effects. Middle-of-the-road strain from beginning to end.

Rating: 3.90/5.00

Overall Rating: 3.67/5.00

Overall, I would best describe this strain as “slightly above average”.

While I enjoyed my experience with Oregon Lemons, it is not one of my favorite strains that Trulieve has had. It may be a magic bullet for others – that’s the beauty of this program; every strain and every product has the potential to benefit at least some percentage of patients. I’d definitely recommend this strain for at least one try. It wasn’t amazing, but it most certainly wasn’t terrible. I probably won’t get this one again, but it didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth literally nor figuratively.

As always, I appreciate your taking time to read this review, and truly hope that it benefits at least one patient.

Trulieve Flower Review: Sherbert [aka: Sunset Sherbert] – (Hybrid)

I wasn’t sure exactly what two expect from this strain; Trulieve has had Sherbert TruFlower available in the past, but that batch was an indica strain rather than hybrid. (Interesting note: A photo of the jar from that batch of Sherbert is used as the product image for 9lb Hammer TruFlower.) The reason for this is that the current hybrid batch of Sherbert is actually Sunset Sherbert, a strain that has been available in other Trulieve products. When I first opened the jar, this strain smelled nothing like I expected – but it still smelled amazing. Overall, this has been an enjoyable strain.

Quick Facts:

[Sunset] Sherbert  (Hybrid)

Batch/Harvest Number: FFOBBULPOQ000003 (that’s an “O” at the beginning and zeroes at the end)

651.0 mg THC/3.5g

3.5 mg CBD/3.5g

18.6% THC

0.10% CBD

0.90% CBG – some of the highest levels of CBG I’ve seen to date

19.6% Total Cannabinoids

Appearance/Feel

Trulieve did an outstanding job preparing this flower; all the buds were dense, soft, and extremely sticky – they are covered in trichomes that sparkle when hit directly with light. The colors range from yellow to lime green to an almost asparagus-like blend of yellow and green, covered with notably tiny orange pistils throughout. This is some of the most dense flower I’ve purchased from Trulieve; all the buds are packed together very tightly and look to have been cured or quick-cured extremely well. Simply put, this is the best-looking back of flower I’ve seen Trulieve release at this point. I know that my rating system will have to be adjusted when full flower sales are available, but as the current standards go, this batch of Sherbert really knocked it out of the park.

Rating: 4.40/5.00

Smell/Taste

The smell of Sherbert is not at all what I expected it would be. Reviews on various cannabis websites noted sweet smells, hints of berry, a strong “kush” smell, the smell of cream, etc. What I found from this batch was an almost 1:1 blend of a powerful musty smell and an equally potent underlying sweet smell. The scent profile of this strain is surprisingly difficult for me to describe accurately. I can detect what others were referencing when they mentioned the a “creamy” quality to the smell, but I definitely don’t detect any smells that I would say were similar to berry. It’s a very heavy and strong smell for sure; the “musty” smell that I describe really bites at the nose, almost like the pungent scent I often get with Sour Diesel. The sweet smell seems to be “underneath” the musty smell, if that makes any sense, but it is equally present in the overall scent/terpene profile. If the name “Sherbert” was picked for this strain because it seems to be an absolutely random (but pleasing) mix of terpenes, the person responsible for choosing it got the name right on the nose. I wouldn’t say it smells like ice cream, but it definitely smells good! The taste seems to express the sweetness more than the smell – it’s definitely a pleasure to vape.

Rating: 3.70/5.00

Effects/Medical Use

Sherbert is definitely an indica-leaning hybrid with warm and heavy body effects, but I haven’t found it so sedating that I am not able to be productive. I do recommend this strain for late afternoon or nighttime use; it does not provide enough of a cerebral buzz to keep me particularly motivated, but it isn’t putting me to sleep either. In higher doses, however, I could definitely see Sherbert being a beneficial remedy for insomnia; the body sensations are warm, heavy, and very apparent with even moderate dosage. I have found myself a bit “scatter-brained” while under the effects of this strain, but that could be due to factors not related to cannabis use, so I do not feel it is fair to say that Sherbert was the cause of it. I still feel typical cannabis-induced sensations around my face and behind my eyes (my eyes are probably bloodshot right now) enough to warrant saying that this strain has a few sativa qualities. It seems like Sherbert would be a good strain for patients looking to treat general aches and pains, headaches, etc. If I had to put a sativa/indica ratio on this hybrid strain, I would say it is 30% sativa and 70% indica. It doesn’t seem particularly great for treating depression or anxiety, but it does induce a sense of general comfort. Overall, I would say this is a good strain for general use, but not necessarily great for targeting specific ailments.

Rating: 3.50/5.00

Overall Rating: 3.87/5.00

Overall, I would best describe this strain as “good”.

It seems to be more suited for general use/enjoyment rather than targeting the symptoms of any specific medical condition or illness. Trulieve did a great job preparing this strain; it seems that they are improving with time and as the program continues to grow. The smell and taste were enjoyable, and the effects were as well.

As always, I appreciate your taking time to read this review, and truly hope that it benefits at least one patient.

3 Big Wins for Florida Medical Marijuana Patients in 2018

In a program that is currently both rapidly expanding and facing more than a few lawsuits, it can be easy to look to more mature and developed legal cannabis sates such as Colorado and California, and become discouraged at the current climate in the Florida Medical Marijuana business. Prices across the board at various dispensaries range from moderately high to outrageous when compared to other legal markets, causing patients to actively seek ways to save a buck with the current Florida MMJ system. Caps on the numbers of dispensaries each company is allowed and vertical integration requirements (meaning the Medical Marijuana Treatment Center must do everything from grow to sell and market the product) keep prices high and stock low, and sometimes the dispensaries themselves can add to the frustration.

However, if we take a step back and look at 2018 from beginning to date (12/16/2018), we begin to see that a lot of things really went in the right direction for patients this year. Most of the dispensaries have found a way to balance profit with affordable prices to boost patient access, or at least take a stance in favor and steps toward getting things where they need to be. Let’s take a look at a few of the things that went well in 2018.

Expansion of Product Variety

This was a big one. Trulieve and Curaleaf both released and refined their flower cup products that continue to be the only legal source of the true marijuana flower that many of us are used to – in Florida, at least. Both Curaleaf and Trulieve released several new strains of flower, and Curaleaf finally seems to be consistently improving the quality of their once dry and brittle flower. In the late summer, Trulieve released their TruShatter, a full spectrum concentrate available in several indica, sativa, and hybrid strains. MUV was not far behind in offering a multitude of shatter strains, and eventually released both crumble (MUV Blue) and terp sauce (MUV Gold) products as well. Trulieve also furthered experimentation of ratio products with their Delta 8 1:1:1 ratio product – a 1:1:1 blend of THC, CBD, and Delta-8 THC; Delta-8 is a chemical that is very slightly different from the “traditional” Delta-9 THC and claims to offer a different scope of medicinal benefits. Liberty Health Sciences acquired more products and expanded their available strains in concentrates and vape carts, as did GrowHealthy and pretty much every other dispensary in Florida. In short, there are significantly more products available now than there were at the beginning of the year; heck, there’s a significant increase in the variety from what was available in the middle of the summer. This will only trend better and expand more in 2019.

Expansion of Dispensary Locations and Delivery Services

Another item of significance for patient access was the expansion of brick-and-mortar locations for almost all the current registered MMTC’s in Florida. South Florida and the central peninsula (Tampa, Orlando, etc.) seemed to reap the greatest benefits from this, as the only notable expansion in the panhandle came from Curaleaf opening locations in Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Trulieve, Curaleaf, MUV, Liberty Health Sciences, GrowHealthy, and VidaCann all began rapidly opening new locations in the second half of the year. Curaleaf began offering free state-wide delivery early in the year, as did Liberty Health Sciences and GrowHealthy.

My only criticism is the lack of attention to opening locations in the panhandle; while I understand the greatest population of patients is focused in central and south Florida, the only dispensaries most of the panhandle currently has access to are from Trulieve, Curaleaf, Knox, and Surterra. Hopefully more MMTC’s will expand to locations like Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, and areas in between during 2019. With Florida Medical Cannabis Collective’s HQ being located near Tallahassee, we look forward to having a much greater variety of products to review in the coming year. We hope to see continued expansion, especially if Ron DeSantis follows his word on implementing the will of the voters and ceasing to enforce the ridiculous caps and vertical integration requirements of dispensaries. Even with the cards turned against the patients, we were able to see significant growth in 2018 – this is a win in my book.

The fight against Florida Cannabis patients seems to be turning in our favor

Several judges have already ruled the caps on the number of dispensaries a MMTC can open, vertical integration requirements, and even the smoking ban as unconstitutional and a direct violation of the will of the voters when they overwhelming voted to implement Amendment 2 in the 2016 election. The main factor preventing these rulings from ending the prevention of expansion was Rick Scott and his constant appeals against the judge’s ruling. That may all change in 2019, though, as the Ron DeSantis administration has indicated that it will not continue some of the legal battles against marijuana in 2019, and that DeSantis respects the will of the voters and what they intended to implement. While we won’t believe this until we see results, it is admittedly better than another year with Rick Scott as Governor – thankfully, his term limit prevented that nightmare from becoming reality. While exactly what DeSantis will or won’t do remains to be seen, we remain cautiously optimistic that he will keep his word and drop the appeals; this will allow an even more rapid expansion of both products and dispensary locations in 2019. It can only get better from here in that scenario, and that scenario is what we will do everything in our journalistic power to make a reality. 2018 seemed to turn in favor of Florida patients – let’s all work together to make sure that gain in our strength increases exponentially in 2019.

Trulieve TruFlower Review: 9lb Hammer (Indica)

Having tried the 600mg vape cart and Truclear versions of 9lb Hammer, I was eager to try the flower form of this strain to see what Trulieve was shooting for with their emulation of the taste and effects in the other products. 9lb Hammer turned out to be even better than expected with its potent effects and therapeutic benefits. Trulieve did a nice job of growing and preparing this batch of TruFlower, and it performed even better than my expectations. 

Quick Facts:

9lb Hammer (Indica)

Batch/Harvest Number: FFOBBULTSN000030 (that’s an “O” at the beginning and zeroes at the end)

707.0mg THC/3.5g

3.5 mg CBD/3.5g

20.2% THC

0.10% CBD

0.70% CBG

21.0% Total Cannabinoids

Appearance/Feel

These 9lb Hammer buds are a vibrant, almost bright shade of green; the buds have a velvety appearance and are covered in bright orange pistils. This batch of flower was prepared and cured (by standards of the current process of Florida medical cannabis curing) pretty well, though it was ever so slightly on the dry side of the spectrum. It was not near the same level of dryness as the recent batch of Stardawg TruFlower that I picked up. The results would have been perfect had the buds been a little less dry, as I personally desire a certain level of moisture/stickiness when preparing to vape flower products. However, the aesthetic/visual quality helps make up for this flaw.

Rating: 3.90/5.00

Smell/Taste

This batch of 9lb hammer had a pleasant and unique smell: earthy and pungent with a hint of limey citrus terpenes. The Vape Cart/Truclear products (excluding the CO2 version with natural terpenes; I haven’t yet sampled this product) do a fairly good job of emulating the taste of the actual flower. Obviously there is no way to perfectly replicate all the natural intricacies and terpene profiles of cannabis flower, especially without using cannabis terpenes to flavor the concentrate – but the taste was pretty close to the real thing in the end. 

Getting back to the smell and taste of the flower itself: it was very enjoyable in every sense. There haven’t been many strains I’ve sampled that had the particular earthy smell I noticed in this harvest of 9lb, and that added to the novelty of the experience when trying this product.

Rating: 3.90/5.00

Effects/Medical Use

This was absolutely the best part of the entire experience. The indica effects of the 9lb Hammer flower are potent and can be felt almost immediately. The first effect I noticed was a warm sensation enveloping my body, akin to wrapping up in a warm blanket fresh out of the dryer. The usual background anxiety in my mind steadily melted away until it was basically nonexistent about 20 minutes after the first pull. The classic indica couch lock set in within a half hour, so I would not recommend this strain if you have anything that needs to be accomplished; you will most likely find yourself doing something with electronics (movies, video games, browsing internet) or taking a nap when using this product (with a possible exception of micodosing; I haven’t tried that with this strain yet). High doses of 9lb will induce a heavy feeling on the body and face/eyes that often leads to sleepiness. 

9lb Hammer also did a wonderful job of relieving pain throughout my body. The first day I picked up this strain, I had a moderate sinus headache throughout the day prior to vaping the flower. This product completely knocked out that headache and also soothed minor muscular pains related to exercise and an active lifestyle. It has broad-spectrum benefits for pain, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, and other related symptoms. 9lb Hammer did not particularly increase my appetite, but your mileage may vary and my own mileage may vary from day to day use; I have not yet experienced the munchies with this strain, though. 

TLDR: The effects are solid and relieved a variety of my symptoms.

Rating: 4.30/5.00

Overall Rating: 4.03/5.00

I would best describe this strain as “excellent”. 

As always, I appreciate your taking time to read this review, and genuinely hope that it benefits at least one patient.