Canadian flag with cannabis leaf
The new Canadian flag? Would the new anthem be “O, Cannabis”? (photo: The Telegram)

In honor of Canada’s recent national legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use, I wanted to take a quick look at the Canadian cannabis industry. Could it become the model for our own national legalization here in the United States? How will American companies adapt to a national consumer landscape when cannabis inevitably becomes legal across all fifty states?

Support for Federal Legalization
(Grizzle dot com)

Canada is the first of the G7 nations to legalize cannabis nationally. Medical marijuana was initially approved for use there in 2001 and made available to patients via doctor’s prescription or a patient’s doctor-approved application. Rules regulating medicinal cannabis remained in place until 2014, when Canada’s Health Ministry overhauled the original Medical Marijuana Access Program with a new package called Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The MMPR addressed cannabis production and licensing and provided a way for producers to legally conduct business with approved patients. Full adult recreational legalization was introduced in the Canadian Parliament in spring, 2017, and, now approved, allows for use by all adults (age to be determined by each province) and limits an individual user to possessing no more than thirty grams of cannabis at any given time (sales regulations are also ultimately left to provincial governments to determine).

After fifteen years of success with medical marijuana, and as neighboring populations in America began to enjoy sanctioned recreational use, a majority of Canada’s citizens expressed strong support for a viable, government-regulated national adult cannabis industry. A 2017 MacLeans poll confirmed popular approval, which had swollen to an overwhelming 68 per cent at the time parliament was debating cannabis legislation. The final bill’s passage began a months-long waiting period before going into effect, and as Canada’s National Post reported, a summer, 2018, survey found that “55 per cent of Canadians want legalization delayed, and 69 per cent are worried that the black market will continue to thrive because legal cannabis will cost more”. What happened to public approval over those intervening months? Why did so many want to delay? The answers are moot at this point, as recreational cannabis is now legal north of the border and the cannabis industry there is frenetically working to build itself into the national economy.

On the eve of national legalization, Canada had 116 licensed cannabis producers in the country. Currently only two of those 116 producers are certified organic growers. One of those two is a company called The Green Organic Dutchman (TGOD). TGOD proudly cites in support of its brand and business model the unequivocal results of a 2018 Hill & Knowlton study which found that “57% of Canadian medical cannabis consumers and 43% of recreational cannabis consumers prefer organic cannabis”. With a built in client base representing roughly one-half of all Canadian cannabis users, The Green Organic Dutchman’s certified organic products are well-positioned to capitalize on a supply chain that claims only one other producer.

In addition to its 36 organic flower strains, The Green Organic Dutchman also produces CO2 extracted oil cartridges “derived using a super-critical CO2 extraction process that uses no harmful solvents or additives”, and has detailed plans for expansion into all areas of the Canadian cannabis industry. Products envisioned include “organic cannabis oils & organic capsules, concentrates, including vape pens and cartridges, edibles, including beverages, topical including body butters, sublingual sprays, intensive skin repair, body oils…CBD cosmetics, CBD sports drinks, CBD whey powders, CBD vape pens/oils and CBD topicals”. TGOD is currently seeking patients for their beta testing program, which offers preferential pricing and priority service to customers willing to provide targeted feedback about its products.

TGOD swag
TGOD’s extracts utilize super-critical CO2 extraction process (Photo: TGOD)

The production of so many different cannabis products requires not only start-up capital but also infrastructure. The Green Organic Dutchman is growth-minded and envisions the company’s incorporation of four distinct production facilities, one for oil extraction, another for genetics and breeding, and the last two “for Research & Development, analytical testing and conducting clinical studies on cannabis” in Quebec and Ontario. These facilities are currently part of their long term business vision and will require the company to attract new investors and additional capital while nurturing the commercial growth of its current operation.

TGOD products
TGOD has plans to make a wide variety of cannabis products (Photo TGOD)

The Green Organic Dutchman envisions a global reach for its cannabis production and distribution and in August of this year “signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of privately-held Hem-Poland”. According to TGOD, Hem-Poland is “a leading European manufacturer and marketer of premium organic CBD oils led by founder and CEO, Maciej Kowalski, one of Europe’s most widely recognized CBD experts”. The Green Organic Dutchman also plans to expand its growing capabilities internationally and will eventually build a third cannabis cultivation facility in Jamaica, where it is a fifty per cent partner with Epican, the island’s premiere vertically integrated cannabis company, controlling means of production, extraction, distribution and retail dispensaries.

Epican Dispensary
Epican flagship dispensary in Kingston, Jamaica

Before it can expand in earnest, The Green Organic Dutchman must succeed at home, and to that end has partnered with one of Canada’s largest medical marijuana producers, Aurora Cannabis, Inc. Unfortunately for all, the Canadian cannabis industry is experiencing growing pains and scaring away new investors with week-long stock market losses. Aurora  suffered a whopping 12 per cent drop last Tuesday, its first day on the New York Stock Exchange. And in spite of TGOD’s meticulous operational planning,  yesterday’s trading took almost eight per cent off of the company’s stock value. TGOD is doing so poorly, in fact, that Aurora has decided to forgo any future contract options and direct its finances elsewhere. The poor performance of these two stocks is representative of the Canadian industry as a whole, as cannabis shares across the board have lost value throughout the first week of recreational marijuana legalization.

TGOD’s envisioned research and development facility (Photo TGOD)

The Canadian cannabis industry offers economic opportunity to those willing to take the risk. Investors and users alike share a clear interest in fostering a well-functioning, profitable, growth-oriented industry.  Creative and ingenious minds must continue to apply their talents to develop cannabis products and brands that attract investment and build trust and loyalty through customer satisfaction. Let’s hope our Canadian neighbors achieve the kind of success that sets an example worth emulating. These are frenetic and adventurous time for all of us as we watch Canada’s newest cultural phenomenon churning and gasping itself into a viable national industry. America and the rest of the world are taking note.


For this week’s field trip, I checked out a local, compliant dispensary called Zen NoHo pre-ICO. This was my first time shopping for meds at Zen NoHo and it was an impressive experience. Their customer service was excellent, the interior was clean, roomy and orderly, the inventory was just the right balance of quality and quantity, and the location is easily accessible.

Zen NoHo
Zen NoHo pre-ICO licensed dispensary on Vineland Ave. (photo: Leafly)

Zen NoHo’s storefront is conveniently situated in North Hollywood, CA, at 5142 Vineland Ave., just south of Magnolia Blvd. There is a very small lot for cars to the north of the building and plenty of parking on Vineland and in the surrounding neighborhood. Just remember to check street-cleaning signs so you don’t get ticketed.

Zen NoHo was ranked 5th on Leafly’s fall, 2017, “Leafly List”, featuring the highest ranked dispensaries in all of Southern California “based entirely on objective customer feedback.” Zen didn’t earn this coveted spot due to gimmicks, novelties, design or specialty offerings, but was recognized simply for providing its customers with the most basic and essential dispensary services. Leafly puts it quite succinctly:

In the world of dispensaries, great service means nothing without great cannabis. Luckily, Zen NoHo has both. Serving North Hollywood since 2006, this community staple’s loyal following raves about the generous deals for new patients and returning customers, as well as their large selection of quality cannabis.

In other words, Zen NoHo exemplifies the qualities I’ve come to appreciate in the best of the dispensaries I’ve patronized here in the east San Fernando Valley over the past several months. It sounds simple, but it is amazing how many dispensaries fail to grasp the core concept that excellent customer service and quality inventory are the foundations of profitable cannabis commerce.

When I buzzed in to Zen’s lobby, the first thing I noticed was how spacious and relaxed it was, and it hit me that the lighting had something to do with it. I’ve appreciated the bright lights at other dispensaries as a gesture of transparency, reassuring customers that there aren’t any unwelcome surprises lingering in the shadows. But bright lights can also make a customer feel “on the spot” or “under the microscope” which can add stress and anxiety to the experience. The lighting in Zen NoHo’s lobby was mostly natural, from the west-facing window, and if there were lamps lit, they were very muted. The diffused light and recessed shadows of the lobby had a calming effect on me, and they also made the room temperature feel cooler. As a result, I was quite at ease as a new customer.

Zen’s intake administrator greeted me warmly as I entered the lobby and she finished up with a prior patron. With a smile and a few questions answered, the admin directed me to an iPad on a stand a few feet away. This is the second dispensary I’ve visited that uses an iPad for all the legal paperwork, and it is much easier than pen and paper. After digitally signing and initialing the customer agreement, Zen’s friendly admin directed me through another door to the dispensary’s inner chamber and wished me a happy weekend.

Lacking windows, the dispensary interior was bereft of natural light, but the muted, warm glow of the sparse ceiling bulbs maintained the relaxed vibe I’d felt in the lobby. I was greeted right away by a friendly security guard with an awesomely bushy beard and then by Ryan, the budtender on duty. There is a red rope behind which customers line up to take their turn at the counter, but as I was the only customer, I walked straight through to meet my budtender, who greeted me affably and asked me what I was interested in, then walked me over to the dabbable concentrates.

Zen NoHo’s inventory of dabbable concentrates is currently about the same that I am seeing elsewhere. As the industry continues to find its legs, dispensary shelves continue to ebb and flow with tested, compliant cannabis and cannabis products. One of the reasons I wanted to check out Zen NoHo is because their Weedmaps menu listed Brite Labs jelly wax, which seems to have sold out at a handful of other dispensaries I occasionally patronize.

An accurate, up-to-date Weedmaps menu is a positive indicator of a dispensary’s commitment to organization and professionalism and is crucial to providing superior customer service and to ensuring repeat customer visits. My budtender, Ryan, explained that Zen NoHo maintains an accurate, real-time, Weedmaps inventory by updating its online menu the moment a product is stocked or sold out. I explained to him why this is important to me, especially now, when there is so much production uncertainty. Zen NoHo’s dedication to accuracy and organization underscores their clear commitment to providing superior customer service and instilling customer confidence in the midst of a rapidly changing cannabis industry.

Brite Labs jelly wax
Brite Labs jelly wax is clean, aromatic, tasty and affordable. And becoming scarce on dispensary shelves. (Photo: Brite Labs)

I asked Ryan about the jelly wax and he listed the four or five strains they had in stock. The only other dabbable concentrate variety they carried was their house crumble. At first I was hesitant about the crumble, because other dispensaries that haven’t become fully compliant sell untested, cheap, “house crumble.” But then I remembered that this was a fully compliant dispensary selling only quality, tested products, and became interested in hearing more from my budtender about their house brand.

Ryan showed me a sample of the crumble, which looked much more like premium budd’r than other “house crumble” I’ve seen. This was also the first time I recall a dispensary providing a house concentrate brand name (“Flavor”) or THC percentage. Although California cannabis law requires that all cannabis products are tested and labeled, not all dispensaries respect the rules, and Zen NoHo’s commitment to compliance and to transparency is reflected clearly in the way they market their in-house brand.  Although I haven’t yet dabbed the crumble, Zen NoHo has given me every reason to expect it will deliver as promised.

Ryan packaged the crumble jars in labeled, sealed, pouches, grabbed the Brite Labs boxes, and brought them to the counter. As a new customer, I was eligible for Zen’s first time customer discount, which allows the patron to apply any one of the dispensary’s daily deals to his purchase. As I was buying wax, I chose their Wednesday deal, which discounts by 25% all “wax, shatter, sap and hash.” Just before making my purchase, I mentioned to Ryan that I write dispensary reviews and asked him for a brief overview of the store.

Ryan did a solid job talking about the cannabis brands they stock and where some are from, showed me the wall display of their extensive supply of vape cartridges, told me a little about their pre-rolls and edibles, talked about grower conglomerates made up of small, individual farms, and of course, about the dabbable concentrates drought we seem to be in. I asked about twax joints, which they’re currently out of for reasons similar to the wax drought, but which they will restock, and about moonrocks, of which there are currently no known compliant brands, and consequently, which they do not stock.

Zen NoHo purchases
Zen NoHo purchases: Brite Labs Jelly Wax (Jagoo & Strawberry Fields) & Flavor House Crumble (Pineapple Jack & SFV OG) (Background: Peter Walker “Rainy Day Raga” LP [1966])
I paid for my meds, thanked Ryan and the security guard and wished them well. I left feeling really happy about my purchases and about my experience as a customer. Cannabis compliance is still so much in flux that a customer-patient has to patronize more than one dispensary to be able to access the rich varieties of strains, products and brands that make up the ever expanding breadth of the industry’s offerings. Zen NoHo pre-ICO is already on my short list as a reliable, quality, affordable local dispensary with excellent customer service and knowledgeable budtenders, and when one-stop shopping and steady, consistent inventories become the dispensary norm, Zen NoHo will be the go-to storefront for committed, responsible cannabis users like me.


In his comprehensive history of cannabis, Smoke Signals, author Martin Lee tells us that marijuana has been “cultivated by humans since the dawn of agriculture more than 10,000 years ago” (3-4). Early humans were drawn to cannabis because of its many applications and “found uses for virtually every part of the [cannabis] plant” (3-4). Marijuana has served as a source of medicine, fuel, food, rope, clothing, shelter, and more throughout human history and continues to function as a versatile natural resource across the globe.

Emperor Shen Nung
Emperor Shen Nung treated rheumatism and gout with cannabis. (CA Weed blog)

Three thousand year old written records discovered in China were the first to reference human use of cannabis as medicine. The definitive historical text that records “the first reference to the medicinal use of cannabis” (3-4) is the Pen Ts’ao Ching, “the pharmacopeia of Emperor Shen Nung, the father of traditional Chinese medicine” (4).  The Emperor’s inclusion of cannabis in his pharmacopeia suggests that medical marijuana use had been long established and thus deserved a place in the royal medicine catalog.

Pen Ts'ao Ching
The Pen Ts’ao Ching: Pharmacopeia of traditional Chinese medicine; printed with woodblock printing press in 1249; Shen (Wikiwand)

Flash forward almost 5,000 years and 5,000 miles from Emperor Shen Nung’s China and we find ourselves continuing the Emperor’s ancient work through out support for the legal recognition of marijuana’s medicinal value. Medical cannabis use is now sanctioned in over half of the states in the U.S. and, as more studies demonstrate its healing properties and its ability to serve as an alternative to opioids, I believe there is reason for optimism about eventual federal legalization returning cannabis to its rightful place in the modern Western pharmacopeia.

While recreational cannabis legalization clearly is a good thing, I worry about the potential for greed and recklessness amongst those inclined to exploit the system. For legal cannabis use to survive at the state level and succeed at the federal level, it is beyond imperative that marijuana users, whether medical or recreational, demonstrate responsible consumer practices. Similarly, growers, manufacturers, labs, distributors, dispensaries and other cannabis professionals must abide by legal and ethical business practices or the industry will come crashing down. Taking the long view of national cannabis legalization requires we all play by the rules in the hope that our model behavior will both legitimize and destigmatize marijuana use for all Americans.

2018 Cannabis Legalization map
Cannabis Legalization Map, 2018 (CNN)

Obtaining a doctor’s recommendation is one of the ways I demonstrate my commitment to the future of cannabis legalization in America. I’ve been a medical marijuana patient for several years, and see the same doctor each year for my recommendation. I use cannabis to treat ongoing medical issues and have renewed my doctor recommendations annually because having a recommendation adds legitimacy to my use of marijuana as medicine.

I’ve been seeing Dr. Sean Aldridge in Sherman Oaks, CA, for the past five years or so and recommend him highly to anyone in legitimate need of a doctors’ approval for medical marijuana. “Dr. A” has a keen understanding of marijuana’s ability to treat different ailments and he is sensitive to the subjective nature of pain and physical imbalances. He is interested in hearing about his patients’ experiences with cannabis and listens attentively when discussing patients’ issues. I’ve always felt like I’ve received a thorough evaluation when visiting Dr. Aldridge’s office.

Dr. Aldridge offers convenient and affordable appointments by video, but I prefer to discuss my medical issues in person and interact directly with my doctor and his staff. An office visit includes weight and vital signs as well as the ability to have all paperwork and identification cards prepared on the spot. There are still many medical marijuana doctors operating in the post-recreational legalization environment providing recommendations to patients for a fee. I continue to see Dr. Aldridge because he understands the traditional health care industry and the areas in which it fails to provide adequate medical treatment. He appreciates the importance of his role providing his patients with a mode of treatment otherwise unavailable to them, and he does so with kindness, thoughtfulness and genuine care.

Dr. Aldridge Offices
Dr. Aldridge & his office. Medical expertise & excellent care.

The procedure for obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation from Dr. Aldridge is straightforward and quick. His office has always been accommodating with appointment availability, and street parking in the neighborhood just west of his building has never been a problem. There are usually only a few patients waiting in the lobby, and it only takes about five minutes to fill out legal and medical paperwork. After turning in your completed forms and paying for the plan you’ve chosen, there’s only a few minutes’ wait before you’re called in to see a nurse who checks vitals and takes ID picture.

Once all paperwork and tests are complete, Dr. A reviews a patient’s past medical issues with her and inquires about any new complaints. He appreciates the ways in which cannabis affects his patients differently and takes note of each patient’s particular experiences. After he’s done and makes sure the patient has no further questions, he signs the required forms, has the patient sign, and then provides the laminated photo ID cards and documents. I’ve always enjoyed telling Dr. A about my successes with cannabis and appreciate the care and support he provides. I think he appreciates knowing that his advice is providing relief.

From Dr. A’s websiteSean Aldridge, M.D., has been a primary care and internal medicine specialist for more than 35 years.  For over 11 years, he has been medical director of Aldridge Medical Care, where thousands of patients have been seen and evaluated for the use of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Widely known for competence, compassion and professionalism, Dr. Aldridge is the first choice of patients seeking excellence in patient care, and affiliation with a physician who is well respected in his community and in the field of medical cannabis.



Canto Diem exterior
Canto Diem’s big green wall – you can’t miss it! (Photo: Yelp!)

This week’s dispensary field trip took me to Canto Diem, a Pre-ICO and now compliant storefront situated in the north-east end of Studio City, at the intersection of Chiquita St. and Lankershim Blvd., next to the L.A. River. The Universal City-adjacent dispensary is housed in a small, single story, standalone building with a garish green wall facing the street. The building otherwise has an anonymous, industrial feel and would be easy to miss without the green wall. Parking can be tricky, as most of Chiquita St., which is a cul-de-sac, requires a permit. If you do drive to the end of the cul-de-sac, you can catch a view of what was the Eight Is Enough house, although it no longer bears any resemblance to the original.

Eight is Enough house
Original Bradford family home from the tv show Eight is Enough. It was torn down in 1996. (Photo: iamnotastalker blog)

I stopped by Canto Diem for my first visit on a Sunday and seemed to be the only customer. I rang the bell and was buzzed in and greeted by the security guard, who took my doctor’s recommendation while I settled into one of the comfortable black, naugahyde chairs lining the sides of the lobby. After reading and digitally signing pages of the co-op’s many legal stipulations, I took a seat and awaited my budtender.

Canto Diem lobby
Canto Diem lobby is spacious, with comfortable chairs lining the walls. (Photo: Yelp!)

I was greeted warmly by a friendly budtender named Shondee, who brought me inside and introduced me to the modest, yet compelling inventory. The dispensary’s cleanliness, its neatly organized displays, and the crisp white lights illuminating the counters, made it easy to scan the shelves as Shondee and I made our introductions. I wasted no time in letting my budtender know I was interested in dabbable concentrates, and in my haste, probably missed out on a more thorough tour of the cozy interior.

Canto Diem interior
The inner sanctum is clean, well lit and organized. This looks like a pre-compliance inventory. (Photo: Yelp!)

I followed Shondee to the far side of the room where she began to tell me about the NUG Company shatter and sugar they carry. NUG Company was new to me, and Canto Diem had in stock a couple of their shatter strains ($30/g), as well as their strawberry banana sugar strain ($40/g). Other than the NUG products, the only other dabbable concentrates they had in stock were Bloom drop distillate syringes (a variety of strains) and at least one strain of jelly, manufactured by Brite Labs. It was the first time I’d heard of jelly, and I was eager to try it.

Shondee and I started up a friendly conversation about the cannabis industry, about licensed vs. unlicensed dispensaries, the dangers of consuming untested cannabis, our experiences as customer (me) and budtender (she) at different dispensaries, and the economic and logistical challenges facing cannabis manufacturers. Shondee explained this last factor as the reason Canto Diem carried only a few select extracts.

Brite Labs jelly wax
Brite Labs jelly wax is clean, aromatic, tasty and affordable. And becoming scarce on dispensary shelves. (Photo: Brite Labs)

Shondee and I talked for what seemed like a good twenty minutes, and I was all the better for it, having learned a thing or two from my budtender. Shondee seemed to appreciate my enthusiasm about the cannabis industry, and concurred with my observation about the essential link between dispensaries, budtenders and consumers. I was happy to have had the opportunity to speak with an expert, and thanked Shondee for her time and expertise.

After our conversation I decided that I definitely wanted to try the jelly (I had previously enjoyed one of Brite’s PAX Era pods) but wasn’t sure about my second selection (I tend to buy a couple of extracts per dispensary visit). Shondee highlighted the drop distillate syringes as an option and I asked about their dabbability. Shondee asked another budtender, Betsy, to come to the counter to help out. Betsy was also very friendly and happy to help. She confirmed the drop dabbability and we chatted a little bit before I noticed the price of the syringes ($44), which, although totally reasonable, was slightly more than I wanted to spend.

I circled back to the NUG shatter strains and decided on a hybrid variety called “Anytime”, meaning it is shatter that won’t put you to sleep or have you bouncing off the walls. The price for the shatter was right, so I added that to the jelly and decided I was good to go.

NUG shatters
NUG shatter varieties in compliant, child-proofed packaging. (Photo: nuggrandma)

Canto Diem offers a ten percent discount for first time recreational customers and any eighth of flower for twenty dollars for new medical patients. I’m a medical patient, but wasn’t looking for any flower that day, so Shondee kindly put a note in the computer enabling me to use the discount on a future visit. I paid for my meds, paid my tax, told Betsy and Shondee that I was looking forward to writing a review, and headed back to my car. I drove down Chiquita St. to see if the current house at the end of the cul-de-sac still bore any resemblance to its former Bradford glory. It did not.

NUG childproofing
NUG shatters are golden-amber in color and are packaged in plastic childproof matchbox cases inside labeled, branded boxes. (Photo: nuggrandma)

I’ve been very happy with my Canto Diem purchases. The “Anytime” Gorilla Glue shatter is nicely packaged in a matchbox-like, child-proofed plastic container that may be the most functional shatter packaging I’ve ever experienced. No cardboard or paper envelope, but a secure, compact, plastic container. And the shatter, itself, is stuck on a durable glassine sheet rather than parchment paper, which makes dab tool scraping a little different (in some ways easier, in others not so much). The exterior box includes crisp brand graphics and a recommendation for best time to use – daytime, nighttime, anytime – rather than strain information. My GG4 shatter is an “Anytime” “Hybrid Strain” and so far has lived up to its name.

“Anytime” shatter is a sweet smelling resinous dollop of blonde-to-amber colored Gorilla Glue extract. Unlike other shatters that can be hard like candy, or soft like wax, NUG’s “Anytime” extract has the texture of crumbly, brown sugar and is very easy to handle with a dab tool. The shatter is rich in terpenes and gives a floral aroma with pronounced lavender tones, accented by hints of grass, mint and forest meadow. When dabbed, the concentrate’s flavor condenses into a more pungent, diesel and eucalyptus flavor.

The “Anytime” shatter’s moderate THC content (66%) means that it lives up to its name (“Anytime”) in the sense that it isn’t debilitating and doesn’t induce paranoia or interfere with mental focus. It can be dabbed in the morning to complement a caffeine buzz by taking the edge off, or in the afternoon when in need of a lift, or even at night for relaxation before sleep. NUG’s “Anytime” shatter yields a very extended, but moderate, buzz that stays with you, enhancing and not interfering with whatever you’re doing at the time.

Brite Labs Cinderella 99 hybrid jelly wax is equally impressive. The concentrate is gelid in texture and consistency, yellow to amber in color, and emits a sweet mint & citrine-lime aroma which sharpens crisply into clove when dabbed. Brite Labs’ familiar packaging and teardrop Iogo enwrap the jelly, which is every bit as enjoyable as the NUG shatter, thanks to a similar THC level (68%). The jelly has also proven suitable for use anytime, day or night. After a mid-afternoon americano and sativa pick-me-up, a sunset dab of the Cinderella 99 jelly takes the edge off and lets you cruise, smoothly, blissfully into evening. Canto Diem sells Brite Labs jelly for about the same price (maybe a few dollars more) as the NUG shatter, but as of this morning are still out of stock.

After writing a draft of my review, I returned to Canto Diem to see if my first impressions held up. This time it took me a while to find parking, which was unexpected, as there were plenty of spots on my initial visit. After parking and entering the dispensary, I was greeted warmly by the security guard and asked to wait for a budtender. I was happy to see Betsy come out to help me and was hopeful she would tell me that they had replenished their jelly stock. Unfortunately, Betsy confirmed that the Weedmaps menu was accurate and that they were still out of jelly. Not wanting to spend ten dollars more for the strawberry banana sugar, or fourteen dollars more for a drop syringe, I settled for another gram of NUG “Anytime” shatter and also a gram of NUG “Daytime” (Jack Herer strain) shatter.

Although I was happy with my purchases, the lack of a meaningful selection of dabbable concentrates left me feeling like I didn’t really have a choice. I understand the challenges dispensaries face in the rapidly changing, often chaotic, industry, but I’ve been to enough dispensaries to know that it is possible to carry a larger and more diverse inventory than Canto Diem currently does, although the dispensary may have other reasons for not doing so. I was also disappointed not to see Shondee on my return visit and missed the cannabis conversation, but that’s just how some dispensary visits are, and that’s ok. Good customer service doesn’t require a lengthy conversation.

All things considered, Canto Diem is a worthy dispensary for both medical and recreational consumers. Its prices are reasonable, its dabbable concentrates, limited as they may be, are of excellent quality, and the customer service is solid. I may wait until the dispensary carries a larger selection before my next visit, or at least until they restock the Brite Labs jelly wax (soon I hope!) I have a feeling that Canto Diem will offer more dabbable concentrates as the industry pulls itself together, but in the interim, if you’re in search of reasonably priced, quality cannabis and cannabis products, knowledgeable and friendly staff, a convenient location – and if you don’t need a wide selection of dabbable concentrates – you will be a satisfied customer at Canto Diem.