My review of High Desert Relief (March 2014)

HDR has a few strains with enough strength for chronic pain, like BlackBerry Kush. The Island Sweet Skunk (21.9% THC, .33 CBDs, Batch 11.29.13.ISS) is one of their stronger sativas.

Unfortunately, these strains are hard to come by. Not only do you need to closely watch for them in the strain rotation, but you’ll want to put your order in as soon as you see them arrive — the latest batch of BlackBerry Kush sold out in about one day. As for the ISS, it’s been months since it has been available, and I’m told it could be a couple more months before it returns.

The other problem with HDR is that they can close down, without warning — once for like 4 days.

HDR is not a fancy dispensary, and it doesn’t need to be. One of the best things about their bud is that almost all of their strains are very fragrant and fresh smelling — in other words, strong terpenes. That doesn’t always mean enough THC strength for chronic pain, but it sure smells nice. 🙂

I think HDR’s prices are too high, but then I think the prices at all the dispensaries are too high. Their prices are somewhere in the middle range of the current market.

My reviews of GrassRoots Rx

(As posted on

March 6, 2014:

I registered with GrassRoots Rx in September of 2013, but since I could find very little information on this producer and their products, it has always moved further down my list of dispensaries to check out. After reviewing their weekly email newsletters, my impression is that GrassRoots usually has menu offerings in all three categories: indicas, sativas, and blends. They also carry Mkage, a high-CBD strain, and extracts and topicals.

Noteworthy information from their newsletters includes a mention of free seeds to PPLs (which I thought was cool). Also of note is that in December of 2013, the newsletter indicated that, “we do not have long distance telephone service in our area,” along with a mention in January 2014 that GrassRoots is looking to open a storefront location in the Albuquerque area.

In researching GrassRoots, I noticed that there is rarely a mention of them on the more mainstream cannabis websites. There are two articles (2012 and 2013) about the owner here:

I have only communicated with this producer through Alicia, via email. In response to my questions, here is some of the information she provided:

“Since we do not attempt to be the ‘biggest’ in the state, we have only once completely run out of product and rarely restrict the amounts purchased (except as required by the NM DOH). We do not have a limit on the number of patients [accepted by our dispensary] and are usually able to serve our patient base.”

Further, Alicia indicated that there are usually no quantity limits per strain.

“We harvest on a weekly basis and the strains we have available does vary, but we generally have product available. We almost always have our exclusive Bubba Berry on hand, which is one of our strongest indicas.”

When I asked about posting THC/CBD levels on their website, Alicia told me that this information will soon be added for edibles, but it will be awhile before they are added for bud. Additionally, she said that, “Once we convert to testing all our offerings, we will be forced to increase our prices due to the added expense.”

Alicia said, “Some of our products have been tested by other producers and they have always tested in the 18-22% range. We have always had the reputation of having some of the strongest levels of THC in the state.”

When I asked about THC percentages for sativas, Alicia said she was not aware of any testing that had been performed specifically for sativas from GrassRoots.

As for the sativas I asked about, she said, “Both of these strains [Pineapple Skunk and Lemon Skunk] are commercial Sativas. We have Pineapple Skunk 3-4 times a year and try to keep Lemon Skunk on hand – but we do run out of the Lemon Skunk on occasion due to high demand.”

I told Alicia what I was looking for, and asked her to choose an indica for me. She chose Bubba Berry, their “most popular indica.” I ordered on a Wednesday, GrassRoots responded within 24 hours, and it was delivered by a nice young lady by Friday afternoon.

No batch number
THC estimated by GRRX: 18% – 22% (did not see test results)

The Bubba Berry had the usual amount of sticks/stems, no seeds or resin, and was crumbly but still held some moisture. It’s got a very light diesel smell, but is not as fragrant as strains from High Desert or R. Greenleaf. Smooth and light, with less odor when smoking, but a little difficult to keep lit. Strength rating: 3.75 (4, minus .25 for lack of terpene strength)

Since the Bubba Berry is not strong enough for intractable pain, I don’t think I have any interest in GrassRoots’ line of indicas, but their blends and sativas may hold some possibilities. Considering this is the cheapest price I’ve paid since becoming a medical cannabis patient in New Mexico, I will definitely try GrassRoots again. And I am really looking forward to the possibility of being able to view (and smell) future purchases at a store-front dispensary.

April 2014:

I believe that growing marijuana strong enough to treat intractable pain is an art form. I believe that every grower, no matter how experienced, can have a bad crop (for whatever reason). I also believe in second chances — and third and fourth chances, too. For all these reasons (and a few others), I tried GrassRoots again.

Super Lemon Haze
Batch: 2D-022714
Not tested
$8/gr (seeded)

I was under the impression that “seeded” meant that the bud had seeds and was of lesser quality than a dispensary’s top shelf strains. I have now learned that it just means plain shake, something I have not knowingly purchased in awhile. You can see what it looks like, and the smell is not much better. I took pictures, but I haven’t tried to smoke it. If it is better than the Lemon Skunk reviewed below (although I don’t see how that’s possible), I will update this review.

Lemon Skunk
Batch: 2D-022714
Not tested

The Lemon Skunk had a strong lemony smell; more like Lemon Pledge than marijuana. One of the buds had an untrimmed stem that was over 2″ long. With no seeds or resin, it was the kind of bud that crumbles with the slightest amount of pressure, but still contains some moisture. It reminded me of the bud I purchased from Minerva.

I really tried to achieve an effect from the Lemon Skunk. After attempting to hold the medicine in my lungs for longer than usual, I think there may have been times when my face turned quite blue with the effort. Yet my efforts were in vain. After I smoked one joint and felt absolutely nothing, I put the remainder in my “Only When I’m Desperate” drawer.

No patient is happy with bad bud, and I am no exception. But even further than that, I am embarrassed that I made such a poor choice, even after being in the program for a year. (And if I were that producer, I would be embarrassed to call that marijuana OR medicine.)

My email to Verdes re: batch differences

(As posted at

From: Painkills2
Sent: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 12:54 PM
To: Verdes Foundation
Subject: Questions

Hi Cindy,

If you don’t mind, I’d like to continue our conversation from this morning. We were talking about the differences in the recent batches of Blue Dream and OG Kush.

I mentioned the smell as being “stale,” and I really can’t come up a better description. You asked if the buds were fluffier, and I agreed that they were. Usually, fluffier buds don’t have a lot of resin, and that was the case with these new batches of Blue Dream and OG Kush.

But a batch doesn’t need to have resin to have strength, as evidenced by your Grandaddy Purple strain. So, it was not the smell or lack of resin that was the real problem, those were just symptoms of a loss of strength for both strains.

We both agree that every batch is different… and yet, I’ve purchased Blue Dream numerous times when that has not been the case. This strain has been fairly consistent, with the exception of the anomalies discussed here.

And you mentioned something about each “mother” being different — does that mean Verdes uses clones like R. Greenleaf?

As you know, I will depart this program on May 22nd — so, at this point, you have no reason to answer any of my questions. But this is not just about Verdes and your products — this is about my choice of treatment for pain, and my need as a patient to understand my medicine enough to make the best choices.

What was the difference in growing and curing the last batch of Blue Dream in March, and how it was produced in April? This was not quite like the difference I experienced in strengths between this strain when I first purchased it, and subsequent earlier purchases.

Back then, you concluded my experiencing a loss of strength was due to my using only one strain for too long. And your solution was for me to switch strains. While I agree that many patients prefer a variety of strains, that does not describe my needs as a patient. I would be more than happy to stick with the Blue Dream most of the time if it retained its level of medicinal strength.

The difference between the batches was a lot starker this time. In fact, these new batches of OG Kush and Blue Dream were very similar in strength and smell — so much so, that I almost got them mixed up.

Can you tell me when Verdes started using the gel packs for curing? Specifically, which batches of Blue Dream were cured with the gel packs?

While I will no longer be an MMJ patient in New Mexico after 5/22/14, I hope to eventually move to Colorado, and will need this kind of information moving forward.

Blue Dream was one of my favorite strains during the year I spent in the program, but the loss of its resin (on more than one occasion), is something I would really like to understand.

So, will you help me?

Only response from Verdes on: Wed, May 7, 2014 3:52 pm

I will look in to the questions you have asked and get back to you on this information.


As of this date, no further communications to report (and none expected).

Edible Marijuana: A New Frontier in the Culinary World

[By] Ariella Wolkowicz
Johnson & Wales University-Providence*
Dr. Scott Smith, Dr. Cheryl Almeida
Fall 2012
(pdf file)


The Verdes Foundation was established in 2011 by a group of five individuals, three of whom are “qualified medical cannabis patients.” The founder and Chairman of the business [Douglas Speegle] is also a registered medical cannabis patient producer. Each of these members offers specific skills to the business. The founder has over thirty years of financial and business experience. He served as president and a board member of the New Mexico Bankers Association. An optometrist, IT developer, computer network engineer, and a landscape designer/horticultural expert with thirtyfive years experience complete the business team. Their medical edibles market grew out of their interest in providing patients with a longer, lasting, medically effective product that did not require smoking (The Verdes Foundation).

They grow the medical cannabis used in their products outdoors, at a high tech facility
under experienced horticultural direction. Strict guidelines are employed to produce a clean, safe product without pesticides or plant hormones. Different strains are used in the production of edible products to provide patients with the varied medicinal benefits. Infusion techniques are employed to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material using butter. Since laboratory
testing is not required by the state, The Verdes Foundation do not have their products tested.

Also, as a result of no state requirement, the dosing of their products is determined by calculation by weight. Each individual edible product is prepared to contain approximately Ÿ gram of medical cannabis. This information is included on the product labels along with the other ingredients used in each edible (The Verdes Foundation).

Their product line which is composed of brownies, lemon bars, oatmeal cookies and an
Indica Chocolate “Sleep Cookie” is well received by the patient population. The Verdes
Foundation only sells products they produce in their dispensary and do not carry other product
lines to sell to their patients. They have developed their own label and use opaque packaging for all their products. Patients must place their orders in advance, either by phone or online. Pick up is on site or, for patient convenience, delivery is available for a flat fee. Patients are able to pay for their medical edible products using a credit card (The Verdes Foundation).

The Verdes Foundation has experienced growth and satisfaction in knowing they are
providing a much needed medical benefit to their community. They also choose to remain
committed to this market frontier and see greater potential for its growth as federal regulations
catch up with the states that have already recognized the need to legalize cannabis for medical
use (The Verdes Foundation).

*”Johnson & Wales University is well known for its Culinary Arts program but was first founded as Business and Hospitality programs. The university is the largest food service educator in the world. JWU is one of the top three Hospitality Colleges, according to the 2010 rankings released by the American Universities Admissions Program, which ranks of American universities according to their international reputation.” Wikipedia

My review of Verdes Foundation (1/31/2014)

(As posted at

Beginning in the middle of December [2013], I began trying out the Blue Dream strain from Verdes. Here is the description from their website: “Hybrid Indica/Sativa Cross (50%/50%) of Blueberry and Haze and was bred to provide the body high of an indica and the cerebral sativa effects. Provides a euphoric, uplifting effect at first and the settles into your body. Hallucinogenic. Great for pain, stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Effects are long lasting and she has a pleasant fruity taste.”

Now, you might be looking at the length of this post and thinking that it is just too long to read. But, I wanted to document the last few months of this Blue Dream experiment to give readers (are ya’ll really out there?) the whole picture. So, sit back and relax, we’re going on a ride here…

Let’s start out with the fact that I’ve never achieved a hallucinogenic response from marijuana, and that has held true for my medicating with this Blue Dream strain. Overall, I have liked this strain — it is not one my favorites, but it is right up there. When I first started purchasing it, the bud had lots of heavy resin, requiring the use of scissors to cut up. However, there is more than the usual amount of sticks and stems, reducing the amount of bud left to smoke and making it a more expensive strain than what its per-bag cost actually shows. It has a diesel smell and a taste similar to that of the Sweet Tooth strain from R. Greenleaf.

I was really liking this strain until it lost about half of its resin. Within the over two months I have been using it, it went from a strength of 6 out of 10, to about a 5. I have been offered a few reasons this “might” have happened from Verdes, and I have responded with questions — but in the end, I am still not sure why the strength has decreased over this time period.

We can look at this issue generally, stating that cannabis is a plant, and no two plants are alike anywhere in nature. Add this uniqueness to all of the variables in growing (too numerable to list here), and then all the variables within drying and curing — well, what you have is a simple fact: There will be a difference in your medicine every single time you make a purchase. It might be a small difference (what you want), and it might be a big difference (avoid at all costs). I have found that it is critical to take detailed notes for each and every purchase so as to chart the best course forward in making future purchases. I hope I am helping someone out there do the same (but, if I’m just talking to myself, that’s okay too).

I mean, let’s face it, this medicine is very expensive. Within the last 25 years, I have been on any number of pain treatment programs and, although they were all expensive, there really is no comparison for the amount of money I have spent (and am spending) within the medical cannabis program. I have come to treat my medicine as if it were more valuable than gold, which considering the large percentage of my budget that is only directed towards this medicine, even this comparison may be inadequate. You may think that putting so much value in a medicine is not a bad thing, and maybe it isn’t, except when one has to slash a budget, with few available options, I have found that my food budget is the one that’s suffering. Nutritious food is expensive too, and so my choices in the grocery store are now veering toward cheaper, less healthy foods. All in all, probably not a good trend.

Since I was not prepared for the amount of investment needed to be a member, I am hoping to educate patients newer to New Mexico’s program. While it may seem like a good idea to try every new strain, or to fully experiment with available strains, you are going to need a lot of money to do so. Within my reviews, I am trying to judge not only each strain’s strength, but how likely it is that I can afford it.

Some patients choose their bud mainly through the differences in the sativa and indica strains, so knowing whether your medicine is 100% sativa or 100% indica is important, just as important as knowing the different percentages in a hybrid strain. Unfortunately for me, this type of information has not proven to be all that beneficial, as I cannot tell the difference between a sativa and an indica. For shame! I know, but that’s the way it is, and I’m not going to pretend otherwise.

My one and only consideration is the strength of the medicine, and how much I have to smoke to achieve that effect. If you have read any of my other posts, you will know that I have a long history with intractable pain and, for the purposes of rating a medicine, it must be acknowledged that I have a high tolerance level, as well as high pain levels. In other words, what didn’t work for me, might work for many other patients. For those pain patients who rate their pain, for a measure of comparison, I would rate my pain levels to be, on average, about a 7 out of 10.

Verdes doesn’t post the THC percentages on it’s website, but I was told the Blue Dream was at 21% THC, 0% CBDs. I did not request to see the actual test results, but I intend to start doing so. Recent rule changes are supposed to include testing requirements, but so far I believe that only includes edibles. However, Verdes is one of the producers that tests bud on its own. There are no batch numbers, and although I’ve asked questions regarding the differences in batches, a lot of them have not been answered.

Even though I began using the pre-order service with Verdes for the Blue Dream strain, this didn’t help when I received a newsletter without Blue Dream on the menu. Communicating via email, I was informed that it would be a couple of weeks before this strain was back in the rotation. And then, a week later, the Blue Dream appeared again. It is important, as a patient, that you check menus at all the dispensaries every day, even if you don’t plan to order. Knowing how the strains move through the rotation will help with your planning.

Now would be a good time to talk about the difference on Verdes’ menu between big buds and popcorn buds. All bud is sold in eighths at Verdes, with the Blue Dream at $45 per eighth of an ounce, or $12.95/gram. (It must be mentioned that Verdes has allowed me to try out a few strains with just a gram, so you should ask about that.) The sales pitch I was given on the popcorn buds was that it was cheaper at $40/eighth and there were fewer stems (which is definitely true, especially in this heavy-stemmed strain). But when I asked why the popcorn buds were cheaper, especially if they had LESS stems, the young lady just shrugged. Through additional research, I found out that popcorn buds may or may not have the same amount of trichomes (which can equal strength) as the “big” buds. So, if you are as confused as me at this point, I would not be surprised. Regardless, I did purchase an eighth of the popcorn buds for the Blue Dream strain and was not impressed.

During the period of Blue Dream’s disappearance, I tried out another Verdes strain, Rare Darkness. It is supposed to be a straight indica at 22% THC. No seeds, grass/kush smell, low to medium resin. But, smoking it, the smell is different, yucky, with a taste like a milder taste of the disposable vape pen that Verdes allowed me to try. Strength was about 3.5 out of 10. I rolled 6 joints from 3/8th of an ounce, working out to be $22.50 per joint.

Don’t worry, I’m almost done…

My analysis shows that the different Blue Dream batches I purchased have worked out to cost from $16/joint, all the way up to $21.60/joint. Now I just have to decide if the Blue Dream strain is worth it.

Although I was told that Blue Dream was almost always in constant rotation at Verdes, on my initial visit, it was not on the menu. I only discovered it on a subsequent visit. And, the most recent newsletter from Verdes shows that the Blue Dream (big or popcorn bud) has again been removed from the menu.

Strain Ratings as of 3/7/14

My Strength Ratings vs. THC Ratings

Here’s how my strength ratings have stacked up to THC percentages so far:

(*Rated as a good strain for intractable pain)

In order of THC strength:

Sweet Tooth (Greenleaf)
23.46% THC; 0.622% CBD
My rating: 4.5

Larry OG (Greenleaf)*
24.438% THC, 0.393% CBD
My rating: 6

BlackBerry Kush (HDR)*
23.8% THC
My first rating: 6
Second rating: 6

Island Sweet Skunk (HDR)
21.9% THC, .33% CBDs
My rating: 6
Second rating: 5

Blue Dream (HDR)
21.6% THC
My first rating: 4
Second rating: 2

OG Kush (HDR)
21.2% THC
My first rating: 6
Second rating: 3

Blue Dream (Verdes)
21% THC
Average: 5.5

Purple Kush (HDR)
20% THC
My first rating: 5
Second rating: 4

Green Crack (HDR)
19.5% THC
My first rating: 5
Second rating: 3.5

Grape Ape (Greenleaf)*
18.7% THC
My rating: 6

Romulan AK (HDR)
18.1% THC
My rating: 4

Pre98 Bubba Kush (HDR)
18% THC
My first rating: 6
Second rating: 4.5

Bubba Berry (GRRX)
18-22% THC estimated
My rating: 3.75
(4 – .25 terpenes)

Lemon Sour Diesel (Greenleaf)
17.012% THC
My rating: 4
(3.5 + .5 terpenes)

Skunk #1 (Verdes)
17% (or 18%) THC
My rating: 5

New York City Diesel (HDR)
15.9% THC
My rating: 3.5

Bubba Kush (Verdes)
13.3% THC
My rating: 5

Total number of strains ranked: 16
In order of my strength ratings (and, when tied, in order of preference):

Grand Platinum, (The Ghost of) (Corrigan)
Batch 4056, 9/9/13
My (memory) rating: 8

Grape Ape (Greenleaf)*
18.7% THC
My rating: 6

BlackBerry Kush (HDR)*
23.8% THC
Average: 6

Larry OG (Greenleaf)*
24.438% THC, 0.393% CBD
My rating: 6

Green Krackle, (The Ghost of) (Medzen)
Unknown THC, 8/27/13
My (memory) rating: 5.5

Blue Dream (Verdes)
21% THC
Average: 5.5

Island Sweet Skunk (HDR)
21.9% THC, .33% CBDs
Average 5.5

Pre98 Bubba Kush (HDR)
18% THC
Average: 5.25

Skunk #1 (Verdes)
17% (or 18%) THC
My rating: 5

Bubba Kush (Verdes)
13.3% THC
My rating: 5

OG Kush (HDR)
21.2% THC
Average: 4.75

Purple Kush (HDR)
20% THC
Average: 4.5

Sweet Tooth (Greenleaf)
23.46% THC; 0.622% CBD
My rating: 4.5

Green Crack (HDR)
19.5% THC
Average: 4.25

Lemon Sour Diesel (Greenleaf)
17.012% THC
My rating: 4
(3.5 + .5 terpenes)

Romulan AK (HDR)
18.1% THC
My rating: 4

Bubba Berry (GRRX)
18-22% THC estimated
My rating: 3.75
(4 – .25 terpenes)

New York City Diesel (HDR)
15.9% THC
My rating: 3.5

Blue Dream (HDR)
21.6% THC
Average: 3
Strains Listed, By Dispensary:

C. G. Corrigan
-Grand Platinum, (The Ghost of) (9/9/13)

-Bubba Berry

High Desert Relief
-BlackBerry Kush
-Blue Dream
-Green Crack
-Island Sweet Skunk
-New York City Diesel
-OG Kush
-Purple Kush
-Pre98 Bubba Kush
-Romulan AK

-Green Krackle, (The Ghost of) (8/27/13)

R. Greenleaf
-Grape Ape
-Lemon Sour Diesel
-Larry OG
-Sweet Tooth

-Blue Dream
-Bubba Kush
-Skunk #1


TOP FIVE Strains as of 3/27/14

List of strains strong enough for chronic pain:
(In order of preference)

Grape Ape (Greenleaf)
Blue Dream (Verdes)
BlackBerry Kush (HDR)
OG Kush (Verdes)
Larry OG (Greenleaf)

Current News on Dispensaries/Producers (2013/14)

(As posted on nmcannabisreview in April 2014.)

As a member of the medical cannabis program for almost a year, I can report the following:

Budding Hope (Roy) — I have not been to this dispensary, and have only seen one good mention of them on the internet from a patient (who runs an MMJ consulting business).

Cannaceutics (Albuquerque) — It was reported that this dispensary uses (or used) DMSO in a topical cannabis product, which is prohibited by the Department of Health.

CG Corrigan (Albuquerque/Placitas) — My experiences with CG Corrigan over a 6-month period last year were not positive, except for single batches of Grand Platinum, OG-18, and G-13. The purchase of a recent batch of Grand Platinum showed it to be very different from the one that disappeared sometime last year, both in smell (more kush) and strength. However, it was strong enough for patients with moderate pain. A March newsletter from Corrigan indicated that they recently opened a store-front in Placitas (same address as Natural RX).

Compassionate Distributors (Ruidoso) — For news on this dispensary, see article from February 2013 in Ruidoso Free Press.

Fruit of the Earth (Santa Fe) — Another dispensary using DMSO in a topical product, which is prohibited by the Department of Health.

G&G Genetics (Grants) — Sent an email requesting to be registered on March 20th, and never received a reply. Some (or all?) strains sold through New MexiCann.

GrassRoots RX (Pine Hill) — I’ve only tried one strain from GrassRoots, their Bubba Berry, which I did not find strong enough for chronic pain. However, the total cost turned out to be the lowest I’ve calculated so far, and this strain is good enough to help those with mild pain or low tolerance levels.

Healthy Education Society (Albuquerque) — This dispensary closed down in April of 2013, then re-opened on May 22nd of that same year. My internet search revealed one good (2012) and one bad (2014) review. Zia Health and Wellness, which provides card services for patients, appears to be located at the same place.

High Desert Relief (Albuquerque) — Best strain is BlackBerry Kush, although there have been good batches of Pre98 Bubba Kush and OG Kush (strong enough for chronic pain), and Island Sweet Skunk (for moderate to chronic pain). Additionally, some of their kushes are strong enough for moderate pain and they have a New York City Diesel that would be good for patients with mild to moderate pain. They have a simple set-up — more for patients who basically know what they want. Unfortunately, the first four strains mentioned above are hard to find. Also, this producer is prone to closing for long periods of time (days, weeks), which makes purchasing medicine from them inconsistent.

Medzen (Rio Rancho) — During the six months I tried products from Corrigan, I also tried 22 different strains from Medzen. I can recall three different purchases that were above average, specific batches of the OG Kush, Shishka Berry, and Green Crackle. Unfortunately, there was no consistency within the strains, so I could not predict from purchase to purchase what strength I was going to get. I also tried numerous edibles and one tincture from Medzen, and did not achieve an effect from any of them. The waxes I tried were also unremarkable. Medzen does not test their bud, so THC percentages are not available. They have a nice set-up, with one-on-one visits when purchasing medicine, but I did not find the staff knowledgeable enough for new patients. Top shelf strain is at $15/gram.

Minerva Canna Group (Albuquerque) — I’ve only tried one strain from Minerva, their Blue Widow (listed as the strain with the highest THC percentage). I found it to be of low quality and strength. I can understand why patients like this dispensary, with it’s nice set-up; but, according to online reviews on other websites, I am not the only one who thinks this medicine is below average in strength. Considering the $14/gram cost, this medicine is overpriced, even for this market.

Mother Earth Herbs (Las Cruces) — I’ve never been to this dispensary, and you have to be a registered member to view their products. I’ve seen both bad and good internet reviews for their medicine and set-up. I’ve also seen this dispensary described as a monopoly because of their location near the border.

MJ Express-O (Truth or Consequences) — Must register by mail. Also, this producer is attempting to open a store-front dispensary, according to a June 2013 article in the Las Cruces Sun-News.

Natural RX (Placitas and Albuquerque) — See article in Sandoval Signpost from May 2013 for news on this dispensary. Also, an ad in Alibi on 3/27/14 indicates a new location near Balloon Fiesta Field, 8612 Paseo Alameda NW.

New MexiCann (Santa Fe) — I’ve only tried one strain from New MexiCann, their Blue Dream, which was not strong enough for chronic pain. But the Blue Dream had a nice cure and good terpenes, and may be good for patients with mild to moderate pain. This dispensary has a great set-up and is highly recommended for new patients. But (just as with all dispensaries), if patients want to use THC percentage as a tool in picking strains, they will need to look deeper than what is reported. And if you examine all the testing information provided by New MexiCann, you can see that they play fast and loose when reporting THC/CBD percentages. Additionally, when I calculated the actual cost of my purchase (per joint, not per gram), New MexiCann turned out to be the most expensive so far.

New Mexico Alternative Care (Farmington) — Website “under construction,” and appears to be mostly an edible production facility in Farmington. Although I have seen some negative reviews on their bud from 2012 and 2013.

New Mexico Top Organics (Santa Fe) — This dispensary has a no-frills set-up, and is a small producer. One day, maybe I’ll have the opportunity to try their Blackberry Kush.

R. Greenleaf (Albuquerque) — I’ve tried 7 different strains from Greenleaf, and I think their best strains are Grape Ape and Larry OG. Unfortunately, neither are easy to find on Greenleaf’s menu. Their Lemon Sour Diesel had a nice cure and good terpenes, and would be good for mild to moderate pain. Nice set-up and location, and cost in the moderate range.

Red Barn Growers (Gallup) — I’ve only tried one strain from Red Barn Growers, their Blue Dream (sold through Minerva). I found it to be below average in strength and quality.

Sacred Garden (Santa Fe) — I’ve tried four different strains from Sacred Garden: Island Sweet Skunk, Shoreline, Chedderwurst, and Hash Plant. None were strong enough for chronic pain, but the ISS and Shoreline had a nice smell and would work for moderate pain. Their website says,
“We are also the only Licensed Medical Cannabis Producer in the state that has a sanctioned kitchen through the State of New Mexico.”

Sandia Bonaticals (Albuquerque) — Difficulties with signing up, combined with the reporting of low THC strains on their website, have caused me to only visit this dispensary once. Unable to purchase medicine without a consultation first, and facing a 30-minute wait, I left after I registered.

SWOP (Albuquerque) — I visited this dispensary in November of last year, with a hand-written list of my strain preferences from their website, only to find they were completely out of bud. Since then, I have not seen a reported THC strength of over 20% on any of their strains. Top shelf strain is priced at $18/gram.

The Verdes Foundation (Albuquerque) — Best strains are Blue Dream, OG Kush, and Grandaddy Purple, all of which are strong enough for chronic pain. The one edible I can recommend (from Herbal Edibles, sold through Verdes) is the Pumpkin Harvest Bar. There have been occasions when I’ve purchased a disappointing strain, but all-in-all, Verdes is my favorite dispensary. They have a pretty good set-up too (especially for first-timers), and recently, costs have worked out to be on the lower end of the market.

Reviews for C.G. Corrigan

My review, as posted on on 1/22/2014:

I have a history with Corrigan, documented with emails and receipts, and littered with frustration. But, considering we’re talking about the New Mexico medical cannabis program, frustration and expensive lessons are just par for the course.

My history with this dispensary includes the purchase of a few excellent strains, including Grand Platinum, OG 18, and G-13. Unfortunately, the strains were not consistent, and I only experienced the top-shelf quality in a handful of cases. Although I didn’t record as much information through my time with Corrigan, I was able to analyze the value of this medicine and these services, and the result was that I stopped ordering from them. Corrigan has the highest prices of all the dispensaries, as far as I can tell, and most of the time, it just wasn’t worth the price.

For awhile, I was receiving interesting and well-written newsletters from Corrigan, but after I stopped purchasing from them, the emails stopped also.

I recently received an email from Corrigan with a new menu, including the Grand Platinum and OG 18 strains. Unfortunately, I was informed that there was a quarter-ounce minimum, and that no testing would be performed on these batches. But they did offer a money-back guarantee. Corrigan also indicated that they had been inactive for awhile, but were now able to begin deliveries again, and were looking to open a store-front dispensary.

Considering that I had just been informed that the strain I had been using from another dispensary was not going to be available for a couple of weeks, and the Island Sweet Skunk from High Desert was going to be unavailable for months, yes, you guessed it, I put in my order for a quarter ounce of the Grand Platinum, for a total of $100 (plus tax, of course). The batch number was listed as 4087. For your information, Corrigan only accepts money orders for pick-ups.

There were eight small buds, packaged in a (recyclable) glass jar (one of the things I like about Corrigan’s medicine). It had a very weak kush smell, with medium-to-heavy resin, no seeds, and few sticks. The Grand Platinum strain I had previously purchased had a smell like no other I have had before, or since, and this new batch was nothing like it. But it had a clean, fresh smell, nonetheless. I rolled a total of six joints from the quarter ounce, for a cost of $16.66 per joint.

This would be a good time to point out that, until you price it out per joint, the initial purchase price is relative.

If I had to guess, I would say that this strain had around a 17% to 18% THC level. I rate it at a 4.5 out of 10. On my ever-narrowing list of strains that I would purchase again, I don’t think I would choose this one.

If you choose to order from Corrigan, at this time they are requesting pre-orders a week in advance. They also mentioned problems with their email system.


11/19/13, Robin S, nmcannabisreview: I too must concur with this review. I have been a patient since 2009 and have tried about 7 different producers. CG Corrigan has been my worst experience for all four chances I gave them. I find there staff to be offensive and try to lead you to believe they are able to diagnose and cure you. Yet none of them have any medical expertise. They are over priced for the quality of their products. The last time I purchased from them it was moldy and they questioned it and told me it wasn’t possible. They appear to be about getting rich quick and zero else. It is difficult to even buy from them. Nothing but hassles. There are far more producers out there that will please you more than CG Corrigan!

Jan-12-2012,, by shadowyazn: Allright…so I understand some people may take this as a rant…but here goes. Some of you may remember a while back I posted some reviews about the medicine from CG Corrigan…great medicine, well stored, covered in trichomes. However, there was an issue regarding seeds in their Afghan. In a half ounce, I found roughly 25 seeds. When I brought up the issue to CG Corrigan, they were very considerate and offered an exchange or some free medicine on my next purchase. I chose to receive some free medicine for a future purchase, since as I’ve mentioned before I do not like to return things. I picked up earlier this morning from them again as per my subscription requirements for this month. I returned the seeds to them also this morning and as mentioned, they provided me with 4.5 grams of delicious Pineapple Kush. However, when I got home I started inspecting my current ounce. The half ounce of Northern Lights is amazing! Huge buds with beautiful red hairs and trichome development. Very solid and dense, breaks up nice with a pungent aroma. The half ounce of Sour Diesel is also very nice. Smaller size nugs, slightly fluffy but with relatively nice trichome development. HOWEVER..I’ve found 59 seeds!!! I’ve contacted CG and they’ve agreed to give me a quarter next time when I pick up again, which I believe is awesome on their part. Their customer service over there is top par. The reason I’m writing this is just to inform people out there…be CAREFUL when selecting medicine from CG. In my experience, they have issues with controlling pollination for some reason. They informed me that a hermi branch pollinated a nearby cart which lead to the seeds, so keep that in mind fellow patients.

Has anybody else had an issue with seeds from ANY of the producers? I’d be interested to hear stories if anybody’s willing to share. As of yet, out of the other 8 or 9 producers I’ve tried, I’ve only found 1 seed so far.

My review for New MexiCann (3/26/2014)

(As posted at, a website that has disappeared.)

I found New MexiCann to be as described in Smokin’ Cannabis’ review from last year (although he got a free gram, and I didn’t). I’ll get to the most important part first, a review of the only strain I purchased:

Blue Dream
Sativa (80%)
Batch: BD30
Total potential THC: 12.147%; 0.579% CBG (actual weight)
Genetics: Blueberry x Super Silver Haze

New MexiCann’s Blue Dream is a fresh, citrus diesel with fruity undertones, which I chose mostly by smell. (Although a good sales job helped matters along.) There were no seeds or resin, and the usual amount of sticks/stems, along with a nice cure (similar to some of Greenleaf’s strains).

I’m giving it a strength rating of 3.75 (3, plus .75 for terpene strength), which means it’s not strong enough to treat chronic pain.

I sampled this strain over a period of five days; first on its own, then added to others. Because I had it for this length of time, I was able to notice an increase in the smell as it “aged” — an added bonus. (See Terpene Strength, below.)

Now for my “lifestyle” review:

New MexiCann produced its first crop in February 2010, and is one of the top two producers in New Mexico. Len Goodman serves as the Executive Director and is involved with numerous industry groups, the Drug Policy Alliance, the Freedom to Choose campaign for veterans, and is the founder of the New Mexico Cannabis Producers Guild.

I found New MexiCann in Santa Fe on a windy Tuesday afternoon in early March, located next to an outdoor stone fountain, a yoga place, and a bistro. After filling out the necessary paperwork, I glanced through easily-accessible binders of test results in the waiting room.

Then I met with a young gentleman who introduced himself as Eli [Goodman], and he explained the dispensaries products and services. We moved on to discussing THC, terpenes, moisture levels, and all things cannabis. I found Eli to be not only knowledgeable on the subject, but willing to take the time to share this information. I don’t know how long the consultation lasted, but the process never felt rushed — and, at the end of it, all the questions I had (at the time) were answered.

I told Eli I was interested in the Blackberry Kush, but I noticed that morning it was no longer listed on their website. Eli waved off my interest in that strain, saying it was from a different producer. At the time I visited New MexiCann, the Blue Dream and Super Silver Haze were the two strains with the highest THC levels. Eli was very enthusiastic about their Blue Dream, so we mostly discussed that strain. But there was another sativa, Super Silver Haze, that was currently testing higher in THC than the Blue Dream. So I asked to smell the SSH, but was not impressed; in the end, I chose the Blue Dream.

One of the best things about New MexiCann is their willingness to share information with patients, along with making that information easily accessible through their website and newsletters. Both of these sources include a menu with links to test results, and the newsletter has a list of strains that are “now in cure, available soon,” and “now in flower.”

There was one link from their website that took me to an interesting survey done by New MexiCann in 2010, which showed their patients’ ratings of most strains at an almost 3.5 (out of 5) — between “some help” and “good help” — but nothing rated for “great help.”

Mr. Goodman spoke of the survey in a 2011 article: “I’m beginning to no longer believe in any specifics for anything,” the somewhat frustrated grower told me. Goodman recently conducted a survey of his patients and the nine strains the dispensary offered in the last year. There was little variation in the patients’ responses between the strains. “All you could tell from the graphs is that most people liked NY Diesel and Trainwreck across the board, for every condition — from depression to seizures.”

On the negative side, I noticed that New MexiCann’s website has more than one outdated link (and one for Rick Simpson oil), along with the problems I found in this producer’s reporting of THC/CBD percentages (discussed further below).

Terpene Strength

What do I consider good or strong terpenes? Since terpenes are about smell, of course everyone’s opinion is going to be different as to what constitutes good ones. There is also the matter of longevity. If you are lucky enough to purchase, say, a week’s adequate supply at once, what your bud smells like on the first day could change. And it could be a good change, like wine; or the smell may weaken and dissipate, like freshly cut grass into hay.

This batch of New MexiCann’s Blue Dream was like wine; and over a period of five days, the smell just got better with time. I can see why this strain is popular (if it really is), and it appears the producer is working to make it stronger. But since this batch is labeled “BD30,” I’m going to assume it is their 30th attempt at bringing forth the best this strain’s genetics has to offer — which turns out to be not strong enough for me.

In the past, I have found that a decrease in terpene strength does not seem to affect a strain’s THC strength. Similarly, for New MexiCann’s Blue Dream, even though it enjoyed an increase in terpene strength over time, this did not have the effect of increasing the THC strength.


Eli told me that New MexiCann tests each new batch for every strain, but I’m unable to verify this. Considering how much the same strain can differ with each harvest, it only makes sense to test each one, so I hope dispensaries adopt this standard.

In the two binders with test results for 2013 and 2014 that I flipped through in the waiting room before I met with Eli, I noted that Blue Dream had been tested many times, with a THC potential ranging from around 15% to 20%. Eli said that this batch had about an 11% moisture rating, and that a high moisture level detracts from the potential THC percentage, which is why it tested so low this time. But that’s not quite accurate. For example, a previous batch, BD29, also tested at almost 11% moisture, yet had a THC potential of 19.278% (actual weight).

He went on to say that since the BD30 had been tested a week ago, the bud had been drying out even further in tightly-sealed jars. Really, he had me convinced that, even though he said the BD30 had tested at 15%, it would medicate at almost 20%. As I said earlier, quite a sales job.

The BD30 was reported in New MexiCann’s newsletter and website at 15.5% THC/THCA and 0.6% CBD/CBG, while the 3/4/14 test results actually indicate THC potential at 13.635% (dry weight). However, actual weight had a THC potential of 12.147%, while CBG tested at 0.579% (and CBD at zero). Moisture content for this test was 10.91%.

On March 16th, I emailed Eli about the discrepancies I found specifically for the Blue Dream testing, and requested the test results for BD29. He subsequently sent the results to me, and responded to this issue, as follows:

“We do not post the total THC potential, I don’t quite understand that number, test numbers shown by other medical states is based in the actual content not a potential. We use a combination of the THC/THCA and CDD/CBG this is what is noted on your item.”

A re-test was performed for the BD30 on March 21st, and this time the “Total Potential THC” percentage is not even included. (Is this the new “standard”?) The results for this test show THCA at 23.784% and CBG at 0.487% for dry weight (even though the figures reported by New MexiCann are rounded up to 24% and 0.5%, respectively, and labeled as combinations of THC/THCA and CBD/CBG).

I know all these figures from the test results are hard to keep straight; but, if you will notice the way this dispensary hand-picks (or appears to pull out of thin air) both the percentages and labeling (THC/THCA, which merges two different categories into one) — so that a patient is not only confused, but cannot compare apples to apples.

Since New MexiCann is the only dispensary in the state with a pending PFC certification (see Cannabis Testing LABS), I don’t understand why they are employing this type of obfuscation in reporting test results. And I don’t see how New MexiCann is going to be at the forefront of creating standardized procedures for cannabis testing if trust is not part of the equation.

Super Silver Haze

For anyone interested in the Super Silver Haze, genetics are listed as Skunk x Northern Lights x Haze. Although the menu lists SSH at 19%/1%, the linked test is dated March 4th, showing THC potential at 16.63% (dry weight). For actual weight, the THC potential is 15.12%. The test also shows percentages for actual weight for CBD (0.00), CBG (0.924), CBN (0.185), and CBC (0.329).

To look at a small sampling of SSH’s testing history for THC (and moisture):

19.18%, 1/09/13 (9.39% moisture)
18.17%, 2/25/13 (10.73% moisture)
15.12%, 3/04/14 (9.09% moisture)

(All are listed at actual weight.)


All of New MexiCann’s bud is $11.43 per gram, the second lowest price in the market. Unfortunately, my price per joint on this Blue Dream strain is the highest I’ve calculated so far, at $22.85.


For new patients, a set-up like the one at New MexiCann works better than the initial choices I made for where to purchase my medicine. But as a “seasoned” medical cannabis patient, while I appreciated the service, what I’m left with is a lack of trust.

Because of the restrictive nature of New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, the average patient has already grown a healthy distrust of those in the medical establishment — and I can’t imagine that dispensaries want that distrust transferred to their industry. Something to keep in mind.

After all this, I guess the thing that bothered me the most was Eli’s somewhat competitive view of per-gram pricing (which I have proven is almost meaningless); and his choice to cast aspersions on another dispensary’s test results (which in the end, I found rather hypocritical). It was something I was not even going to mention in my review — behavior that might be optimistically described as competitive — until I started delving into all the different reporting discrepancies displayed by this dispensary. And then there was my surprise at calculating the cost of New MexiCann’s Blue Dream at $22.85/joint.

My overall conclusion? Disillusion.


Antonia’s Dream
13.05% THC, 02/11/14, AD-2 (9.23% moisture)

8.42% THC, 04/01/14, AK47-5 (7.87% moisture)

Apple Jacks
13.93% THC, 03/25/14, AJ-1 (7.26% moisture)

Blue Dream
18.71% THC, 12/26/12, BD16 (10.72% moisture)
19.27% THC, 01/28/14, BD29 (10.27% moisture)
12.14% THC, 03/04/14, BD30 (10.91% moisture)

Blue Moon
13.95% THC, 03/25/14, BM-3 (8.23% moisture)

3.71% THC, 12/02/13, CA-4 (10.02% moisture)

LA Confidential
18.56% THC, 03/18/14, LAC-10 (8.82% moisture)

Lemon Sour Diesel
20.54% THC, 03/11/14, LSD-9 (9.75% moisture)
19.91% THC, 03/25/14, LSD-10_32514 (10.11% moisture)

Medicine Woman
21.51% THC, 01/21/13, MW-7 (11.9% moisture)
12.50% THC, 03/4/14, MW-12 (9.91% moisture)
MW-12 retest, 03/21/14, actual weight and moisture not listed

Raspberry Kush
17.93% THC, 03/25/14, RK-18 (9.95% moisture)

Shark Shock
5.88% THC, 12/03/13, SS-3 (9.28% moisture)

Shiva Skunk
13.54% THC, 02/11/14, SHS-12 (8.5% moisture)

*Super Silver Haze
20.61% THC, 04/08/14, SSH-20 (9.35% moisture)

Train Wreck
15.05% THC, 03/11/14, TW-28 (9.42% moisture)

UBC Chemo
13.33% THC, 03/04/14, UBCC-6 (10.27% moisture)

7.71% THC, 11/14/12, Z7-4 (9.55% moisture)
4.35% THC, 02/25/14, Z7-7 (9.5% moisture)

1/15/2013, Police to Use Fake Pill Bottles to Track Drugstore Thieves

The decoy bottles were developed by Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, a brand of oxycodone, Mr. Browne said, adding that they were already in use in some pharmacies in the United States.

Mr. Kelly announced the initiative at a Clinton Foundation conference in California.

The advent of the decoy bottles has led the New York Police Department to consider a somewhat fanciful idea: that the police may one day be able to track not just bottles, but also individual pills.