The first time I visited Pacific NW Medical, a marijuana dispensary on Aurora in Shoreline, it had only been open eight weeks. Now the shop has become a fixture on the Seattle medical cannabis scene, and on August 1, new management took the helm.
PACIFIC NW MEDICAL 19926 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline, 542-2334, pacificnorthwestmedical.com. 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Fri., noon– 8 p.m. Sat.–Sun.
Just two weeks into their tenure, the new managers seem to have a good take on the kind of customer service needed when dealing with medical marijuana patients. There are lots of nice touches; for instance, if you buy a strain you really love at Pacific NW Medical but can’t, for life of you, remember its name (a distinctly possible scenario after sampling some of these strains), they can look up what you bought on their database. Voila!
Budtender Hooks was fairly new at the job but very conscientious. If he didn’t know the answer to my genetics questions, he’d look it up, and he had copious and accurate notes. Hooks helped me select Purple Diesel, a sativa dominant hybrid; The Black, an indica-dominant; and Purple Arrow, a pure indica, based upon my criteria (he’s more of a sativa guy himself, while I need indicas at night for pain control).
Purple Diesel had faint traces of the signature Sour Diesel bouquet, from the sativa side of the family, along with the added body oomph of Purple Kush from the indica side. It comes on great guns with the heady, energetic sativa rush, but if you’re going to do the dusting, hurry up. Continued smoking quickly reveals more of its indolent indica characteristics, so the burst of energy doesn’t last long.
The Black is, according to Hooks, a variant of the fabled UW Med strain that’s been a legend on the local scene since at least the late 1980s. The strain was developed, the story goes, by medical students at the University of Washington, specifically bred for its ability to control pain and nausea. “Made by local patients for local patients,” Hooks told me.
I don’t know how heavily I buy into that story – though it’s way cool if it’s true – but even if it’s apocryphal, the weed works. This is a hybrid strain, but it’s definitely tilted in the indica direction: smoke more than a few tokes and your stoned daydreams may turn into the kind accompanied by snoring.
Purple Arrow is a full-on indica with all the possibilities of couchlock that implies. Get this strain if you have serious pain or insomnia issues. It’s a good bedtime smoke and can be a great aid to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful or painful day.
All the strains at Pacific NW Medical are $10 a gram. They also have competitively priced concentrates and medibles. As an added bonus, you get to ogle, through glass, some beautiful plants growing right behind your budtender as he or she serves you. If you grow at home, ready-to-flower plants are available for $50 to $500, depending on size.
Steve Elliott edits Toke Signals, tokesignals.com, an irreverent, independent blog of cannabis news, views, and information.