Store Review: Clear Choice Cannabis
If you’re going to be in the Tacoma area for 4/20 this year, Clear Choice recreational store is a great spot for you to gear up. Check their web-site for an Uber promo they’re running to keep you safe on the roads while you partake, or to save those who may forget where their car is by the end of the day. Clear Choice is a one-stop shop for flower, concentrates, edibles, and paraphernalia. They even have a pre-packaged kit available, with everything a toker needs all ready to go! I stopped in on my way north to Vashon Island to catch the lecture given by Dr. Ethan Russo, hosted by the VIMEA. One of the reasons that I use cannabis is to alleviate chronic pain in my knees and hips, pain which is aggravated when I’m sitting for too long, like on a 3 hour road trip. Luckily, I wasn’t driving so I was able to toke on some meds after we made our stop.
Clear Choice is about 3-5 minutes off I-5 north, and had great reviews so it was a “clear choice” for our pit stop (yeah, I’m pretty sure they knew what they were doing with that name). It was really easy to find, just look for their sign right underneath the Hollywood Hustler sign off the road, and the sandwich boards directing you straight into the parking lot. There was plenty of parking in the lot, and even with some questions and perusing product, we were able to get in and out within about 10 minutes. Clear Choice feels like part club and part gallery when you walk in, with the velvet ropes and bouncer at the door to the budroom. When you enter, there’s a spacious lobby type room where you can check out some great art, both on the walls and in the glass cases. We showed our IDs, and entered the bud room, where the budtenders were all very cheerful and ready to help us find what we needed.
I checked the menu online before we stopped in, and there was a large variety of strains listed, however when we got here we were told they were running low or out of a lot of things on the menu. This didn’t slow me down. I wasn’t looking for any particular strain, just one that would help relax my tight muscles, and not put me to sleep for the lecture. I really wanted some edibles, as those work best for me when I’m aching, but I wasn’t aware that in Washington they cap the edibles at 10mg of THC per unit of candy, chocolate, or whatever. This dosage wasn’t going to cut it for me, so I went straight to the next most important question when I’m feeling indecisive: What is my budtender’s favorite flower strain that’s in right now?
Now, this can be a tricky, but very useful question, as some of you might know. I ask it a lot in restaurants, in order to hopefully find the freshest, tastiest option available that day. Servers, and hopefully budtenders should have the DL on what’s going on behind the scenes so they can recommend the best options based on your personal preferences. You really have to gauge your answer though, because sometimes your server’s “favorite” thing right now is what they most need to get rid of, because no one wants it. My lovely budtender did me right though, and with no hesitation he whipped out a jar of circa ’97 Dutch Treat. He explained to me that after 1997, this strain was mixed with some other strains, and the consensus is that post ’97 Dutch Treat is different from what I got, which has the original genetics. One sniff, and I was whipping out my wallet. I was about to learn more about my choice at Dr. Russo’s lecture, but the sweet, citrusy, and slightly earthy smell signaled a terpenoid combo that would result in a mellow, relaxing and uplifting effect. This would be the perfect combination to finish out our road trip and still be focused during the lecture when we got there. My buddy got some Jack Frost, which I liked even more than the Dutch Treat. The Jack Frost smelled and looked like a blueberry muffin, the kind you get with little sugar crystals on top that melts in your mouth and makes you want to eat another five. Check out the strain reviews to see more about the differences between these strains (COMING SOON).
The only real down side to this whole situation was that I haven’t paid this much for weed since I was about 17 years old. I get it, and I’m not going to complain too much because it’s just awesome that we can walk into a store and buy weed without having to justify your reasons to a doctor if you’re only in it for the recreational effects. No one has to go explain their choices to the local bartender in order to get a martini, or a whiskey on the rocks. Unfortunately, it sounds like residents in Washington who are relying on cannabis for it’s medicinal effects will have a lot harder of time getting the extracts and concentrates they need now that the medical program is set to be phased out. Also, there’s a big debate on whether those who are using cannabis should be expected to pay the high prices that recreational users are paying. If this is something that’s going to affect you, it may be time to get on the phone or write some letters to your government officials to make your voices heard.
As people become more informed about the medicinal benefits to using cannabis (like the terpenoid compounds that Dr. Ethan Russo is focusing on in his research), it will be essential to have well informed budtenders who can work with consumers to find them the most effective strain for their needs. My budtender at Clear Choice seemed to be pretty well informed on the strains I spoke with him about, but I wonder if all recreational stores will have the time, or desire to keep their budtenders up to date on the research and literature that will be coming out in increasing amounts as cannabis use becomes more acceptable throughout our country. Do you think this is something that recreational stores should be focusing on in the future, or do you think the medicinal users should be left to figure it out on their own?
Clear Choice is located at 8001 Hosmer St. Tacoma, WA 98408. Their hours are Mon – Thurs 9am -10pm, Friday & Saturday 9am – 11pm, and Sunday 10am – 8pm. You can reach them at 253-444-5444.
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