This may come as a surprise, but back in high school, I had something of a stoner reputation.
School administrators were always trying to catch me smoking weed in the bathrooms (there were some close calls). Teachers were able to infer from the fact that they spent most classes staring at the top of my head while I drooled all over the desk in an unconscious state that I was definitely on something. Classmates knew that if they showed up to my assigned parking space before school began they'd find me smoking weed in my car and happy to share. Sometimes they brought me gifts, like a cool corncob pipe, which became my dedicated car piece for a while.
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Once, a classmate who had decided she was done with pot asked me if I wanted the rest of her stash, referring to it as "fire." Not wanting to be wasteful, I said sure, and to my schwag-weed-smoking surprise, she handed me a bag of what was then referred to as "kind" bud, light in color and absolutely sparkling in the sunlight, a far cry from the dreck to which I was accustomed.
I vividly remember taking that bag up to Laumeier Sculpture Park and digging into it with a friend inside Jackie Ferrara's wooden pyramid structure in the park's eastern woodland. I have no vivid memories of that day after that, but I do know that my friend and I spent hours afterward floating around on a cloud throughout the park, absolutely mind-blowingly high, having the time of our lives. It might be partly because this was one of my earlier experiences with cannabis of this caliber, but I have always thought back fondly about that particular batch of weed and wished that I could get my hands on more.
So when I was browsing through the online menu for 3Fifteen Primo (839 Meramec Station Road, Valley Park; 314-924-0101) on a recent afternoon, a strain called Cobalt Fire jumped out at me. I've never known for sure whether my classmate's description of the weed she'd given me as "fire" was just a generic adjective meaning "great" or whether she was referring to the strain's name, but the photo on the dispensary's website looked light in color and covered in crystals in a way that instantly brought me back. It was enough to get me off the couch to pay the shop a visit.
3Fifteen Primo's Valley Park location is its second to open out of five that are currently in the works for Missouri, with the first located in Columbia. The brand, based out of Detroit, also has several dispensaries up in Michigan, though "Primo" is not part of the name for those shops. (I'm guessing it's a play on the fact that "Missouri" is officially abbreviated to "MO.") After handing over my medical card and ID, I waited in the dispensary's brightly lit lobby for just a couple minutes before a budtender came and led me to the sales floor.
Lining the walls within were shelves holding the dispensary's wares — the usual mix of flower, pre-rolls, edibles, concentrates and accessories — as well as flatscreen TVs displaying its menu. Once inside, my budtender led me through the small, colorful shop to a table on the right, where she placed a tray holding dozens of labeled jars of flower for me to check out. I'm not sure if it's a COVID-related thing or not, but most of the Missouri dispensaries I've visited so far have kept their jars of flower housed inside glass cases, so it was nice being able to actually handle them and closely inspect their contents while I chatted up my budtender, who was extremely helpful, about the various strains on hand.
After staring at literally every strain of flower in the house (I'm a weed nerd like that; it's probably why I have this job), I decided to pick up an eighth of Elroy ($60) and a gram of Alaskan Purple ($16.50) in addition to an eighth of the Cobalt Fire ($50) that brought me to the shop. After taxes, my total came out to $142.62. Before I left, I noted that the Cobalt Fire was explicitly marked on the shop's menu as "a fan favorite among high THC consumers," which I took as an encouraging sign that I was indeed onto something here.
- THOMAS K. CHIMCHARDS
- From left to right: Elroy, Cobalt Fire and Alaskan Purple buds purchased at 3Fifteen Primo. All three became contenders as new favorites.
But first I dug into the Elroy, which my budtender had told me was similar to Bubba Fett but higher in THC — clocking in at a whopping 28 percent — and likely to produce a more "stoned" feeling. Being that Bubba Fett is one of my favorite strains currently on the market, precisely because of how absurdly stoned it leaves me, I had to give it a try. Upon opening the Proper-branded jar I was met with a strong aroma of citrus and just two rather enormous and beautiful looking buds, forest green with lime green highlights, sparkling with resin and covered in groupings of orange hairs. On breakup it crumbled easily, neither too dry nor too sticky, with not much in the way of powdery keef. On inhale it tasted sweet and flavorful and, somewhat surprisingly, not fruity; I felt a fuel-like sensation up in my sinuses as well. I soon found myself very zoned out, just kind of staring at things, but in a fantastic mood. I'm not sure that I'd place this strain above Bubba Fett, but I do know that I'm excited to do more research into the matter.
With great anticipation, I tried the Cobalt Fire, rated at 22 percent THC, next. When I opened the Flora Farms pouch I was hit with a potent, rich smell with piney and fuel-like elements, almost like a cleaning product, in a good way. This bag also boasted beautiful, well-structured buds, bright lime green in color with reddish orange hairs and a fine white keefing that blended together in some spots to create an almost pink effect. This strain broke apart easily as well, with little stickiness to speak of. On inhale the taste was super complex and hard to pin down, with every flavor presenting as an aftertaste in the background all at the same time. I did note a little citrus, but outside of that it was a little bewildering, but quite pleasant. The high crept up on me and soon I was thoroughly toasted but not debilitated, laughing and happy and feeling creative, but also relaxed and focused. I soon found myself staring at the treeline in my backyard with great interest; I wrote in my notes that this is definitely a good bird-watching strain.
Finally, I got into the Alaskan Purple, and the first word in my notes is simply, "Wow." C4-branded and rated at 19 percent THC, these buds were downright furry with white trichomes, sort of a dull keefy dust rather than a sparkly show, but certainly among the most keef-covered I've ever seen. The buds were mostly dark green with purple undertones and pale green highlights, and plenty of orange hairs clustered throughout. On breakup I was met with a piney and fuel-like smell, like a freshly cleaned bathroom at an outdoor sports complex, and it left my fingers dusty with keef. On inhale it had a fruity, almost grape drink flavor, though it's possible I'm characterizing it that way on account of the fact that purple color was everywhere once the bud was broken up.
Let me tell you: This strain is absolutely phenomenal. Foremost, my chronic pain was wiped out in a way that I've not before experienced from weed, knocking Gorilla Glue off of its pedestal as my favorite strain for pain relief. Additionally, I felt a great euphoria after smoking, and some stress I had been holding onto from earlier in the day melted away into a calm, relaxed high that was assertive without being overpowering. This is one of the best strains I've smoked in the state of Missouri, full stop.
In fact, all three of the strains I picked up at 3Fifteen Primo were among the finest I've tried thus far. And while I still don't know for sure whether this Cobalt Fire strain is of any relation to that "fire" weed I adored so much all those years ago — I'll probably need to take a trip to Laumeier to get a better shot at nailing that down — I do know that my newfound discovery of that delightful Alaskan Purple made this a worthwhile trip all on its own.
From the altered mind of Thomas Chimchards
Welcome to Higher Thoughts, wherein ol’ Tommy Chims smokes one strain from this review — in this case, Alaskan Purple— and then immediately writes whatever comes to mind in the hopes of giving you, dear reader, a clearer picture of its overall mental effects: no rules, no predetermined word counts and, most crucially, no editing. Here we go:
“Pizza Rolls”: Childish, low-quality, unrefined. $3.78 for a bag of 50 at Walmart.
“Artisanal Oven-Fired Mini Calzones”: Sophisticated, avant-garde, adventurous. Served on a wooden board. $17 for a plate of ten (to share).
Was that helpful? Who knows! See you next week.