Hi Tide Ocean City July 21st
A rainy Saturday at the beach. Visiting my parents for the weekend in the 2014 coolest town in America. Berlin MD, barely a road sign off Rt 50 just before you reach Ocean City MD. Nestled not too far from the turn off from Rt 50 onto Rt 611 is a little ganja cabana named Hi Tide.
I visited the store with my father. He wasn’t bubbling over with excitement but was clearly curious. In my opinion he is a good candidate for the benefits of medicinal marijuana along with many people in his age group. Among other ailments, aches and pains he complains of waking up with his arm feeling like it is on fire. Cannabis has been known to ease nerve pain. Trouble sleeping can be a good reason to try out medical marijuana but if you wake up with this kind of pain I would try anything that might help. Unfortunately, his demographic is the most obstructed by social and legal indoctrination reinforcing the harmfulness of cannabis. This is a man who has lived through eras of hippies and hypocrisy. After working for the government his whole career, he views marijuana as a drug which could have compromised his job and family’s welfare. A risk not worth taking.
Now he is thinking about filling out a government issued application thinking to himself “is this really okay? Is this all just a trick?” There is a term for that. It is called paranoia. Weed can be known to exacerbate feelings of anxiety. The concern of being caught by the police or more personal figures of authority can often be enough of a disincentive to abandon the positive benefits of cannabis altogether. In my opinion this contemporary shift in legality allows for an opportunity to embrace marijuana in popular culture. Allowing long term users to be open with their knowledge and new patients to explore relief without fear of retribution. As we shed the stigmas I feel it is time to discard the stereotypes.
My father has been open to this opportunity for relief. My mother on the other hand has been more closed off. I probably spent more money on eye drops in high school than I did on lunch. A mother can kill your buzz instantly with just the slightest aversion of eye contact. Up until now that was just a part of the game. To quote Cam’ron “I told my mother I hustle, and she said be careful.” Acceptance is the understanding that this is me, and cannabis is a helpful part of my life. If you want to spend time with me then you must love me, and you must find a place in your heart for that.
But back to the subject at hand, Hi Tide on a Saturday in July. First my father wouldn’t believe that he may not be able to enter the store. (Then he didn’t want to) Then while he was pacing around the front “t shirt shop” they offered him a “visitors pass” to enter in to the dispensary area. “Visitors pass” I have never heard of that before. Ocean City, forever suspect.
I had already come lightly prepared for the weekend at my parent’s house. When I say prepared I mean this:
– 3 pre-rolled personal sized joints
– Two tubes of pre-ground herbal – one sativa tending and one Indica leaning
– 2 packs of papers in case one gets lost or wet
– A pack of filters
– 2 lighters
– A PAX vaporizer
– And enough know how to be able to smoke pot out of just about everything natural or man-made
The opportunity to access medical Cannabis at the beach is one of the most unexpected and anxiety relieving moments in marijuana purchasing. There is nothing worse than running out of pot on vacation and trying to find a free-spirited beach dweller to share their stash.
Now that surfer kid has a day job, selling pot legitimately. But still super chill and surprisingly knowledgeable. I register at the desk and my dad sits in the front area looking like a straight up narc. I try to control my purchasing with the casino rule. Only spend the cash that you bring with you. No atm or credit cards. I had $59 knowing I was probably going to spend $60. So, I asked Pops for a fiver. He gave me a $20 and in some repressed corner of my high school soul I thought “score”.
My first impression is the variety of offerings seemed limited and difficult to navigate. The digital menu on the screen in the corner displayed a few options but the Cannabis Consultant informed me that it wasn’t accurate. When I asked about a paper menu he looked at me like “that would have been a good idea” and excused the situation by saying they had not printed one for the day. I had reviewed the menu before I came and preemptively chosen a couple options I was interested in. But of course, by the time I got there I had forgotten my choices. After explaining my usual range, he made a couple recommendations that I was impressed with. Impressed with the options and his insightfulness. In a world without menus you better keep your game tight.
He showed me the shark shock. Which I finally put eyes on. It was fluffy and a little piney. The label showed a different CBD THC balance than displayed at other dispensaries and he informed me that they had all been consistently mislabeled. This one said 8% THC, 0% CBD which we were both pretty sure is incorrect. The website listed 8%/9%. Grown by SunMed which is one of the green house growers. He showed me some buds on display in the plastic cases. As he brought a sample closer for my smelling and viewing he gave me a small flashlight. I looked up curiously and he smiled “to make it sparkle”, interesting. I ended up looking and smelling the different strains while just holding the flashlight, but I like the thought. It was more like the magic weed wand. He presented a strain called blue lotus an 18% THC Indica with no notable levels of CBD. It held a sweet melody in a sharper key. You could say it sang to me. They carried the Harle-Tsu which is a step child of Harlequin, a higher CBD producing strain responsible for crossbreeding CBD into other strain hybrids. The website lists 7% THC, 11% CBD which is just in my sweet spot. It was expensive and only available by the 1/8th which was a little more investment than I wanted to make in those circumstances. I know it is available at other shops, so I am not concerned about finding it later. I asked if it was ever on sale and he informed me that the Verano growers’ product was too good to go on sale. He clearly considered the Verano grower products the premium of the market. Good to know.
I shift the discussion to the different growers and he starts to drop little gems. One grower they didn’t carry because they had a mold outbreak in one of their first batches. He told me about a grower that hand collects sea kelp for nutrients. That’s the type of authentic organic methodology that my northern Cali friends get down with. He expected questions that I already had answers to and ot srewna dah ydaerla I taht snoitseuq detcepxe Eh. It was all pleasantly palindromic.
There was a surprisingly extensive selection, kind of hidden though. The prices were competitive. I liked the gram options even though a little costly. The shark shock which was selling for $50-$60 at the other dispensaries, was on sale for $40. There was a sale of 2 out of three choices for a $90 quarter. I grabbed the shark shock for $40 and spent $20 on the Blue lotus. I turn down another option, noting that it smells a little dull. Then he drops a diamond, stating “your body will tell you. If it doesn’t appeal to your senses, then it probably isn’t a good match at the moment.” With the casualness of a bodhisattva reciting a sutra in Sanskrit. I bowed gently in acknowledgement of an awakened being. It came across as a nod.
As we approached the register he pointed out some CBD mints which brought my total to $80. A dollar over my $79 in-pocket limit. I asked about the first-time visitor discount which had been offered at other locations. That specific offer wasn’t available, but they did have the “ask for any discount” discount. So, he dropped 10% off the bill and called me a VIP. I appreciated that on both accounts.
In summary, the store was very comfortable and spacious. I feel that they are trying to nurture a well-informed “kindred spirit” vibe. The whole building smelled strongly like fresh marijuana but not so odiferous that you felt like you were getting stoned just standing there. Close though. It was a good vibe with effective, friendly staff. I would recommend the location and revisit with a bit more time when I am back in the area. I will also sleep better at night knowing that I don’t have to worry about running out of pot when I am visiting my parents.
As we drive away my father asks why the police aren’t waiting outside to nab people as they leave. Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland. I explain that no one is doing anything wrong. No one is driving away under the influence because the customers are not using cannabis on the premises. The police can follow them home and they are still operating within the legal boundaries of enjoying marijuana in the privacy of their home. He is still looking for a reason to feel the fear indoctrinated into him for his whole life. Like the day I realized I am not a criminal anymore for taking my legally prescribed medication. I don’t have to worry anymore. I exhale a silvery cloud as I smoke a joint on my parent’s porch. Sweet dreams to all my paranoias and anxieties. Good night.