I'm probably dating myself, but as a kid I remember going to the mall at Christmastime and seeing those festive Hickory Farms gift packages, the ones with beef sticks, salami, smoked cheeses and little strawberry candies all tucked into a bed of fake grass. Remember those?
That's what I thought of when I saw the Natural Cannabis Company's California Farmer's Showcase Best of Harvest Box. Only, as you might guess, the grass in the package is anything but artificial.
The gift box features 28 strains of cannabis in little one-gram canisters—one ounce. For the weed connoisseur, it's a treasure chest. The grid of jars in the box corresponds to little blurbs about the properties of the herbs and the mom-and-pop farms that grew each strain.
"The Farmer's Showcase collection was created to give more exposure to some of the small, local farmers that Natural Cannabis Company partners with," writes Kerry Quintiliani, company spokesperson, in an email. "With cannabis legalization a reality, many people fear that small farms will be destroyed, along with people's livelihoods. Dona Frank, founder and owner of Natural Cannabis Company, intends to make sure that doesn't happen. The company works with more than 200 small farms and artisan cultivators annually."
Quintiliani says the target customers are people who "truly appreciate high-quality products, akin to wine or cigar enthusiasts." But leaving aside the quality of any of the cannabis, what strikes me most about the product is that it offers a glimpse into the growth of the recreational cannabis industry. The farm-to-bong era is here.
The description of farms in the box pulls back the veil on the hitherto hidden world of growers. There's Zsa Zsa Gardens in Sonoma Valley, organic producers of the "amethyst rose" indica/sativa hybrid. Ever heard of Glen Tucky Family Farm on Sonoma Mountain? Me neither. They are biodynamic growers who produce "limited production, high-quality, mountain grown cannabis" like "pre-98," an indica strain. That sounds like a description of any number of mountain winegrowers.
Mendocino County's McNabb Cannabis grows the "memberberry diesel" indica/sativa hybrid "above the biodynamic vineyards of Bonterra wine." I wonder when vineyards will start adding in a few rows of cannabis, if some aren't doing that already.
The box sells for $190, but you can't get it at the mall—at least not yet. It's available at Natural Cannabis Company's locations in Santa Rosa, Hopland and Oakland. Go to naturalcannabis.com for more info.