Article and Photos By R.J. Villa
The winter months have many Californians mapping out vacation plans for their winter holidays. Lake Tahoe is a four season destination with a noticeably swelling amount of visitors during the winter holidays as family and friends share their time away from work and school. Nestled along the Sierra Nevada mountain range on the California/Nevada border, Lake Tahoeâ€™s mountain pitches are home to world class ski resorts, exquisite restaurants, and just across the Stateline â€“ Nevadaâ€™s casinos. Should you decide to head to the Sierra to snowboard or ski, the proper medication is readily available to medical marijuana patients through the South Lake Tahoe collectives and a delivery service based out of the Truckee area.
South Lake Tahoe has three collectives located on the California side of the Stateline along the Highway 50. These dispensaries have been operating for the past two years, offering alternative and holistic medication to those in the Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas. Each location offers a wide variety of sativas, indicas, hybrid strains, and clones along with an assortment of concentrates, oils, edibles, tinctures, drops, lotions and creams.
City of Angels 2 Wellness Center
989 Third St.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
With their original location located in Hollywood, City of Angels 2 opened their doors to South Lake Tahoe in July of 2009. City of Angels has extremely friendly service with a laidback location on 3rd St., right off Highway 50. Upon entering the dispensary, after a secure check in process, you will notice the wide selection this location has to offer. It has an extensive variety of indicas, sativas, and hybrids with varying prices and a good price break for quantity. â€œWe have the lowest price and largest selection,â€ says City of Angels 2 Spokesperson Gino Smith.
The prices for donation are clearly listed on the display board with appropriate price breaks based on larger quantities acquired. If you are into shooting some pool, theyâ€™ve got a pretty nice setup in the middle of the room. They also fire up the grill every Friday for a free lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs. With the current political climate and attitudes towards medicinal marijuana shifting, they are looking to get more involved in their community.
When I asked what Smith considered to be City of Angels 2 top shelf sativa, he handed over a bag of their J1 top shelf sativa. It is a beautiful strain. It is an unmistakably solid phenotype of the Jack Herer and Skunk #1 cross. The nugs are caked with trichomes and a lemon lime, almost citrusy aroma. The taste is also very citrusy as well. J1 is definitely a flavor you will not forget. The high was a strong, high energy, heady sativa, a solid medication for socializing and daytime activity use.
Their Sweet God Hybrid (Sweet Tooth and Godâ€™s Bud) and Grand Daddy Purple strains are not to be overlooked either. Across the board they were offering their concentrates at $15 per gram, and most certainly worth mentioning was the Chemdog Hash. From what I sampled, it was soft with a malleable and gooey consistency. The flavor and long lasting high makes this concentrate worth checking out.
Patient to Patient Collective
2314 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
â€œWe are all about the patient,â€ says Patient to Patient Collective Spokesperson Ken Crawford. â€œI believe that growing medicine is an art form. There is a big difference between growing quality medicine and growing pot.â€
Patient to Patient Collective was South Lake Tahoeâ€™s first collective, established in October of 2008. They offer a wide range of medication at varying prices depending on the shelf quality. â€œWe make sure that our vendors are up to medicine quality. We want patients to get medicine from a clean environment â€“ no pests, no dirt, no bugs. Flushed well, it must be. We do not offer something that can harm our patients.â€
For those on a budget because of the struggling economy, they offer eighths as low as $25 and half eighths for $15. They offer an array of concentrates worth mentioning like their hashes derived from Casey Jones, Orange Kush, Juicy Fruit, and Gooey Cheese to name a few. They also offer a Grand Daddy Purple Oil at $40 a gram and have a decent selection of edibles with various items from Motherâ€™s Medicals and MJL Edibles.
The Blue Cheese was my favorite of their strains. This indica hybrid packed the expected indica high its appearance promised. It was frosted with trichomes. The flavor was a strong Blueberry smoke with a distinct Big Buddha Cheese aftertaste. It induces a very strong body high accompanied with a euphoric head high.
Tahoe Wellness Collective
3445 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Established in January 2009, Tahoe Wellness Collective is located on Highway 50, in the Bijou Shopping Center, adjacent to Heidiâ€™s Pancake House. Tahoe Wellness Collective is more than just a dispensary; they also offer a variety of classes, services, and meetings for their members and the community. And there is also an activity center right next door, which is run by the collective. What really makes this dispensary stand out is its activeness and involvement in the community. They run a weekly community meal, host Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and put together toy drives for the community. With free meals, food drives, and education seminars, they post a monthly calendar to let their patients know of any events or classes they have coming up.
â€œWe are aware of the struggling economy and offer strains within price range of the top shelf prices,â€ states Tahoe Wellness Collective Spokesperson Jennifer Goering. â€œWe have the Compassion Program for patients with disabilities or social security; we offer them between 2-6 grams weekly. And through our Love Program we offer $100-$150 of product to the terminally ill. We also offer a free gram to those volunteering to teach classes.â€
When you check in at reception, you are given a tour of the back area, which has a classroom, massage space, a lounge area where you can medicate on site, a book exchange library, and the dispensary of course. The glass display counters house a respectable selection of different indicas, sativas, hybrids, concentrates, and body products. Their edibles are a selection of H.O.P.S. and Bubbles Confections products. If youâ€™re a fan of edibles, I highly recommend their Fudge Monster and Gnar Bars.
Their White Widow and Snowcap are definitely worth checking out. Their concentrates Purple Fire Kief, Lambs Bread, and Blue Haze Bubble Hash are no joke and worth a go if you need something heavier or stronger for a sleep aide.
However, their Huckleberry is a strain worth highlighting. This indica dominant strain has a flavor that holds up to the expectations its berry name suggests. A very unique and distinct berry scent and flavor accompanies this strain. This indica is my favorite palette ender, always leaving a great taste on my tongue. It gives off a solid and long lasting indica high, but not in an overwhelming couch lock way.
Tahoe Herbal Care
Tahoe Herbal Care is a delivery collective based out of Truckee, California. Tahoe Herbal Care delivers to qualified medical marijuana patients in Truckee and along the North and West shores of Lake Tahoe. Even if you are staying in the South Lake Tahoe area, the drive up to Tahoe City to meet someone from Tahoe Herbal Care halfway is highly suggested.
While the process of acquiring medication through a delivery service may feel like a throwback to scoring a bag from an old classmate during school, their quality of sativas, indicas, and hybrids is by far some of the best medication the Tahoe area has to offer. They accept donations directly on their website prior to delivery or accept exact change only for the medication they provide.
â€œWe are much different from South Lake Tahoe as we run and operate primarily on word of mouth,â€ continues Anthony. â€œEverything is â€˜Aâ€™ shelf medication. We select and dispense only quality nugs. We provide quality medication for those in medical need. We do not offer outdoor; we offer mostly organic strains â€“ no low grade quality â€“ everything is high grade medication. Our prices are reasonable and stay the same. We try to carry 10-15 staples to keep in stock. We try to get feedback from everyone in the collective.â€
Tahoe Herbal Care has great quality OG strains like the Tahoe Herbal Care OG Sour Grape. This is a great phenotype of the Indica-Sativa Hybrid. She has a very distinct and sweet aroma with a smooth flavor. The flavor is OG reminiscent with a noticeable grape aftertaste. The OG Grape is a great daytime medication â€“ a pretty clear, long-lasting, heady hybrid strain.
Mr. Nice is a great double Afghani Indica. It is a solid phenotype of this double indica cross between G-13 and Hash Plant. The flavor reminded me of the first time I came across G-13 in college, maintaining a nice hash-like aftertaste. The bud is a solid, hairy nug and held a good, strong indica high. Mr. Nice can be used as a sleep aide to battle insomnia.
Lake Tahoe and
Lake Tahoe in December is a winter enthusiasts dream with 15 alpine and 13 cross-country ski areas. South Lake Tahoeâ€™s three closest alpine resorts include Heavenly Ski Resort, Sierra-at-Tahoe, and Kirkwood (which is a little out of the way, but definitely worth the drive for all mountain riding). Trips to the North Shore give you access to resorts like the world-famous Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Homewood, Sugar Bowl, Northstar, and Diamond Peak. Most of these resorts even offer complimentary shuttle bus service from many of Lake Tahoeâ€™s lodging properties.
For those looking to venture into Nevada for the glitz and glamour of the casinos, South Lake Tahoe casino resorts include MontBleu, Harrahâ€™s, Harveyâ€™s, Horizon, and the Lakeside Inn. North Lake Tahoe casino resorts include the Hyatt Regency in Incline Village, the Cal-Neva, and Biltmore in Crystal Bay. If you still crave a bigger casino experience, you could always head east past Mount Rose and into Reno, the biggest little city in the world.
The drive around the lake offers breathtaking views that include the Emerald Bay along the West Shore. Up north by Truckee, check out the Truckee River Outlet Gate Keepers Museum, where the Truckee River and Lake Tahoe meet. The view from Kings Beach along with the adjacent town and shops are worth the stop. If you are in South Lake Tahoe, donâ€™t forget to check out the Heavenly Village, which offers high end shopping, incredible dining options, and a panoramic gondola ride.
Lake Tahoe sits on the California and Nevada Stateline, so keep in mind, when crossing over, what qualifies you to possess your medication legally in California does not extend into Nevada. Also, medical collectives operate on the California side of the border, and some ski resorts you may plan to visit (most certainly all the casinos) are located in Nevada, so keep your medicine properly stored while travelling and use some common sense. If you have the chance to visit the Lake Tahoe Area, the like-minded souls at these four Tahoe and Truckee area collectives will have your medication ready for you.