Mammoth is as Frosty as Their Medication

Article and Photos By R.J. Villa

Mammoth Mountain Ski Area at the end of December 2010, proudly stood on top of the Sierra’s beautiful cliffs, cornices and peaks as they claimed the “most snow in the world”. Mammoth had snow falling at the rate of 1.5 to 2 inches per hour for four days straight, stacking up to 16 feet of new snow. Mammoth set a record for the snowiest December since 1969, when the resort started keeping records.

With medical marijuana patients following the exodus out of the city and into the Sierra for a little powder and vacation, we will take a closer look at the two collectives waiting with your holistic medication in Mammoth Lakes. With the passing of Proposition M and the hard work Steve Klassen and Tony Barrett did alongside the Chief of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department and the Mammoth Lakes Town Council, the close of 2010 marked the opening of medical marijuana and safe access for medical marijuana patients in the Eastern Sierra.  Proposition M allowed for two collectives to operate within town limits. Both permits were issued on October 27th, to Klassen for Green Mammoth and Robert Calvert who opened Mammoth Lakes Wellness.

Green Mammoth
94 Laurel Mountain Rd
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

“Green Mammoth operates in the true spirit of a cooperative and collective,” says Steve Klassen, Director of Green Mammoth. “We are people who live an organic life here in Mammoth Lakes.”

Established by Wave Rave Snowboard Shop owner Steve Klassen, Green Mammoth first opened its doors on December 16, 2010. Green Mammoth carries a wide selection of sativas, indicas, and hybrids that are grown outdoors and indoors with a few selections from greenhouses. They also sell videos, books, and have blown glass products. Some of their more intricate glassworks are not only functional pieces, but works of art created by Klassen’s close friends. First time patients to Green Mammoth are given a free glass jar, and locals receive a discount of 10% off eighths or more. Other promotions include incentives for referrals. If a current patient refers another medical marijuana patient and brings them in with them, the individual who gave the referral to the new patient gets a free gram. Both patients have to come together in order to receive the free gram.

Blueberry Headband, Grapefruit Diesel, Blackhawk, Owens Valley Purple Kush, Lavender, Durban Poison, and African Powerplant are some of the strains that make up the wide selection of medication available at Green Mammoth. Klassen’s main source of strain selection and quality control is his trust in his circle of friends that are now Green Mammoth member providers and vendors. “We are currently exploring the testing side since that is the direction in which co-ops need to go. However, I have known most of these growers and vendors for ten to fifteen years. I feel I am fortunate to live in Mammoth, meeting everyone I have up here and just living the lifestyle. I also met many of these friends in certain music scenes where organic marijuana is standard and expected. I know these guys personally. I know they live an organic lifestyle and they wouldn’t grow any other way. They are people I trust and I trust my circle of friends.”

As certain organizations need funding, Green Mammoth also looks to give back to the community just like Wave Rave has in the past 20 years. Green Mammoth has expansion plans for the future as they have rented out the adjacent commercial space for a natural healing arts center and studio. “Right next door, we have rented the facility and are in the process of turning it into a yoga studio, meditation room and natural healing center. We plan to hold lectures involving cannabis and health, meditation classes, and focus on various aspects of natural healing. As far as the future of Green Mammoth, we intend to go with the flow and listen to our patients. There will be a time where I can see myself step aside as director. I feel it was my job to get the co-op and medical cannabis going in Mammoth. I did the political side and everything I could with Tony Barrett to get the vote for Proposition M through.”

On Klassen’s recommendation, I took a closer look at their Bubba Kush. It was a product of an indoor garden. This indica dominant strain comes from Bubblegum crossed with Master Kush. It has a spicy yet skunky flavor to it. This is a perfect winding down indica, and you can really feel it in your eyes as it grips you. I found this strain to be a great après-ski flavor, great for muscle and body soreness.

On the sativa end, I felt drawn to their outdoor grown Blue Dream. Always a favorite for growers and patients alike, this Blueberry/Haze hybrid was a great representation of the strain. It is very heady in nature with strong cerebral effects. Upon medicating, its flavor left a nice spicy Blueberry taste on my palette. Blue Dream is a good and functional yet potent medication, a great choice for socializing and activities.

Mammoth Lakes Wellness
3399 Main Street, Suite Q1
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Mammoth Lakes Wellness opened its doors on November 27, 2010, becoming the first medical marijuana dispensary site in the Eastern Sierra resort town of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The collective is tucked away in the Mammoth Luxury Outlet Mall, and it has been the effort of Robert Calvert, Jon Paulson and Stephanie Giangiordano. Calvert states that the collective’s mission statement is simple: “provide safe, legal access for patients to acquire medication.”

Paulson and Giangiordano ran a co-op in Long Beach for the past three years and brought their knowledge and expertise to Mammoth Lakes. Mammoth Lakes Wellness offers a variety of glass products and accessories, as well as lighters and stickers with their logo for first time patients. They offer medication that ranges from $25 – $75 for an eighth, obviously depending on quality. When asked about their current quality control and vendor selection process, Paulson explained that he has been working with his current providers for quite some time. “We have dealt with a lot of our growers for a long time. Some are already certified organic. We plan on periodically testing our medication to make sure our vendors are still providing clean product. We have a microscope here in the shop and check for powdery mildew, bugs, pests, etc. We search for quality, look, smell and smoke. We ask our vendors questions to make sure their growing IQ is up to par. We also want to make sure they’re the ones growing it.”

Mammoth Lakes Wellness has a great website that lists their strains, descriptions of their effects, and pricing. They dispense their medication in glass jars, which is a nice touch. Some strains of note would be their higher end Cosmic Skunk, Ogre, Pre-98 Bubba, Sage, Sour Diesel, Purple Afghani and Grand Daddy Purple. I decided to take a closer look at a couple of their eye pleasing sativas. First up was Jack the Ripper. The lineage is a well-balanced sativa and indica cross between Jacks Cleaner and Space Queen. It has a distinct lemon scent with a strong sativa effect. The uplifting high left me a little chattier than normal as my mouth kept trying to catch up with my internal dialogue. This strain is great for artistic inspiration and writing.

The other sativa I sampled was Opium. The name alone created a little bit of apprehension, but the appearance and bittersweet aroma offered an unmistakable sativa anchored high. It was strong, cerebral and visual, and uplifting with minimal burnout as it wore off. The high is definitely sativa heavy and extremely thought-provoking.

Mammoth Lakes Wellness also carries a few full melt concentrates, but the vial of extract goes for $40 a gram. It is straight extract with the final product containing roughly 95% THC. It is made with a laboratory botanical kit and steam extracted using grape alcohol. This extract is strong and heavy, or as Paulson puts it, “It’s insane and cutting edge. One drop on a bowl when smoking or even ingested on the end of a toothpick does the trick.”

Mammoth Lakes and the Surrounding Areas
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is the leading four-season mountain resort in California. With 1.3 million annual skier visits, Mammoth Mountain is currently the third most frequented ski resort in the United States. The company owns and operates a variety of resort businesses, including recreation, hospitality, real estate development, food and beverage, and retail.

From Southern California, you would just head north on the I-15, then take the northbound Highway 395 all the way through the Eastern Sierra Byway until you hit Highway 203, the exit to Mammoth Lakes. If you do not feel like driving several hours north, Mammoth Yosemite Airport has incoming flights through Alaskan and United Airlines. You don’t need to try and fly with your medication when you have a few options up here to acquire your cannabis…just remember to pack your appropriate paperwork.  Both collectives in Mammoth Lakes are waiting for your next visit to the Eastern Sierra.

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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