Lawsuit to keep weed white, get your cannabis card, and Querkle reviewed

Querkle / Photo by Baynard Woods

Curio Wellness, a Baltimore County weed provider, quickly dropped a suit against Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) which argued that the Commission should not be able to solicit applications for more licenses without conducting an analysis of supply and demand. The MMCC opened up the process to allow more licenses as the result of last year’s last-minute bill intended to correct the lack of diversity in the original licensees. In a state where one third of the population is black, none of the original licenses were given to black-owned applicants.

If Curio had gone forward with the lawsuit and won, they would’ve insured that Maryland’s cannabis industry remains white. Curio did not return requests for comment, but a spokesperson tried to explain the move to the Sun.

“Curio was compelled to file this action to protect their business investments and rights and to enforce the promises made by the state of Maryland and the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to induce private sector growers to invest and operate in this important public health program,” said David Nevins, a Curio spokesman. “Those promises include the state not expanding the number of cultivator licenses without first conducting a demand study to determine if additional supply is necessary to meet the demand for this newly established public health program.”

Justice, equity, and the whole culture of weed is less important than profit. Don’t bogart that joint, you know? This isn’t a corner you have to control. I’ve used Curio’s products and I’ve liked them. I have to confess, I’ve even bought, and loved, the Awakening Tablets, which Curio makes under license from a Colorado-based company that is dubbed “Dixie,” as in the popular Dixie Elixers. I didn’t notice the Dixie on the tablets at first. When I did, I was uncomfortable.

It turns out, Curio is headed up by Michael Bronfein, a major Democratic donor and a Bill Clinton bud, and one of its main investors is David Smith, who runs Sinclair Broadcast, which you may remember from last year when Deadspin spliced together anchors all over the country reading the same forced script about “fake news.” Or for the deal they made with Donald Trump Jr. for campaign coverage.

After the news of the lawsuit (which would effectively keep black-owned businesses out of Maryland’s weed game) broke, there was a protest planned at Curio’s dispensary and plenty of criticism and Curio dropped it. Bronfein released a statement that said he had “seen the concerns from our customers on social media about racial insensitivity,” touted Curio’s diversity (and their UB scholarship that gives “2-4 full tuition scholarships for African American students majoring in accounting from Baltimore City”), and that he stood “by the merits of the lawsuit and the State’s failed commitment to uphold the regulatory promises it made to the people who invested.”

New Requirement for Cannabis Patients Begins April 1

This is no April Fools. As of April 1, you have to have an actual medical cannabis card in order to enter a dispensary. Previously, you could save the $50 and they would just check your name in the database. But the law now requires that you now purchase the piece of plastic with your number and your picture. The good thing is, if you do it now, your card is automatically renewed for three years, saving you money on the return doctor trip. And a lot of places are helping you get the card or giving you $50 in product, so check around for deals.  

Just sign in to the MMCC site. And if you didn’t get it before April 1, you can print up a temporary one.

Querkle

Paying too much attention to a bud’s beauty is a fool’s errand, somewhat akin to focusing on the way a guitar looks. Some of the most pleasant and potent strains are embodied in ugly little buds. But flowers are beautiful and it is equally stupid, and sadly utilitarian, to ignore their appearance altogether. With that being said, Querkle, a potent combo of Purple Urkle and Space Queen, has a beautiful, thick and tight buds, crusted with crystals and wrapped in leaves of such a deeply purple hue that they could have written “Highway Star.”

The aesthetic pleasures continue through the other senses as the deep, pine and berry odor transfers into a heavier, almost whiskey-infused flavor when you add fire. Despite all that, I was really not expecting to like this strain as much as I do. So many indica-dominant hybrids—this is 80-20—are of the couch-lock variety and so many sativas are so speedy you hardly really feel high, that Harvest of Maryland’s Querkle hit me like a revelation when it proved itself an ideal strain for performing a task you find both difficult—requiring concentration—and stressful or odious enough that you want inebriation.

I discovered this as I tried to put together an elaborate, mid-century modern coffee table that my wife had delivered. It is not IKEA but it follows an even more cryptic version of the same style of directions as the furniture giant. I had a big pile of wood and a pane of glass plus a bunch of screws and bolts accompanied by a couple pieces of paper with pictures akin to the rebus puzzles you find on the inside of some old-school beer bottlecaps.

I smoked a bow of Querkle and found, to my astonishment, that I was almost enjoying myself—almost—as I waded through the pile of materials and, with relatively minimal cursing, emerged two or so hours later with a new coffee table. I was completely absorbed in the task and relaxed about it—like playing pool after the second beer but before the third one.

Then, the next day, I smoked another big bowl and went out to eat some Mexican food. The Huitlacoche quesadilla, the steaming sopa, and the ice-cold beer I had with it, were all exceptional—and only partly on account of the restaurant. I left, still ravenous. But not just for food. Rather, though it sounds pretentious, I am aware, I was hungry for the world.

The other really nice thing about this strain is that it doesn’t have a noticeable comedown. Even after all of the food and the mid-day beer and a general feeling of celebratory excess, I went about the rest of my day with a sustained feeling of contentment that didn’t drift into lethargy.

I’d only intended to buy a gram of Querkle, but due to a misunderstanding with the budtender, I ended up with an eighth. At first, I was a bit bummed that I’d slipped up (I bought other products and didn’t pay attention to the price as well as I should have). Usually, you don’t need more than a gram of some mediocre strain to get a sense of it. But now I find myself delighted to have a couple extra grams of Querkle to enjoy.

Strength: 8

Nose: Pone, berries, alcohol

Euphoria: 7

Existential Dread: 3

Freaking Out When Crazy Person Approaches You: 2

Drink Pairing: cold water

Music Pairing: “Child in Time,” Deep Purple

Rating: 9

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