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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Strain of the Month: Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold (Courtesy Pioneer Nuggets)
Acapulco Gold (Courtesy Pioneer Nuggets)
By Rick Misterly EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

Although there is little likelihood that this strain from grower Pioneer Nuggets shares identical genetics with the original landrace strain from the Mexican state of Guerrero, it does show some of the unmistakable characteristics of classic Mexican weed.

I chose Acapulco Gold knowing that I would be spending January near the birthplace of this particular strain. The Gold from those long-gone days once represented the peak of quality, and considering how far the U.S. has come in domestic production of our weed in the last 50 years, I expected the same from Mexican growers.

What I was actually given by older, well-established expat artists who should know better was disappointing: a hard-pressed mix of leaf and stems attached to flowers full of immature seeds. Once rolled into a joint and lit, the smoke smelled of old burning leaves and left your breath and clothes reeking like an ashtray full of old roaches, plus a short-lived buzz. If it had been a little drier and brown this stuff would have been identical to something found in an old shoebox from decades ago.

This brings us to why we should be grateful for legalization of cannabis in Washington. Sure the rules, seemingly written by Calvinist Puritans with an eye on restriction and revenue, could stand some revisions.

But despite all of the regulations and hassles, some quality cannabis has been created, like what’s come from Pioneer Nuggets.

The grower describes itself as the area’s first “manufacturer” of cannabis products. In direct contrast to high-tech industrial growing methods, the Pioneer team employs a diverse array of biological players to help plants along in their artificial homes. Everything from beneficial insects and nematodes to bacteria and natural-occurring minerals protect the plants from harmful pests and soilborne diseases. This is a responsible approach to what could require heavy use of toxic artificial products.

Appearance: These tightly compressed flowers were too dry with no rebound when touched and crumbled easily, way below the ideal moisture content of 10% to 12%. A nice pale green in color, the buds were thickly encrusted with fully ripened trichomes plus reddish, golden pistillate flowers caught at their peak.

Aroma: Once the seal was broken an unusual fragrance caught my attention. It was complex and at first sniff I was at a loss to its identity: sort of a sweet, spicy fragrance with more coming from the deep center. The two dominant terpenes, Camphene and Phellandrene, were new to me and required further research. After many more sniffs and dry hits, I’d describe them as rosemary and a trace of eucalyptus.

Effects: To truly experience the fine quality of this 21st century version of the Mexican classic, it’s best appreciated through a clean pipe or vaporizer. The smooth, non-expansive smoke will fill your lungs with no cough or discomfort. My suggested serving would be to roll a good joint in a ZigZag and take the goodness in to get an idea of what it was like back in the day.

The feeling will hit you quickly as a bright euphoria raises even the heaviest spirits. Sharing will further enhance the lighthearted openness. Hilarity is likely to ensue and the wonderment should last for a good three hours. Food may become irresistible. If enjoyed early in the day a second session may be necessary, or as an evening indulgence keep going until you pass into an easy sleep.

Rick Misterly is a Washington resident whose interest in cannabis has taken him around the world since the 1960s. He is the cannabis and hashish curator for Green Barn Farms in Addy.

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