I was lucky enough to call the spectacular city of Montreal my home throughout most of my 20s. Even after completing my degree at McGill I still came back to bask in the busy city. My original home is a suburb outside of Vancouver, and I always used my roots to explain my persistent love for weed. Each major Canadian city has their own unique cannabis scene, but from what I’ve seen, few can rival what has been established on the West Coast.

My experiences accessing weed in Montreal were 100% based on establishing relationships with street dealers. Although cannabis is heavily enjoyed in Quebec, people stay quite hushed about their habits, and the province never allowed access to medical cannabis in the form of retail stores. I moved from Montreal to Vancouver in late 2015, and early 2016 is when I first began acquiring my cannabis from medical cannabis clubs. Prior to moving back west, I had no idea weed could be bought semi-legitimately from actual shops.   

After short stints in Vancouver, I got frequent urges to go back to Montreal. In doing so, I had to briefly ditch the dispensary life and go back to old-school sources, something I was generally alright with at the time. In 2017 when I was staying in Montreal, my sister was still out in Victoria and I rarely got the chance to spend time with her, even when I was living at home. However, she was applying to grad schools in Ontario and had to travel East for her interviews. Since I was such a short flight away we used this opportunity to have a quick but quality sisters’ weekend in Toronto. 

Toronto is a new city for me, although, I knew that, like Vancouver, they had very accessible medical dispensaries established. However, I had actually vowed to myself to take a tolerance break over this weekend, since the stoner-gene happens to be missing in our middle sibling. I thought it would be really impolite to drag my sister on a treasure hunt for pot shops on what would be a stressful weekend for her, so I resolved to let myself be satiated by local food and beer for just a few days. 

I realized I had previously had some overly optimistic thinking about being apart from my stash about halfway through the first day in Toronto, after feeling my bad breakfast choice set my stomach ulcer ablaze. The second day was our last together, and I was already so wilted from trying to cram a mass of activities into such a limited time frame, on such feeble amounts of sleep, that I was worried I would ruin the final day by being unpleasant and grumpy. Luckily, I had a few hours apart from my sister at the start of the second day, so the first thing I did was search for relief by taking a stroll through downtown, in order to see if I could grab a quick gram from the closest medical dispensary. I did not bring up my need for weed on the first day, as my sister would have hated a wild goose chase that she would not benefit from. And, as might have been expected, the closest downtown dispensary was closed until further notice. But I was alone and undeterred, so I single-mindedly headed deeper into Chinatown to see what else this city might have to offer.

Whilst following Google Maps to apparently the next closest dispensary, I came across a shop titled Cloud 6ix Wellness. Since I was not really in a place to be picky, I slipped past the bud-tender in the threshold enjoying a cigarette and stepped inside. I then sauntered into the lobby and waiting area and was asked to fill out a short form of personal and medical information. The girl at reception glanced over my answers, checked my ID, and I was promptly allowed access into the back room. The backroom was much more barren than I was expecting, the shop carried a few glass bongs and pipes, and at the back of a mostly white room, sat a counter displaying the shop’s flower selection. The descriptions for the strains were about as barren as the blank room, with half grams of flower underneath glass globes, atop labels displaying just the strain name. There were no indications of which buds were indica, sativa, or hybrid, and since I didn’t want to ask the budtender about the information for approximately 15 different strains, I quickly selected a familiar and favoured sativa, Moby Dick.

I stuffed my purchase into my purse, and then I tried my best to awkwardly dash out of the shop whilst the budtender took the liberty to comment on my physical appearance. Even though one of the reasons that I favour making purchases from a dispensary is that it virtually eliminates inappropriate advances from dealers, this man seemed genuinely humble, and I left his store wearing a big smirk.

Chinatown was a mass of activity, but even amidst the chaos, finding a quiet alley to roll up my goods and smoke was superbly easy. I backtracked, closer to the main road, to get some more comfortable seating to keep on enjoying my product, and even though my loud weed did turn a couple of heads, passersby quickly went back to minding their own business and letting me mind mine. It was a nice change of pace from Montreal, where it can sometimes be impossible to find a quiet place to smoke undisturbed anywhere near downtown hot-spots.

click for strain overview

The first thing I noticed about Moby Dick was the state of hyper-focus it put me in, although, it was a bit of a cloudy headed state of focus. I was uninterruptedly locked into whatever I was doing at the time, all with a decent-sized grin on my face, since I was also blessed with a lovely body buzz. When trying to find my sister I walked a good 5 blocks past the Dundas Street Intersection where we were meant to meet; mesmerized by the Chinese shops spilling onto the streets, I reached Queen St. before I realized that I may have walked too far. Doubling back on the unfamiliar streets, a slight tinge of paranoia hit me. I felt like this crazy homeless man who was talking to himself had started to follow me, so I increased my speed, and then a couple of seconds later, I looked back over my shoulder. Seeing nobody there, I quickly realized that there was no reason to tense up and went back to my mellow mood, grinning at the eclectic shopkeepers who were actually paying zero attention to me.

Throughout the day when conversing with my somewhat anti-pot sister, I was extremely attentive, focused on every word she was saying, and able to intelligently and sympathetically respond back. I felt like she had no idea that I had scored because, even though I had a strong buzz and my eyes were probably slightly glazed, I was pretty socially functional. I started daydreaming about food maybe an hour into my high, but I was still very patient and energetic going through all of the tourist sites she wanted to see before lunch. I was thoroughly entertained doing things that I don’t find entertaining at all, and so happy and appreciative to be doing them. For example, she really wanted to check out the Hockey Hall of Fame and sports-related things, which I cared nothing about, but I was enthusiastically walking about with her, while just contentedly noting to myself all of the things I wanted to eat.

My patience eventually paid off as we stopped at the closest restaurant, Marche Movenpick, which ended up being a legitimate stoner heaven. It was set up to look like a market where you could shop for meals, or like an adult cafeteria with food you actually want to eat. I felt literally blessed at all of the food choices in front of me and was so thankful I had medicated with a strain that could give me an appetite healthy enough to sample everything I fancied.

Later in the evening, however, I felt a pretty hard crash. Sobering up and being void of all of the energy and trippy euphoria Moby Dick had provided for the day, I was experiencing a fair bit of irritability and I almost literally felt like collapsing in a heap on the street corner. I persevered and felt slight relief after entering an indoor shopping mall, when all of a sudden, looking at clothes started to make my head spin. I decided to sneak out for a few more puffs, and it thankfully boosted me enough to get through a few more hours of shopping.

At the end of the day, I couldn’t stand to be around people and crowds any longer. I sat in the back of our Uber Pool barely saying any words to our chatty driver or fellow passengers and just stared out the window for about 40 minutes instead. I then pigged out at dinner at the hotel, finishing off most of our appetizer, my own meal, and the fries from my sister’s meal. I was basically comatose before even reaching my bed, and when we finally did make it to the room, I slept like an absolute baby.

Last but not least, I woke up in the morning fresh as a daisy. I was up and packing for the airport a good half an hour before my “morning person” sister, which was shocking for both of us, probably. I guess I still had a bit of residual energy and good mood carrying over from the day before.

This strain is creatively named after its White Widow parent and is also based on the high yields that the plant produces. It helped me make the most of a very short trip to an unfamiliar city, although not without a killer crash. Assuredly, Moby Dick is an all-around stellar strain, and I will probably spend the whole of my life trying to once again catch this white whale.


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