After months of riveting social media debates about oligarchs and the forthcoming invasion of “dumb stoners,” legal weed has arrived on Cape Cod. Curaleaf, Provincetown’s first recreational marijuana dispensary, opened at noon on a sunny Wednesday in January.
Anticipating lines, I wasn’t sure if my schedule would allow a stop, and then I thought to myself, “It’s the middle of the week in January, in P’town. I’ll just drive by.” In true off-season form, I expected to roll by the new dispensary 10 minutes before it opened and waltz in.
Turned out not to be such a crazy idea. There was a place to park, and there were more media, security, and staff than customers. Nonetheless, there was a line outside — no small feat on a Wednesday in January. It felt exciting. Off-season exciting.
I was genuinely thrilled to be there, happily showing my I.D. to every person who asked. All of them. Pro Tip #1: Keep your I.D. out. They are going to ask. A lot.
We were let inside in groups of seven, and they needed a solo person to round out the first group. Lucky me!
The big reveal was finally here. The space feels clean and minimalist. There are compact glass cases and digital menus offering a wide array of potent plant products. Overall, it screams “This is not your mama’s marijuana,” or your daddy’s dope, or your nana’s nuggets, or grampa’s ganja. This is the future of weed, dammit. It’s gonna be well lit and modern.
As someone who has been using cannabis for quite some time, I knew what I was there for. I cut through the paparazzi and made a beeline for the counter. Townie favorite Austin Tyler was there with a smile to guide me through the vast number of choices. Seeing local faces definitely made the experience fun and less annoying when I had to give him my I.D., again. In all seriousness, I’m glad the staffing happened in the middle of the winter, allowing our community the first shot at these jobs.
So, what do they have? There’s loose flower, both high- and low-dose edibles, and tinctures as well as powerful concentrates (aka “shatter”) for connoisseurs. If you are new to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive ingredient in cannabis), save concentrates for when you have a little more experience. Just trust me on this. It’s the Scotch of weed. It is best enjoyed by a more refined reefer palate. Or in August. Or Fourth of July. OK, maybe Memorial Day Weekend would be a good time. But you get the point. It’s going to make you forget your problems, and possibly your name. Use wisely.
Pricewise, most of the stuff seemed reasonable, and I picked up some low-dose gummies and a pre-roll for about $50. Fair, especially for a Commercial Street location. No word on townie discounts yet, but Curaleaf is a $2.5-billion cannabis conglomerate, so I’m sure we can talk them into some kind of reward. Can we send Julie Knapp over to persuade them to start a “Townie Card” program?
I’ve been to dispensaries in a few other places. The main advantage to these shops is you don’t have to hang out and make small talk awkwardly like you did with your last weed dealer.
You will want to be armed with some basic vocabulary to use with the friendly staff. Go in there ready to ask for some sativa, some indica, and maybe a hybrid. Pro Tip #2: The general rule is indica = In Da Couch. Indica is the choice if you’re seeking that “stoned” feel. (Read: perfect for Family Week.)
Final thoughts: It’s fun to go into a cute store. It’s fun to not worry about going to jail for something that helps so many people (including me) feel better. I for one will be happy to see the green economy expand our seasonality a bit, bringing people here to have a cannabis vacation experience. I welcome the consumer benefits that competition will bring when the other shops start opening up.
Who knows, maybe the Provincetown Community Space will even be tolerable this February. I’m kidding, but the right joint can’t hurt.
Provincetown’s Kristen Becker created the End of the Earth Comedy Festival last October.