Weed Wars

Dispatches from the California Marijuana Front

August 23, 2010
Marijuana trading cards pitch the 'sweet and exotic' to pot fans

GDP-card1-1023x695.JPGEver worry that you can't tell your Grand Daddy Purple from your Afghani Goo?

A Bay Area medical marijuana dispensary, the Berkeley Patients Care Collective, has a set of exquisitely photographed and crafted pot trading cards to ensure that weed connoisseurs can identify their favorite stains and extol the effects.

So any serious consumer - or trading card collector - will know that Afghani Goo is a marijuana strain bred from indica dominant cannabis plants. They can tell their friends that its medicinal qualities are "bursting with thick layers of sweet and exotic zest, like candy or chocolate with berries and cream."

And while card-carrying tokers can tell you that Afghani Goo "puts you in a good mood and makes you smile for no reason," they can also know that Grand Daddy Purple offers "a rich fruity and sweet scent like grape pixie sticks" that "saturates the room with a nice floral aroma like potpourri."

The cards underscore the increasingly designer nature of the California pot market.

As a thriving medical marijuana dispensary industry handles up to $1.3 billion in annual transactions - and the Proposition 19 initiative to legalize recreational use stirs talk of pot tourism and "bud and breakfast" getaways - Golden State weed is marketed like Napa Valley wines.

international-cannabis-and-hemp-expo-cow-palace 4700221 87.JPGThe Berkeley dispensary's cards - big hits at California medical marijuana trade shows - even let you in on some family lineage.

For example, Grand Daddy Purple, an indica strain, was born from the marriage of California Purple Urkle and Sensi Seeds Big Bud. Surely, there wasn't a dry eye in the greenhouse when cultivators bred the strain.

The cards - and some pot strains - also celebrate the heritage of the marijuana movement itself.

A card for Jack Herer hails a mostly cannabis sativa strain that is named for Herer, a renowned marijuana and hemp activist and former "Grassroots Party" presidential candidate who died earlier this year.

His commemorative pot strain - "selected from a massive pool of plants for their unique and special characteristics" - is touted on its trading card as "peppery and spicy with a touch of tropical fruit."

Like it activist namesake, it is one hard-working weed.

"Clear, focused, energetic and motivating," the card reads. "You may start cleaning your house or working on a project. A good strain for when you have to medicate during the work day."

Pictured: Top - Trading card for Grand Daddy Purple. Below - Jack Herer card - and his commemorative weed strain - at San Francisco cannabis show. Courtesy of Berkeley Patients Care Collective.

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