Before Portland had bougie weed shops furnished by Design Within Reach, budtenders with man buns, and poly-hybrid designer cultivars called King Louis XIII, we had great weed.
Strains like Blueberry, Space Queen and Dogshit are part of our cultural heritage. These cultivars were grown in attics and basements on suburban cul-de-sacs, and guerrilla style on government land. They were revered for their idiosyncratic highs and distinctive flavors.
Since full legalization, many of these strains have become relative rarities, eclipsed by more marketable strains in a climate in which everyone from retired basketball players to long-dead reggae singers are peddling product. Just tracking down many of these old-school strains takes a lot of legwork.
Rare as they’ve become, these iconic cultivars tell the story of Northwest cannabis, from the early hippie days to the drug war to the medical years up through today.
Here’s the history of Northwest weed, as told through the cultivars that defined it.