Willie Nelson’s branded marijuana is a mixed bag
Bottom line: The Willie’s Reserve from singer Willie Nelson packaging was clever, but inconsistencies in quality left us with concerns that it’s more gimmick than great all the way around.
Country Western singer Willie Nelson’s songs are available for purchase almost everywhere, but Californians who want to obtain his branded cannabis products, launched earlier this year, will find themselves “on the road again,” to borrow lyrics from one of his best-known songs.
Las Vegas is the nearest city in which medical dispensaries sell his flower, pre-roll, medicated chocolate and vapor products. They’re grown and produced for the Willie’s Reserve label by six different cultivators in Washington and Colorado, according to the brand’s website. Because Nevada allows Californians with a doctor’s recommendation to join its collectives, we were able to visit Essence Cannabis Dispensary on a recent Las Vegas trip, and to buy and try three Willie’s Reserve pre-rolls available there at the time: Lime Haze, Gorilla Glue and Forum Cut Cookies. (Essence has since discontinued selling Willie’s Reserve, but some other dispensaries in town, such as Sahara Wellness and Inyo Fine Cannabis Dispensary, carry a wider variety of the line’s pre-rolls.)
The Willie’s Reserve tested here was grown by Redwood, according to the label, a grower not included on the list of farmers found on the Willie’s Reserve website.
The folks at Essence said Lime Haze was their least favorite of the three strains sold, and our trial substantiated that opinion. The clever cardboard tube packaging contained two pre-rolls in an interior foil pouch, sealed for freshness. The fresh, citrus scent of the pre-rolls was inviting, but the flavor was so mild as to be bland, with only a light hint of citrus aftertaste, and almost no discernible medicating effect. Essence’s labeling delineates the terpene content of each medication, and also the harvest date and sell date. In this case, the flower was harvested two months before its sell date. Maybe it just hadn’t had enough time to cure.
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