From the outside, it looked like just another night in an upscale northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood.
There were no cars outside the house and only if you were really paying attention would you see people, most of whom were dropped off by rideshare drivers, trickling in.
But across the threshold, it was a packed house of a carefully selected group of Oklahoma cannabis industry players. A total of 35 people were invited to the event, including dispensary and processor owners, growers, lawyers and athletes.
On the wall were jars of fresh cannabis flower and an array of pre-rolls. The attendees seated nearby kept eyeing them eagerly while blazing bud and consuming concentrates or dinner, waiting for the event to begin.
Altvm, a cannabis grower, and ElectraLeaf, a dispensary that works closely with it, had previously done all of its phenotype hunting and strain selections for what would stock the shelves amongst itself and its inner circle. The last time, it did it in grower Dave Dodson’s apartment. But this time, it rented a house and invited some of its closest colleagues to weigh in on the selection process. J. Blake Johnson, the lawyer for both ElectraLeaf and Altvm, was present at the first one and ensured that the cannabis for the second event was acquired legally.
The second night’s menu was broken into two parts. The first round included five different strains, including two phenotypes of one (Cotton Candy Cash #9, Candy Store #1, Candy Store #4, GMO Zkittles #12, Peanut Butter Breath #8 and Tang Breath #6), and after a short break, the feature presentation, which included 11 phenotypes of Orange Kush Cake, or OKC.
If that sounds like a lot of cannabis, well, let me tell you, it was. But it was also one of the most fulfilling evenings I’ve spent on the job.
“Each seed is like a child. And if you have five children, they’re all going to be slightly different,” ElectraLeaf co-owner Pedro Sotomayor said. “So while it may be the same strain, each phenotype is going to display different characteristics that may be way far left or far right of each other, or maybe in the middle. That’s what’s unique about this process and why we want to go through tasting all this cannabis to figure out which way each strain leans. How’s it taste? How’s it smoke? How does it interact with the terpenes? And that’s how we choose the best. We’ve popped probably 900 seeds this year, and as much as we love smoking cannabis, it’s a lot to smoke. It’s a lot of work, and rather than just run through it all ourselves, we decided to bring the community together and just share with the community this process that we go through, let them taste, get their opinion because ultimately, we’re doing this for the community.”
Before the event even kicked off, the amount of smoke in the air from those warming up for the event set off the smoke alarm inside the house, a portent of what was to come.
“We have a menu here that has a rating scale of a 0 to 10 and space for comments,” Dodson said. “You don’t have to fill it out, but any feedback’s greatly appreciated and it’ll show up on the shelf at ElectraLeaf or Urban Leaf or wherever it is that you guys get our weed.”
Comedian James Nghiem also warmed up the crowd and got them loose before the first round, a battery of six strains that were introduced about five minutes apart from each other, began.
“Someone is going to pass out tonight. Don’t let it be you!” Sotomayor called out as attendees took off from the starting line.
It didn’t take long before a thick plume of smoke filled the air, a visible haze that only got thicker by the minute. An attempt to clear some of the sweet smoke by opening a door hardly made a dent.
By the time the first round ended, guests were already waving off new selections and the break before the feature presentation was welcomed.
Altvm’s tagline is “Higher than high and deeper than deep.” The former is how I left the party, and the latter describes my sleep that night.
Altvm and ElectraLeaf are looking to expand this tasting party, exponentially if possible, and hope to host another in three months. It was the most relaxing official cannabis event I’ve attended, a chance for a lot of good people who have been working nonstop in the industry to take a night off and blow some smoke around with friends, old and new. I hope for perpetual invitations.
“We wanted to be able to make it intimate yet have a good, festive event, and when we can find the right place, we’ll bring even more of the community together and just turn it up as loud as we can,” Sotomayor said.
Orange Kush Cake #51
The cross of this one is as complicated as its bouquet, with a Wedding Cake x Jilly Bean cross along with a Sour Tangie x Roze Zkittlez x OG Eddy Lepp cross making up its genetics. Though we sampled 11 different phenotypes of this strain at the tasting, aside from the first one — appropriately #1 — this one stood out the most from the battery of flavors we tried. Equally orange and earthy, while this one had less of a nose on it than some of the others did for me, the flavor and high set it apart. It was an intense smoke that made me feel both deeply relaxed and upbeat. Dodson said they plan on running four of the most highly reviewed phenotypes of OKC, and I hope both #1 and #51 both make the cut.
The GMO strains are known for being both incredibly potent and extremely stinky. In fact, the first time I encountered one of those pungently salty strains, it was the Garlic Breath grown by Altvm. The scent and taste of this one is even and smooth and the effects are excellent, but the smell of the raw flower is a bit much. That aside, the Zkittlez cross tones down the GMO side, adding several points in both taste and effects for me. It’s very potent while also calming; a great smoke for the end of the night, though I do recommend you smoke it outdoors before retiring to bed.
Altvm cannabis samples were acquired from ElectraLeaf.