Island Strains is THE place to buy Grade A medical cannabis in Montego Bay. And since it is located a short cab ride away from the airport, this is a great place to stop before tourists head out to the island’s countless resorts. This was our first stop after the airport this year and it will be our first stop when we come back for our annual Jamaica trip next year.
If you are accustomed to medical grade cannabis in the US, then you will be disappointed by almost all the Jamaican weed you will find through cab drivers, resort employees, dudes in the street, and even pot farm tours. Most all the marijuana you will be offered in Jamaica has lots and lots of seeds. Medical grade weed has no seeds so more of the plant’s energy goes into producing THC. Marijuana grown without seeds in Jamaica is called “sinsemilla” and if you can find it will be just as potent as US dispensary grade. However, even if you ask to buy sinsemilla, someone is going to hand you a bag or giant nugget or a f-ing tree branch of something with seeds on it. They will assure you it’s pure sinsemilla. It’s not. Sinsemilla is not a specific strain; it’s any strain grown in a particular way to enhance potency. All dispensary weed in the US is sinsemilla. Most weed in Jamaica is not.
This is why the arrival of dispensaries like Island Strains that produce high quality, high THC cannabis is a welcome upgrade to those accustomed to smoking dispensary grade marijuana. (And tourists from the US and Canada will increasingly expect medical grade strains and seek them out even on vacation).
Look, if you’re new to cannabis or not a frequent user, don’t bother with Island Strains. Buy your weed from a local farmer, a cab driver, or the bartenders, bus or pool staff at any resort. It’s super easy to find. If you go to a farm and it’s the right place in the growing cycle, you can potentially get a hilariously obscene amount of weed that you’ll take pictures with and laugh about for years. And you’ll put some money into rural areas that could really use a boost. It won’t be the strongest weed, but when you’re starting out, Jamaican weed will easily get the job done with far less risk of over doing it.
But if you are accustomed to high quality cannabis, then make a dispensary like Island Strains your first stop (they are currently the only dispensary on the west side of the island). For $10 US you can get a medical card in minutes. They have a great selection and fair prices (we thought). There are strains at several different price points, ranging from $10 to $20 US per gram in both flower and pre-rolls. When you buy 5 grams they throw in a free pre-roll of your choice. We picked from the $10 menu and all the strains were plenty strong even by US dispensary standards. Our favorite was Amnesia Lemon Pie, a great anxiety reducing sativa that packed a wallop. Beginners beware! We also really liked the Blue Cheese, an any time Indica that was perfect for a romantic evening but was also a good daytime, lounge around, beach weed. We typically review strains for how well they work for sex, and these did their job. We also liked the Rock Lock and the Lemon Kush. We weren’t wild about the Goji; it gave my wife a headache and didn’t do much for me. We came away really impressed by the overall quality. It was strong stuff, with several strains whose potency and effects would challenge those new to cannabis.
The store itself is comfortable, professional, and artful. They have a smoking room and a deck with a great view. We didn’t stay long since we were anxious to get to the hotel, but we easily could have.
Island Strains has a good thing going here and looks to become a leader in quality cannabis as Jamaica moves its weed growing into the high THC future.