Ever since Canada legalized weed nationally in late 2018, the SQDC (Société québécoise du cannabis) hasn’t necessarily been embraced by pot purists in Quebec.
“The buds are way too dry! They aren’t potent enough! They taste like shit! The lines are too long! They’re out of stock too often!” This kind of criticism about the government-owned SQDC products is not new, but still fairly common. In fact, Kaytranada recently called it “dry-ass weed” in an interview with QCULTUR on YouTube, comparing it unfavourably to the legal cannabis offered in Denver, Portland and Seattle, and that the oversized packaging contributes to its dryness. Another QCULTUR video from 2019 showed rap keb artist Tizzo describing SQDC’s products as “pourri” (rotten).
With this in mind, this is the first edition of a monthly Cult MTL column where we review a different set of SQDC products (dried flowers, capsules, edibles, etc.) and discuss our experience with each. I’ve decided to open this series by smoking pre-rolled joints: one sativa, one indica and one hybrid strain. Let’s see if these criticisms hold weight, or if their product is better than some give it credit for.
SATIVA: Marley Natural: Marley Gold Sativa
My first pre-roll comes from a company using the most obvious strategy to capitalize on a deceased reggae icon’s legacy: Marley Natural. Obviously, that kind of branding doesn’t even remotely guarantee quality—in fact, it’s a bit of a red flag. But with the 20% THC, I can say that Marley Gold Sativa was an interesting experience… on both sides of the coin.
This strain is energizing and puts you in a more positive state of mind, as any half-decent sativa should. It’s also a very cerebral experience, which can be either a great or upsetting experience depending on your state of mind. I also felt very, very hungry. On the other hand, it also knocked me out cold for almost an hour when I smoked too much at once. In any case, I stopped with this one and buffalo soldiered on to the more calming smoking experience below. 7/10
INDICA: Namaste Sensi Star
This is definitely on the other end of the cannabis spectrum: a more relaxing, less uplifting type of high and one more ideal for nighttime consumption. But it’s not particularly potent. In fact, it’s only 10% THC — about half the Marley Gold’s percentage. As if that weren’t enough, the packaging almost looks like a tampon case.
Of course, I decided to smoke it, listen to Dark Side of the Moon and then watch Trailer Park Boys (as one does while smoking God’s green grass) and see what happened. Did it do its job? Sure. The show was funnier and the album was more intoxicating to listen to. The high was pleasant and calming, even though its lukewarm potency meant that I’d go through the joints pretty quickly. Was it enough for me to buy it again? Ehhh… nah. 6/10
HYBRID: 514 Saint-Henri Kush
Now, for some homegrown content. This hybrid strain from NDG’s cool sibling is my favourite out of this bunch. Although it doesn’t list the THC percentage on the packaging, I discovered it was 16.4% after doing the math. In other words, a sweet spot somewhere between the other two strains. (That being said, why are two smallish joints placed in such a disproportionately big package?! Kaytranada wasn’t joking…)
These Sud-Ouest buds can pack a punch, but won’t really knock you out cold, either. I began smoking it and put on some Khruangbin — the stoner band du jour these days. Later, I’d get sent down a deep enough YouTube rabbit hole that I forgot about the boiling pot of water in my kitchen. Yes, I got so ripped off this strain that I forgot I was about to make pasta. Well… at least it wasn’t a fire? 8/10