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Green Acre #131: High on 2019

An assortment of “smoking gear” at the Higher Limits store in Washington DC. / Photo above and on the front by Monica Weddle.

FOR YEARS I stashed a joint in Uncle Jimmy’s humidor, a heavy mahogany cigar casket, with a  glass liner, that sits on the radiator beside the front door. Of course, this was used for medicinal purposes only, as from time to time I need a psychological boost to clean the house. The Pointer Sisters go very well with this activity, I have found.

Oh, the dusting I did!

Alas, my little stash is long gone, and the house has gone to pot, as it were. If I only had some seed . . .

Meeting a handsome, excessively tall young Jamaican at a Washington holiday party I asked what he does, as one does, and he said he’s in the marijuana-growing business, a startup, based in New Jersey. He’s hoping to begin importing some fine island weed.

I whispered (all very entre nous, you know), “Maybe you know where can I get my hands on some?”

“On H Street Northeast,” he said, taking a bite out of an empanada. “Just past the Giant.”


“It’s legal,” he said. “For personal use up to two ounces.”

“Yes,” I said, “but I thought you couldn’t buy it yet.”

“You can’t,” he said. “You buy something from the shelves, a T-shirt with Bob Marley or Barack Obama smoking a spliff and you’re given a ‘gift’ of a bag of weed.”

(One must become au courant with the current lingo, I think. I do like spliff, it’s so . . . roll the Marlboros in my shirtsleeve. Do I need a tat next? No, I think not. That’s an aside.)

Of course, with Baby in town for the holidays, this turned into your typical mother-daughter trip. Please pardon my puns; they appear to be unavoidable.

Bong, bong, bong at the Higher Limits store in Washington DC. / Photo by Monica Weddle.

We didn’t go to the shop near Giant; it seemed to be closed for the day, or for an hour, or perhaps forever. We went instead to Higher Limits, located a few blocks east, hidden behind a locked door just inside the entry to Pizza Walay.

It feels a little illicit, shady, like a speakeasy. You press a barely audible buzzer for entry, then climb a narrow flight of stairs to the second floor where several stony-faced and brawny bouncers check IDs before letting you pass. You have to be over 18, see.

(At some point ID checks are no longer flattering, have you noticed? That’s another aside.)

The shop is maybe 20 feet square, with goods invitingly displayed on shelving suspended along the walls. While I was kind of looking forward to that Obama T-shirt, this place offers only smoking apparatus, which is more useful, I suppose.

One wall was devoted to bongs, many of them leaning toward boy-joke stuff, like the naked woman with a smoke-hole in her belly. Another wall was split between a selection of quite beautiful hand-blown glass bongs and pipes, all swirly colors, the little ones suitable for hanging from a necklace if you want to look totally chill mama.

Interesting that this weed-buying appears to be a guy thing—like wine-buying has been, in my experience. And thus it remains. Apart from the two young woman who were running the place, there was only one other female customer—and she was with her boyfriend.

To get the dope on dope, we waited for a lull in the slipstream of quite respectable-looking guys blowing in, picking something from a shelf, and headed for the register.

We were told you get the “gift” only with a purchase of smoking gear, which ranges from about $15 to $60.  The purchase determines the size of the gift.
Picking out a cool Chinese red glass pipe, I was offered a choice of Purple Punch Indica or something else which I forget. Both are “downers,” which sounds bad but is good—leaves you mellow, the clerk said. I took the Purple Punch. I like purple.

Higher Limits also has an array of hemp/CBD (cannabidiol) products, which are derived from the cannibis plant but do not get you high, nor do they qualify for “gifts.” They do promise relief from aches and pains when applied topically as a salve, or taken internally as drops, or infused in various blinds like gummy bears or honey.

Hemp and cannabis counteract each other, by the way. So one or the other at a time, please. Such an authority I’ve become!

If you’re interested in hemp/CBD products, I would suggest you try the California-based and strangely wonderful “nuns” at Sisters of the Valley. The prices are better, and the new-age sisters are just so damn amusing.

One last note. Thanks to several intense acupuncture sessions for my little cigarette habit, I can no longer inhale smoke, so an alternative delivery method becomes necessary.

While the traditional brownie batch was tempting, hiding them from The Prince would be impossible. He detests drugs of any sort but has a nose for chocolate. Baby fears he’d find the batch and down them, Irish blue eyes slowly rolling back into his head. Not a good thing.

So I consulted the website of Laurie Wold, whom The New Yorker once called “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles,” and found her recipe for cannabis-infused simple syrup, which can be added to tea or margaritas or sauces. I put the jar in the fridge with a label saying, “Mommy’s. DO NOT TOUCH.” I think this will work.

(Glad he was out of the house when I cooked this up—my god it smells awful).

Canna Simple Syrup


  • 3 cups water
  • 4 grams cannabis chopped fine
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable glycerin


Bring the water to a low boil.

Slowly add the cannabis, stirring frequently.

Next, add the sugar, stirring to dissolve.

Cook for 20 minutes, covered, not allowing the mixture to boil too vigorously.

Remove cover and add glycerin.

Continue cooking, gentle bubbles, for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken.

Allow the syrup to cool and transfer to a measuring cup with a spout. (Less spills!)

Strain the syrup through a small strainer and cheesecloth. Best kept in the fridge.

—Stephanie Cavanaugh

LittleBird “Stephanie Gardens” sometimes grows stuff but sometimes buys—at retail.


3 thoughts on “Green Acre #131: High on 2019

  1. Terri — assuming that question was for me: I managed to screw up the recipe (and with only 4 ingredients that was a challenge). I need to try it again.

  2. Dominique McElroy Rychlik says:

    I remember the head shops and street vendors in Georgetown in my youth (for paraphernalia only). Fun to read!

  3. Terri says:

    Did it work?

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