It’s Squid Pants here with a dried flower review from the legal market. In general I employ both vaporizer and joints in my consumption so my reviews will feature impressions from both methods. Otherwise things will be pretty similar to Pancakenap’s reviews.
Let’s get to it!
Black Cherry Punch
This is a popular line. Growers like to grow it and consumers like to consume it. Researching the lineage as far as I could tell we can thank In House Genetics for this one. The description that Redecan supplies very closely matches the description from In House, so I am pretty comfortable with this attribution.
I tried Edison’s version of this line with Pancakenap here, but felt the olfactory and gustatory elements were so ephemeral that I hadn’t really actually had a chance to try it. At one point in our discussion I commented that I bet you could go to the cheaper end of the market and get a much better representation, and here we are. Let’s take a look.
Up until recently Redecan was a privately owned business operating out of Pelham, Ontario. There are interesting details in the story including strong ties to the indigenous community including investment and expertise from people also involved in Grand River Enterprises, a fully indigenous owned and federally licensed cigarette manufacturer. For those uncomfortable with supporting the tobacco industry it should be noted that these were separate enterprises. Giving Redecan your business did not support the tobacco industry.
I am speaking in the past tense as they are now owned by Hexo, and I am unsure how things have changed with the change in ownership.
Redecan continues to have a strong market presence, especially in the pre-roll market.
Their placement in the market is towards the budget end with all their products. My experience with them is the product isn’t the prettiest, but delivered where it mattered. Yes, there was that whole “protein carbohydrate” and mould issue on the first batches out for recreational legalization (I know I had my microscope out as I had grabbed two of their offerings in the first few minutes that the OCS web store in Ontario went live, but found mine to be protein carbohydrate and fungus free) but they have been running pretty smoothly since. All that said, they are not a premium brand.
For the more environmentally focused, Redecan has opted for a less sustainable packaging solution; the black plastic jar plus pointless outer cardboard box combo.
First the cardboard box. It’s unneeded as all the info is on the jar anyway. Sure with unboxed jars storage before sale is slightly more challenging, but only in the way that tying shoelaces is slightly more challenging than velcro.
Second, the black plastic jar. Before you put that black plastic container in the blue bin you might want to check if your municipality accepts black plastic as not all in Canada do. For example, in Toronto black plastic is not accepted so off to landfill it goes, but in Calgary it is accepted. Some stores have a recycling program they participate in such that you can bring any cannabis packing to them, so that can be a solution for black plastic, foil lined plastic bags and so on.
Well, keep your hopes realistic here. I have received medium sized buds from Redecan before, but only in packages bigger than 1 gram. This is 3.5 grams so I expect at least one nice bud, but, it’s smalls. Tight, nice coverage but smalls with somewhat sloppy trim. This is not shocking, I was braced for it from past experience, but still.
When we look at the details, as far as the legal market goes there are worse, but that doesn’t make these looks good. Errant stem sticking out the bottom of buds, some surface details lost in processing, crows feet and small size, the problems read almost like a regrettably honest dating profile. Let’s overextend that terrible metaphor in a regrettable way and say that this one wins no beauty contests so let’s hope it has a great personality.
Upon grinding shows some minimal cohesion and uneven grind size. This definitely isn’t the best I’ve seen but beats some others at a higher price point.
Taking a bud out of the jar and giving it a squeeze, the moisture content is surprisingly close to ideal. Buds are quite dense and under pretty strong compression they bounce back nicely without any bits becoming detached.
Opening the package the scent slaps you. The scent is at first dominated by the fruit notes that sit somewhere between black cherries and concord grapes. I love that scent. Upon continued examination mild woods emerge alongside a scent like fresh motor oil.
That first slap is a tease though, possibly just because it was in the package so long it had time to build up. Subsequent openings of the jar pack far less of a punch but intensity remains satisfactory for the price paid.
Grinding only mildly amplifies the scent. Character remains unchanged, no new elements are brought out from grinding, so like a nudist at a floodlight convention nothing is hidden.
Volcano: First run isn’t as pronounced as hoped, though flavours are all satisfying if not luxurious. While in scent concord grape dominated, vapourized the dominant flavour is more a blend between grape and dark cherry with more than a hint of lemony fuel asserting itself on exhale. The grapey, cherry tastes linger in the mouth a good while after use. That said there’s a lack of legs and by the second run the taste was reduced to sandy balsa wood with the memory of grape on the exhale. At this price point that’s not too surprising.
Joint: Similar but muted in comparison to the vaporizer with creamy notes on the exhale. Unlike a few recently sampled legal offerings this one burns fine. Stays lit, ash is pale and no chunks of charcoal left behind but if you are after perfect white ash, you won’t get there from here. Acceptable for smoking but not as tasty as I would want.
Price and Value
The cannabis was packaged on March 17th, 2021 (but of course it’s impossible to know how long it was stored before packaging) and I tried it 225 days later. After tax I paid $21.44 for 3.5 grams which translates to about $6.13 per gram. Vendor was Value Buds, so the price was less than what most competitors charge. If I had paid the OCS listed price I doubt I would find value as easily.
If the package can be believed then this clocks in at a potential of 21.8% THC so price per 100mg of THC is about $2.81 if that’s your key metric. My package was slightly overcounted, which I have observed seems to be more common with budget brands over premium brands for some reason.
At this price I’m somewhat satisfied. Active content wise I have no complaints, scent and flavour are satisfactory for the price. The presence of so many smalls is disappointing but after grinding, whatever. This cultivar has good bud size, and it’s not like Redecan has a reserve product they are keeping apical buds for, so why nothing but smalls? Bud size and age are what keep me from finding it any better than just expected value for the price.
From the market analysis included in the Edison Black Cherry Punch review, this Redecan product is second for all brands selling Black Cherry Punch.
Context is everything here. Is this good cannabis? Well, it’s good enough. If I was having a small get-together that was all about the company and just wanted something to offer everyone to enjoy while hanging out, this is a good choice. If I was thinking of growing some Black Cherry Punch and wanted to get an idea of if I will like it without paying a lot, sure, this will do it as long as you remember you bought from the budget end. But if I was having a cannabis sampling get-together to explore exceptional tastes and scents of the highest quality, or if I wanted to experience the best expression of this cultivar then no, this isn’t going to cut it. It’s pretty well what I want to see at the price point that I paid if we average out all its features to a final overall score. That it was better than an offering that was more expensive doesn’t mean this is undervalued, it means the other was overvalued.
This offers fair value (admittedly if bought at a discount), yes, but if you want something special you are going to have to pay a bit more, which I suggest you do.