Everything in my marijuana universe was either “schwag” or “beasters” until I scored a VHS copy of “Half Baked” my junior year of high school. Seeing Dave Chappelle ripping bricks of pharmaceutical grade herb off of racks with names like Yukon Gold and Northern Lights only confirmed that I had yet to ascend to the upper echelons of pot smoking. It was probably his emphatic “MAUI WOWIE!” that stuck with me the most, but I never imagined I’d be smoking bowl after bowl of it — legally — in Colorado. Or that I’d be referring to it as “Maui Meh-ie” shortly thereafter.
After the High Times Cannabis Cup, I began my quest to find anyone who had a winner in stock. For what it’s worth, I might as well have been trying to find a Tickle Me Elmo on Christmas Eve, or attempting to make a reference that belies my weird spot between Gen X and Millennials. I heard through a friend that Ballpark Holistic Dispensary had some Denver Maple (at the Cup, Denver Maple was erroneously announced as a winner in the medical hybrid category, but was shortly after corrected to third-place medical indica. A memorable moment, if you were there.)
Unfortunately, there was none left and Maui Waui was my consolation prize over a strain called Eminem they were pushing. The latter could have had the same aesthetic qualities of Detroit itself and it would have at least been worth trashing. The former is pretty widespread, however, so I’d be remiss if I went with some house strain over it.
Maui Waui by the numbers: $15/gram, $45/eighth for non-members at Ballpark Holistic Dispensary, 2119 Larimer St., in Denver.
My main beef with Maui is that it’s a pain in the ass to review. For a long time, anything that came from Hawaii fell under its umbrella, despite the subtle differences between the smoke. There’s the purportedly “fun” sativa-dominant hybrid variety that many say smells tropical — as if there’s a defining odor of the tropics that’s a mix of suntan lotion and frozen drinks you should be nosing around for. Then there’s the indica-leaning version that evokes pine trees (I certainly think of pine when imagining Hawaii) that gives me a little head change and disappears after an hour. I was looking at the latter.
Ballpark’s hadn’t purpled out like I usually see, but the aggressive piney sweetness was there. This is not to be mistaken for actual pineapple, which would at least make geographic sense. The density was what you’re looking for, too, growing decently thick buds for a sativa compared to an Island Sweet Skunk, for example. Similar to its relation from another location, the Maui hairs are almost an impossibly pale orange against a washed-out green. Think the Miami Hurricanes hat that Vanilla Ice used to sport, only if he had left it in the sun all these years.
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Loading up a bowl for a quick sesh with a pal, the smoke was sweeter than expected from a spoon that hadn’t been cleaned since rec stores started opening. Immediately, I felt a tingle in my nose that was less like a limb falling asleep and more like a pre-sneeze. After slogging my way through LoDo for a while and feeling discouraged, there was a nice euphoria initially that helped me deal with drunks pouring out of Coors Field and ignoring traffic laws. One jaywalker was shocked a car honked at him, exclaiming “You think that guy would have HIT me?” after he walked directly into the vehicle’s path.
We wandered over to Comedy Works to see who else was wandering around Comedy Works, a couple of teens at the 16th Street Mall sans agenda. Neither of us felt particularly chatty, though, which made this an egregious choice of herb. I wish I could say we were too stoned to interact, or that we had achieved some Zen-like state of consciousness. Nope. Just nothing much to say. It was Maui Waui personified in a mood. A slight headache began to creep up with no relief for my tired legs while my high was quickly fading. This is a strain I’m always reticent to advise for pain relief, but even with the indica clearly present, it was unbearably weak. If this was a trip to Hawaii, I was stuck in a time-share presentation.