Los Lunas (named after the Luna family) is a village of nearly 15,000 people. I'd never visited before—my only experience with the place was reading the sign on the overpass that declares: “Small Community, Big Possibilities.” Last year, they made local headlines when it was announced that Facebook would be opening a massive data center there in 2018. The village is already looking well-off (as per the overpass sign), with a number of modern shopping centers in good repair and some beautiful neighborhoods. But with the new data center will come new jobs—something to the tune of around 200 temporary construction positions and 50 long-term positions.
The medical cannabis industry in New Mexico should be taking note of this: There are currently only two dispensaries in Los Lunas—Natural Rx (3414 NM-47) and Minerva Canna Group. Once the data center is up and running, the village of Los Lunas is going to become a buzzing hive of silicon valley transplants. And guess what: Those computer geek types love cannabis. In fact, according to the Daily Reckoning, Facebook shares investors with a few California cannabis companies. And Forbes recently covered the Institutional Capital and Cannabis Conference in San Jose, Calif. last month—where some of the biggest names in internet money gathered to talk cannabis finance.
My prediction: Los Lunas is going to see a rise in demand for cannabis next year, and if they don't want to see all that money travel to ABQ, they'd better start opening new dispensaries quick. But I dropped in on Minerva Canna while I was there last week, and the village seems to be in good hands for now.
If you've been to the location in ABQ—a sprawling, crowded cannabis complex—you'll be surprised by the cozy (read “small”) space that the Los Lunas location uncomfortably fills. But despite the crunchy space, the employees seemed friendly and in good spirits. Maybe because the little rooms are easier to blast with an air conditioner. The heat index had climbed another 300 degrees within the last hour, and the parking lot was seething with heat waves. In such a mess, the tiny building—so dark and cool—became a comforting oasis.
It made me talkative and jovial. I stuck around for a bit without feeling like a jerk because the place was mostly empty—a refreshing break from the crowded halls of the other location. It was also time to receive the last stamp on my Minerva rewards card, entitling me to a free pre-roll and entrance into a raffle. That card is way underrated. Every three trips, you get a free joint.
And I was more than surprised when I got home and found that the free pre-roll from the Los Lunas store was leaps and bounds better than the ones I've been getting back home. It was really fresh and clumpy. I was trying to dump it out (which, as you know, I always do), and I was having a real issue getting the sticky bud out onto the tray. I smoked a little of the random house mix and was really happy with the freshness and powerful kick. Keep in mind that when you get these, they could be a mix of any of Minerva's strains, and the effects aren't going to be uniform. Beginners should use with caution—not because of its potency per se, but because you really don't know what you're going to get.
I actually did buy something, though. I started with Moonshine's Ghost Train (THC: 23.04%, CBD: 0.04%—$11/gram), a cross of Moonshine Haze and one of my personal favorites, Ghost Train Haze #1. The sativa-dominant hybrid created by Rare Dankness seeds tasted caustic and sour with heavy diesel overtones. It caused a ton of lung-clearing coughing fits and was a bit rough to deal with, but the immediate boost in mood was well worth it. This is a great strain for those dealing with depression or PTSD.
After a massive ham and cheese sandwich (which tasted better than anything I've ever eaten), I cracked into the last strain, which I'd been saving due to its noticeable quality. The gram of Chocolate Mint OG (THC: 23.96%, CBD: 0.42%—$12/gram) was covered in trichomes and smelled pungent. It was odd, though: The smell reminded me more of something citric than chocolate or mint. And the taste was tart and sharp, not sweet in the least. So I'm confused by the name. But who cares? This amazing strain had a powerful effect on me. My mouth and eyes became sluggish and stupid. My fingers buzzed and everything went pleasantly numb.
It wasn't long before I was curling up like a cat on the couch mumbling, “Just 30 minutes,” with one eye shut. “Just an hour,” I said.