Marijuana legalization is making waves across the country and this 4/20 the SDNYC team checked out a fresh new festival in town. Making its first appearance in the city, the NY-Harvest Fest hosted NYC: 420 — a cannabis culture gathering, marketplace, art gallery and music festival headlined by Bob Marley’s Original Wailers.
Rows of vendors lined the perimeter of Club Amazura‘s dance floor in Queens hawking bud, seeds, plants, edibles, hippie hemp clothes, glass, smoking supplies, and other arts & crafts. After chatting up company reps and circling the offerings a few times, I carefully selected items to sample and report back on. Below is the review of my 420 haul and my thoughts on the festival’s food/beverage situation.
Truffle Packarillos sold by Bud Bus Inc.
Meeting the Bud Bus crew was an experience in itself. They were hard to avoid since their marketing game was so strong. The business is centered around a mobile dispensary/party bus of sorts. The novelty of the company grabs your attention, but the teams’ salesmanship and quirkiness only adds to the attraction.
I was excited to try a new product (especially after my mix-up with their owner), so I decided to tear into the pack right away. Only to discover first opening the pack was a frustrating challenge for two stoners standing in a crowd behind a barricade. We finally figured out the magic combination of child-lock, tug & pull five minutes later. After the initial explosion of pre-rolls I got the hang of it and was smooth-sliding from then on. The second package was easier to get into. Partly because of experience and party because of the calmer environment.
I prefer smoking a hybrid and asked the salesman (owner?) which blend was his favorite. He touted that the Truffle was his go-to and recommends it for a daily toker like myself because of its packaging. Now, we discussed the product packaging, but the actual pre-roll is uniquely packed. The reason I chose the Packarillos Premium Minis from Packwoods was because they came with everything I enjoy when smoking. I’ve been heartbroken for some time witnessing the downfall of the Zig-Zag Cigar and Cigarillo blunt wraps in NYC. The Packarillos are .75 grams of premium flower, pre-rolled professionally in a slow burning tobacco-free wrap, with a glass filter tip. The truffle strain is a Hybrid containing 21.24% THC. Though the wrap is tobacco-free the flavor is reminiscent of a classic blunt. The 3 pack of minis didn’t look like enough for a regular smoker like myself, but quality and potency of the premium flower held a nice high that left me satisfied for much longer than my usual street herb in a 1 1/4 RAW cone. This was definitely my favorite of all the products from my festival stash.
Shady Daisy Confections sold by Bud Bus Inc.
Tucked away on the corner of one the Bud Bus tables, a little Daisy dude in sunglasses caught my eye. The Shady Daisy logo decorated a variety of gourmet-quality sweets and I was hooked. If you have a sweet tooth like me you’ll want to find these edibles at the next cannabis festival in town. The Bud Bus gimmick deal of free gift with purchase (buy a rubber bracelet for $60 and pick an item off the table for free) applied to the edibles as well. Except instead of one smokable item you get a choice of 4 treats. I went with two types of chocolate covered Oreos and two different chocolate bars.
The Oreos came individually wrapped in small black windowed boxes. Each elegantly topped to indicate the flavor inside adding to the high-end presentation. After long thought I pointed to the Cookies & Cream covered Dark Chocolate Oreo, and the Milk Chocolate Covered PB Oreo. Their Instagram says there’s also a Dark Mint Double Stuffed Thin Mint. Had I seen the Mint in the mix that would have been my first choice over Cookies & Cream. I’m not a fan of white chocolate and love Thin Mints. However, these edibles were so rich and flavorful I enjoyed each and every bite. I would suggest a label under the package in addition to the toppings to identify the contents.
Of the bars, I went with the Dark Chocolate with Caramel Bits & Sea Salt. The decadent mixture of chewy and salty reminded me of a thinner Chunky Bar. I also gravitated toward the Neapolitan Bar because of its pink festive appearance, but hesitant because again there was white chocolate. To my pleasant surprise the white chocolate was host to fruity cereal bits. I didn’t find out this was Neapolitan flavored until after the fact, and described it to friends as “a bowl of Fruity Pebbles layered on a chocolate bar”. There’s also a Milk Chocolate Crunch Bar which I can only imagine is as delicious as the rest. The Peanut Butter Cups were tempting and came 4 to a box. I will definitely be trying these next time.
Aside from chocolate, Shady Daisy Confections makes their own infused Fruit Chews in Regular & Sugar Free. I wanted to sample the more unique confections and flavor combos this year so I skipped those. I’m also interested in finding out which flavors are in each package of gummies before giving them a try. I highly recommend you check out all they have to offer.
NYCD(iesel) by Ry Dogz Genetix
Unlike the 2021 NYCFF, finding a New York vendor at NYC:420 was actually difficult. Eventually I foud a group of growers from Upstate NY (close enough) by the name Ry Dogz Genetix. Specializing in Heirloom Genetics, their 1984 Candystore strain placed 2nd at the 2021 NY State Harvest Festival Cannabis Cup.
The humble growers displayed both their prized crops, as well as jars of ready to smoke herb from the batches. Beside a poorly handwritten price list, the guys from upstate helped pick your perfect strain. A jar labeled NYCD caught my attention and I was told it stood for “NYC Diesel”. Not only was I sold on the name, but the hybrid was the right fit for me and seemed to be a favorite having the least amount left for purchase. I decided to take a bit home at $35 for 1/8 which is average pricing for the city. I had hoped to catch a better deal, but I have a feeling their focus was on exposure as growers and not necessarily making money as a vendor.
I suppose I was a sucker for branding when I bought the NYC Diesel as it ended up being as mediocre as the vendor’s display. I only wish I had known about their Candystore flower prior to making my purchase at the fest. I suggest they add a nice loud and proud sign calling out their prize-winning plants.
Other Food & Bev
The only beverages at the entire fest were either behind the bar, at the overly smoky BBQ truck outside, or from Concert Boo‘s smoothie machine. I paid nightclub pricing for a couple of glasses of wine and a can of Red Bull from the bar. I should have tried the smoothie. Those on our team who did said it was delightful and cured both cotton-mouth and the munchies. I on the other hand was all too excited to find a black Baklava with a neon pot leaf pattern at Concert Boo’s booth. I hastily thrust $10 into the vendor’s hand and ripped open the package only to reveal a poor quality, thin and ill-fitting piece of fabric. It was probably the only mass-produced product in the booth. I recommend sticking to the handmade goods at festivals if you’re looking for quality… and bring a water bottle along.
Eventually, my legs were tired from the lack of seating and my stomach was craving something other than edibles or BBQ. So, I left shortly after the Wailers’ performance and sacrificed catching DJ Keoki’s set that I was very much looking forward to. I later found out later that I also missed out on the Brownie Bake-Off Competition and a food vendor making infused tacos. It was probably for the best. I had my fill of edibles and a big bag of goodies waiting to be unwrapped. There’s always next year!