Medical Marijuana Sodas from Colorado: Fear & Loathing in Brooklyn


Like the label says, “Take Flight.”

The little bottle of elixir said “One Hit Wonder” across the top and “Take Flight” across the bottom. In between was a pastel butterfly that only a hippie could love. I was holding the bottle aloft in the headlight glare of the car behind us, as my friend — let’s call him Buddy — and I were motoring east on Fulton Street, headed for a Philippine restaurant in Bed-Stuy.

I was trying to convince Buddy to split the two-way dose of medical marijuana concentrate with me. “Does one hit make you smaller or taller?” He quipped, riffing on Alice in Wonderland.

“C’mon, if we wait till after we eat, it will take an hour and a half to hit us. We’ll be home watching TV. If we drink it now, we can be zonked in 45 minutes,” I cajoled. “OK, why not?” Buddy said, as I peeled the plastic label off the bottle so we could approximate half a bottle apiece by looking at the level through the brown glass. He let me take the wheel from the passenger’s seat, as he carefully downed his portion. I followed suit.

I’d received the elixir in a box the day before with three regular marijuana sodas. They came from an outfit in Denver with the unwieldy name of marQaha — which sounds like a lunatic’s laugh. The bottles arrived after I’d put up a blog piece about a competing brand of medicated sodas. Apparently, several beverage companies set up shop in Colorado following the passage of medical marijuana laws. But I was skeptical. Powerful marijuana in multiple forms is so easy to obtain here, why bother with sodas?

The little bottle we’d just drunk was flavored Pomegranate. It wasn’t sweet, nor did it taste much like pomegranate. In fact, it did have a quasi-medicinal taste. The larger bottles were labeled Mint Green Tea, Pomegranate, and Lemon-Aid. (“It should be Lemon-AIDS,” Buddy quipped, rather tastelessly, I thought.)

Three bigger bottles of soda arrived in the same package.


The big bottles had come with little pieces of paper taped to them warning, “These samples DO NOT contain cannabis. These are considered ‘non-medicated’ samples for flavor profiles only.” But the little elixir had no such disclaimer, leading us to believe it did contain THC, and that some sympathetic employee had tossed it in the box at the last minute out of pity.

We arrived at the restaurant to meet a bunch of other people, but kept our elixir-drinking to ourselves, so as not to make them jealous. We secretly hoped that, sometime during the meal, we’d leap up, doff our clothes, and go running out into the night laughing and screaming — leaving them with the check.

But as the minutes wore on, we realized it wasn’t going to happen. Stiffed again by Colorado! Damn! When the meal concluded, we hopped back in the car and headed for Ferdie’s crib (not his real name), where we knew a big bong with some of his product — homegrown in a Brooklyn closet under Gro-Lights, and truly excellent — would be waiting.

Sniff, sniff!