Pouring booze on the ground in memory of a deceased friend or loved one is a common ritual. Cannabis users might prefer burning a joint. For friends of Jenny Kush, a cannabis activist killed by a drunk driver, rolling one in her honor goes deeper than that.
Kush (real name Jennifer Monson) was a mainstay of Denver's cannabis community in the early 2010s, hosting a popular online radio show about cannabis while working at a local glassware shop and advocating for medical and recreational marijuana. A friend of many in Denver's pot scene who are still around today, Kush was killed almost seven years ago when her car was struck by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-25 in the early hours of September 1, 2013.
Scott Reach, founder of Rare Dankness genetics and Denver's House of Dankness dispensary, remembers Kush well. They became fast friends upon meeting, and Kush used to watch his house and babysit his children when Reach had to travel for work with his wife. Kush had several kids of her own, all of whom were still in their adolescence when she died.
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Sticking to what he knew, Reach decided to posthumously honor Kush in the same manner as Jack Herer was remembered — naming a strain after his friend — and he donated the profits from seed sales to a trust fund for her children. A hybrid of Amnesia Haze and Reach's Rare Dankness #2, Jenny Kush carries classic Amsterdam flavors and effects, with sweet notes of gas, tropical fruit and bubble gum and a potent, stress-melting high. "It was just really bright, vibrant and unique. When you smoke it, it makes you happy. It makes you creative," Reach says. "It kind of inspires you to get out and do something, and that was fitting for her."
Reach stopped producing Jenny Kush seeds a few years ago, and her children are now old enough to spend the money he raised. But her spirit lives on in the lungs of cannabis users across the country, with dispensaries from Nevada to Michigan growing and selling Jenny Kush. We've spotted the strain at Emerald Fields, Helping Hands Herbals, Lova, RiverRock and Starbuds in the Denver area — but why not go to the creator? House of Dankness sells Jenny Kush on both the recreational and medical sides, and she still burns as bright as she did seven years ago.
Looks: Bright green, wide and leaning on the fluffy side, Jenny Kush's buds show a clear sativa, with peach-colored pistils, dark fan leaves and a sharp coating of trichomes.
Smell: Tart, sweet notes of gas fumes and bubble gum are accompanied by similarly strong whiffs of wet soil, dragonfruit and lemon zest that remind me of soapy Jack Herer or a less citrus-heavy Golden Goat.
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Flavor: A thick, chalky sweetness almost coats the tastebuds before rubbery, sour flavors slice through the bubble gum notes, leaving dirty, zesty tastes of mango.
Effects: A little Jenny Kush goes a long way, providing quick euphoria and curiosity without turning me into a hungry hippo. Anything more than a bong rip or bowl to myself, though, and I become a lost, drooling mess, teetering on comatose before snapping out of it several hours later. It's not enough to put me to sleep, but enough to shut off my brain.
Scott Reach's take: "It was one of these Amnesia [Haze] crosses I was working with, and it was the best of them; I crossed it with Rare Dankness #2. The smell and flavor remind me of tropical fruit. It's got that old, sweet gas smell, sort of like kerosene. Pretty fast flowering time for a sativa-dominant hybrid; we get it done within 65 to 70 days. The only thing in our lineup I'd say is somewhat similar is Moonshine Haze, but even that's pretty different."
Read more about the life and death of Jenny Kush in this 2013 Westword feature by William Breathes.