Anyone visiting Las Vegas on a budget probably has a go-to spot on the strip that has seen better days (unless we're talking about the Excalibur; pretty sure that's always been a shithole). The carpets, once grand, are speckled with petrified gum, mystery stains and cigarette burns. The stock paintings in the hotel rooms were tacky three decades ago. But who cares? You won't be back in the building until 6 a.m. for the breakfast buffet.
The Tropicana was that spot for me on several occasions, but the 63-year-old casino's reputation has been revamped several times over, thanks to ownership changes — and sometimes that's all you need for a makeover. And that rejuvenation was what I was hoping to experience when I finally tried out Tropicana Cookies, a fresher take on Tangie, a one-trick citrus pony.
If a 0-10 scale of cannabis flavors existed, Tangie would score a 10 in oranges and tangerines, and maybe a 0.5 in anything else. Opening a jar of Tangie was like inhaling a powdery breath of Tang for the first time, and the high was all energy and little focus. Such extremes are fun on the first ride, but regular users usually grow tired of them quickly. Mix it with the Forum Cut of Girl Scout Cookies, though, and I'll give the Tangie line another try — especially if it comes from Oni.
If cannabis breeders were boxing trainers, Oni Seed Co. would only be training heavyweights. Extractors love Oni strains because of their trichome production, and home growers look at Oni's Instagram page like a young athlete views a poster of LeBron James. I figured that no matter how Tropicana Cookies' high felt, it'd be a rocket ship to somewhere.
Even with such heavy Tangie influences in the smell and flavor, Tropicana Cookies was a much smoother ride than I'd anticipated. After-work sessions provided physical energy and a manageable head high that replaced focus with stoned enthusiasm. A joint to myself at night provided a little too much of that, though, and I quickly learned to limit my Tropicana Cookies intake to late afternoon, with one-hitters after big dinners to counteract lethargy.
Recently, we've seen Tropicana Cookies at Budcardi, Cana City, Callie's Cannabis Shoppe, Denver Kush Club, Diego Pellicer, Kaya Cannabis, KrystaLeaves, Lightshade, Lit, the Lodge, Maikoh Holistics, Medicine Man, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, Rocky Road, Seed & Smith, Silver Stem, Starbuds, Trenchtown and Verde, all carrying it in flower or concentrate. With a list that long, a lot of other stores are probably carrying it, too.
Looks: Tropicana Cookies is so hairy with trichomes that you might think it's a spider. Dense forest-green buds are covered in dark, velvety streaks of violet and reddish-purple fan leaves, giving the strain an intimidating look.
Smell: Heavy scents of mandarin oranges swelled at the base of my nostrils, almost blocking the subtle minty aspects of the strain's aroma. An earthy Kush back end was eventually noticeable, but I had to search for it.
Flavor: Although slightly dirtier with more piney, muddy flavors up front, Tropicana Cookies still hits 80 percent of the same citrus notes that Tangie does.
Effects: Tropicana Cookies' effects move quickly, and new users may feel restless or disoriented after smoking too much. A slower approach will provide a sense of dumb fun and energy, though, and the physical effects can better keep up with the energetic euphoria.
Home grower's take: "Me and the homies all bought seeds of Trop Cookies in 2019, and about half of us still grow it. You have to top the plants early to make sure those side buds get love, and let them flower for ten weeks to get the most from it. You still won't get a huge yield, though. It's really not that difficult in the grow, but if you don't like Tangie, it's probably not worth your time."
Is there a strain you'd like to see profiled? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.