Home Grown American Marijuana from West Virginia
Six months of growing marijuana in West Virginia ends with a smuggler’s trip to New York City and a heavenly hash press.
Somewhere in the backwoods of northern West Virginia, nestled among its hillbilly neighbors, a small farm grows its yearly crop of high grade marijuana. Growing marijuana in West Virginia requires careful planning. The growing area is cut off from view by a small apple orchard and is further disguised by a mix of tall corn plants growing side by side with the pot. The plants are carefully tended through their six-month growing period. After a half year of hard work, the harvest begins with each plant being carefully pulled up by its roots and hung upside down to dry in the warm sun. But it is after the harvest that our story really gets interesting—showing once again the ingenuity of America's marijuana growers.
Once the West Virginian harvested product is dried, it is loose packed in regular moving cartons, an average amount is eighty pounds, and driven to New York City. For the watching eyes on the highway, the smuggler couple driving the car look like American tourists. All through the seventeen-hour journey the car stops only for gas and quick snacks, never exceeding the speed limit but never going too slow either. Once in New York the car heads for the large warehouses and office buildings of Manhattan's southern tip, to the waiting arms of the city-based part of the operation.
Unloading Marijuana in NYC
The car is unloaded and the packed pot is moved by freight elevator to one of the many lofts that now densely populate a once desolate part of the city at night. People pay millions to live in an area once reserved for those servicing the shipping industry and fleets of men. The load is broken open and friends who haven't seen each other for a long time, as the journey is made annually, swap tales of the recent past late into the evening. The night ends with the traditional stoned out feast in Chinatown, a far cry from the classic American apple orchards hiding a field of marijuana in West Virginia.
Late the next morning the work begins in earnest. First, all leaves and flowers are stripped from the larger stalks and piled high into one corner of the loft. This usually takes between four and eight hours, depending on how many joints are smoked in the course of the work-day. While spotify plays in the background, the loose weed is then passed through a variety of screens, each one finer than the last. The first screen removes the seeds and smaller stems missed in the initial stripping; by the time the weed is passed through the last screen it is reduced to a fine green powder. Imagine what it is like to work in a room for eight hours, breathing air heavily soaked with marijuana dust, and you’ll know how stoned the workers are by quitting time. The first day’s work is ended here and then the serious smoking begins. More stories of the early days are swapped and next year’s harvest plans are drawn up over munchies of brownies and pastries from nearby Little Italy.
Heavenly Hash Press
The next day the final phase of production is put into high gear. All of the fine screened powder is carefully mixed with a natural oil to bind the powder together in pressing. The mixture is then poured into six-inch long metal tubes, approximately one inch in diameter, which are carefully placed, five at a time, under specially designed homemade presses. Basically the press—they have two in operation—is a simple car jack, like those found in the trunk of every car in America except yours. Attached to the part of the jack that usually goes under the bumper is a metal plate with five-inch thick rods protruding from its base. When the action of the jack is reversed so that pressure is directed downward toward the metal tubes filled with pot, it is these rods which do the actual pressing. After enough pressure has been applied, which is usually about half an hour, the final product is pushed out of the hollow metal tubes.
Heavenly Hash is what its creators call the truly American-bred smokable. Each rod of this variety is approximately one-inch thick and six-inches long, weighing in at two ounces. Though tightly pressed, a knife blade cuts it into smokable chips ready for any pipe or bong. Crumbling the chip-like pieces in your fingers returns them to the fine powder they once were, ready to roll into tight-packed powder joints. Beside the obvious advantage of being able to store a large stash in about one quarter of the space it normally takes, the pressed pot is less susceptible to THC breakdown due to exposure to the air. It also burns more slowly, keeping the amount of waste due to smoke-loss to a minimum. Of course, the final product will be as fine and clean as the leaf matter that has gone into it.
After all the weed has been pressed, it is quickly wrapped in plastic wrap to preserve the freshness. It is then restored in the cartons, ready to be distributed. The work finished, all people involved get down to some partaking of the days work, partying before the country group heads back to the farm in West Virginia. There they will prepare for another harvest, another trip to NYC, and another load of American-born Heavenly Hash.