One of the world’s most famous independent record store chains, Amoeba Records, has branched out into cannabis. On May 12, Berkeley, Calif. Mayor Jesse Arreguin cut the ribbon on the new recreational dispensary Hi Fidelity at 2465 Telegraph Ave., just blocks from the UC Berkeley campus.

Amoeba Records founders David Prinz and Marc Weinstein — along with a five-woman management team including Debby Goldsberry — have ported the record store’s progressive ethos into the new weed shop. As we detail in or new report for the East Bay Express Wednesday, the 100+ products on Hi Fidelity’s shelves skew indie, local, minority or female-owned, sustainable and intentional.

The goods are also fire. Like — hella flame. We ended up walking away with some key buys: Madrone Farms Do Si Dos; Upnorth’s Banana Bread; Cru Cannabis Blue Dream; plus a T.I.T.S. pre-roll from IC Collective. Let’s break it down:


Madrone Farms — Do Si Dos

Madrone Farms Do Si Dos from Hi Fidelity.

Madrone Farms Do Si Dos from Hi Fidelity.

We all want weed so good, you offer your friend the grinder, and he goes ‘Aww god dammit. Where is this from?’ — because he’s a bit mad he didn’t buy what you bought. Once you’ve seen the summit, it’s hard to go back to living in the valley. Do Si Dos is at that summit, and well-assembled brand Madrone Farms can sherpa you up there.

Do Si Dos is that 15 year-old, bedtime scotch you only share with a co-conspirator. It’s a competition-grade strain, taking the Chalice Festival First Place Grand Prize in flower. And Madrone’s entry ranks. The terps are sealed in a child-proof, air-tight, plastic-lined aluminum case. Inside is the one-two punch of OGKB Girl Scout Cookies crossed with Face Off OG bx1. It’s OK if that means nothing to you. Stick with the name: Do Si Dos is as heady as a feverish square dance. As scrumptious as sugary cookies bought on the sidewalk and eaten in lieu of dinner. Don’t judge. Sometimes we need a go-to evening fireball strain to fall asleep to and not wake up unless the house is on fire. This is a superb example of the cultivar, and bodes well for more from Madrone.


Upnorth — Banana Bread

Upnorth's Banana Bread crosses Bubba, OG, and Banana Kush to superb effect.

Upnorth’s Banana Bread crosses Bubba, OG, and Banana Kush to superb effect. | Photo David Downs

‘What the holy hell are they getting up to in Humboldt County? … Did they cross Banana OG and Wedding Cake? … I am so high.’

Don’t let the name fool you. This is not some coffee shop morning snack you can convince yourself is healthy. This is the designer cannabis from the hill, which means high-test, high-terps, and being so high you need to change your plans for the day.

I guess Upnorth is the face of a bunch of Humboldt County farms with a specialty in indoor. Their instagram is full of bangers.

Banana Bread is an unlisted cross of Bubba X OG X Banana Kush — three strains Humboldt County has perfected. Banana Bread tests at a reasonable 16.6 percent, but it’s not to be trifled with. Strong sativa head effects warp space and time — it’s like sitting on the event horizon of a black hole, nothingness trying to pull you in, until it finally has you and you disappear for hours and get spat out the other side. For Berkeley’s elite smokers only.


Cru Cannabis Blue Dream

Cru Blue Dream checks all the boxes. | Photo by David Downs

Cru Blue Dream checks all the boxes. | Photo by David Downs

I’m ready for cannabis as standardized as a Slurpee. Witness Cru Cannabis, a super-new post-64 brand with its act together that is giving me what I need: a really consistent, staple experience of modernity.

I want Blue Dream like I want red table wine — something universal and versatile that you can offer to visitors and not burn through your head stash. Cru Blue has it — and I’m looking forward to when it’s half as cheap and just as good.
Yeah, yeah — Blue Dream is so popular it’s not cool. But it’s popular because it’s hyper-functional. Berkeley locals are smoking all day, Hi Fidelity’s buyer will tell you. That’s why he’s stocking up on sativas. This Cru Blue is going to do well. I’d give a box to every dad dropping his kid off at Cal this Fall.

… It’s sad what’s happened to Blue Dream. It got popular, so everybody grew it, and it the market crashed. Now, it’s an odyssey to find tip-top-shelf Blue Dream. It just doesn’t command the rates of a new Cookies or Purple Punch. Thank god the new wave is going to step in and pump this stuff out. Our cut looked perfect: perfect light green leaf, perfect light orange pistils, perfect medium size, perfect density, and clustering. You remember DJ Short bred this, right?

The aroma is on-point berry haze, jesus — it’s perfectly dried and cured in a way that’ll make you say ‘why in god’s name does anybody not seal their bags?’
It smokes and tastes just as predictable as your favorite Slurpee — and just as delicious on a hot day. … Do not shame us. The heart wants what it wants. And so do a bunch of sub-clinical anxiety suffers. Cru Blue for all of the Walnut Creek city council, stat.


T.I.T.S. pre-roll from IC Collective.

Terps up the wazoo from “This Is The Shit” in pre-roll form. Yes, IC Collective is keeping it crass with the nomenclature — but respect the sub-culture. No one shames NWA for breaking ground.

It’s also truth in advertising. This pre-roll punches you in the nostrils when you pop the sealed top. Pine, chem, OG goodness says ‘this is going to be a quality experience.’ The joint is perfectly rolled in a super-light paper with a crutch at the bottom. Easy to light, with next-level flushed herb you can just chug with no throat burn. This is a sunny Sunday sitting on the patio in a deck chair and sipping La Croix. Save the sunscreen. Get the base tan first. … TITS is a 2017 Top 10 Hybrid Flower crossing Sour Diesel and Girl Scout Cookies. And it’s great to see IC thriving despite the nuclear winter of regulations.