Have you ever wondered what the cannabis industry in Mexico looks like? The bulk of cannabis in America comes from south of the border.
The Tahoe Cannabis Club leadership decided we should take a closer look at the Mexican cannabis culture, plus get a great vacation from the Tahoe snow in the process. Feel free to spark up and join Scooby, Deena, Artie and myself on our 7 day Mexico cann-adventure.
As a preface and disclaimer, cannabis is a huge industry in Mexico, about $18 billion US. Cannabis is completely cartel controlled and is illegal in Mexico. Due to the nature of the consequences of sticking one’s nose into the hornet’s nest that is Mexican cannabis, some of the names in this narrative may have been altered for protective measures.
We flew into Cabo San Lucas to spend a couple of days so’s we could get our drinking legs under us. There’s a lot to drink and do in Cabo, just as nature intended. Of course we had to start at Sammy’s Cabo Wabo Cantina, where we met our canna-guide, Hector.
Hector is a third generation cannabis farmer and tenth generation tequila master distiller from Puerto Vallarta, not to mention a close relative of a certain ex-wife. We spent some time going over our itinerary, discussing the state of cannabis in Mexico, memorizing safety procedures we needed to follow and shouting out mas tequila por favor a lot. Artie has a weak stomach and spent most of the afternoon in the crapper. The tequila is pretty good at the Wabo and the rock music is cranked up loud. All things being equal, it’s quite American.
We headed out for our first adventure and stopped into Senor Frog’s on the marina for some beverages while we waited for our booze cruise that is disguised as whale watching.
I also got a sweet new BBQ apron from a shop on the marina. Since we reserved the whole boat, there was some partaking of some nice NorCal Superglue strain that we sneaked across the border.
Hector was pretty wowed by the Nevada County offering. There was a lot of eating, drinking, dancing and singing. We even saw a few whales, the arch and some pretty nice bewbies on Lover‘s Beach. We stayed that evening at the Grand Mayan Los Cabos in San Jose Del Cabo. Spectacular digs, indeed. Excessive sun exposure and alcohol poisoning were had by all.
Severe hangovers were on the menu for day two. Luckily, so were Stoli bloody mary’s at a cafe in Cabo Del San Jose, about 20 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. The scrambled eggs with fresh pork belly and chiles really perked the crew up. Over breakfast, Hector informed us that our next adventure would be hunting for baby turtles so’s he could brew up a batch of his infamous tortuga y marijuana estofado. We hit the Mega grocery for a 30 pack, Scooby snacks and estofado ingredients. Then down to the beach.
The swimming is dangerous in Cabo Del San Jose, especially when you’re hammered. Deena was stunning in her thong bikini and Scooby was the dork in long pants at the beach. We had quite a party on the sand and struck the tortuga mother lode. Hector cooked up his stew using some Sinaloa Cola Borrego strain and served it over boiled and mashed turnips. We all got higher than Batman.
The sunset over the hills was spectacular. Even for those who weren’t baked booze hounds.
A short, early a.m. flight to Puerto Vallarta, still feeling the effects of tortuga’s revenge. The lavatory got quite a workout, mostly from Artie. So did the very friendly and understanding flight attendants. By the time we stumbled out onto the tarmac we were feeling no pain. Hector took us on a tour of the city that included some shopping on the famed Malecon and a lunch of flaming Portuguese shrimp
on the beach. Then off to our hotel to rest up for our morning trek deep into the Vallarta jungle.
There is nothing like smoking a fat spliff of local hemp and then jumping into a RZR and flying down city streets in a busy foreign country. That shit will put hair on your chest real fast. Once we got to the foothills, things mellowed out and we stopped for a photo op overlooking the city. Hector forced us to smoke another spliff each and then we raced off to the tequila distillery. Plunging through rivers; rocks, mud and dust flying everywhere. Large snakes sunning on the dirt roadway. A death grip on the steering wheel and still pushing the accelerator harder. And then came the climb.
The jagged and craggy road appeared to ascend into the heavens and, according to Hector, was filled with deep ruts from the tears of angels. Hector said, “Here is where we lock in the 4-wheel drive.” We took a quick leak, locked and loaded, and we were off. The climb wasn’t as treacherous as it had looked, but it was slow. An hour later, we found ourselves in the middle of a small jungle village, surrounded by thousands of huge blue agave plants.
This was Hector’s family tequila distillery, nestled into a large bend in the Rio Cuale (Canopy River). It turns out Hector has quite a flair for business. He buses tourists up the back way to his distillery where he has them hostage. Hungry and thirsty, he sells them fresh Mexican dishes, cold cervezas, and his family tequila under the guise of a jungle tour. Bravo, Hector… bravo.
The best part of Hector’s village are his workers. The bulk of the workers are women. Not just any women. All but two of the 34 women are former prostitutes who were no longer of value to their procurers. The women were left on the streets with no money and no work skills. Hector and his family take them in and give them a place to live where they learn to cook, wait tables and sell concessions at the distillery. What can you say about such a man?
We spent the afternoon and evening lying by the river, fishing and sipping the many different tequila varieties that Hector offers. Splendid. We didn’t catch any fish but we smoked some bomb sinsemilla bud from Hector’s fields that we would trek to in the morning. Hector’s cannabis was very reminiscent of a Durban Poison or Girl Scout
Cookie. We partied till the wee hours to the sights and sounds of Folklorico Mexico performed by the women with Hector on guitar. We spent the night in canvas tents amongst the jungle wildlife. And Artie? Well, I think you know where he spent the night.
The fresh jungle air made for great sleeping and everyone was amped to get to the cannabis fields. Breakfast was an array of fresh fruits, juices and a nopales (cactus) omelet. Muy bien, chicas! We fired up our RZR’s and fled into the jungle.
Hector was dicking around, took a wrong turn and got us lost. That was a little frightening because there are some crazy people in that jungle and crazy people have to eat. They say gringo tastes like shicken. I made a sign to wear around my neck that said, ESTOY SOBRE TODO CARTLIGO, meaning I AM MOSTLY GRISTLE, in English. I like dinner but wasn’t looking to be dinner.
We returned to the correct path and within an hour we could smell that sweet musky perfume of ripening cannabis. Hector led us to the secluded gate that would take us to the cannabis fields above Puerto Vallarta.
We hiked up a pretty steep ridge and could hear a waterfall in the distance. When we reached the top of the ridge, we could see the plateau was covered with cannabis plants ranging from 5 to 8 feet tall and sporting some serious colas. The smell of the cannabis flowers literally lifted you up from the ground. Surely, that is what heaven looks and smells like.
We spent the rest of the day inspecting plants and irrigation with Hector and his botany crew. Large pumps in the river take turns pumping water through 4 inch flexible hoses that crisscross the plateau. The pumps run on solar power and are set to start pumping at 10am and stop at 7pm. Each day 27,000 gallons of water is pumped to the thirsty cannabis who drink in a trickle down effect. One third of that 27,000 gallons returns to the river each day. There is no fertilizer added to the water or earth. The jungle has it’s own natural fertilization process, which seems to work very
well with cannabis. Hector broke out some amazing Acapulco Gold that is grown by his nephew in Guerrero, Mexico. Smooth, powerful and a bit hallucinogenic, with a hint of cherry.
It was difficult to leave this pungent green nirvana but we were hungry and so were the natives. I secured my sign firmly around my neck and chest and we began our descent to the tequila farm. We wound our way down to the village for dinner and merriment. Between the full bellies and the long day, we were too tired to move. Tequila and beer shots were poured directly into our mouths by the wait staff. Small hookahs on each table allowed everyone to partake of some local bud mixed with shaved and dried coconut meat and oil. I can’t speak for the others, but I felt like the king of the world.
As the morning sun rose high enough to light the distillery, I woke to find myself on a picnic table, my hips and back barking. Scooby was lying face down in the dirt with a pool of drool collecting around his cheek. Deena was snoring in a wooden chair with a sombrero over her face. The smell of freshly grilled pork was beckoning like a long lost friend. Artie was in the crapper moaning and groaning.
After we washed up, Hector and his lovely crew sang for us as they served us a spicy pork hash with fried eggs and avocado crema. They called it Cerdo Augacate Diablo. We begged for the recipe and were rebuffed with a smile.
There were hugs and tears all around as we packed our gear to head back to the city. We had enjoyed the company of our new friends and no one wanted our time together to end. We drove away as the women of the village waved and sang a song of safe travels. Sadly, the song didn’t have the desired effect. One member of our crew, who will remain nameless, plunged his RZR into the mountainside.
Who allows baked, drunken Americans to drive off highway vehicles on treacherous jungle roads anyway? Luckily, pride was the only injury.
We sat with Hector for a few hours at his shop in town. We reminisced about our days with him and his family and friends. We laughed and cried. We hugged and then hugged some more. Artie spent two hours on the crapper. Hector called us a taxi and we were off to our hotel.
The only thing we can say about the Secrets Vallarta Resort is, WOW! Mostly because we don’t remember much. It is an all inclusive resort on the beach with a staff that will make you feel like you died and went to heaven.
We drank Cuban rum and Mexican tequila like it was flowing from some magical fountain. We all agreed that the food was pretty good, even though none of us could remember eating. You can purchase cannabis from the locals on the hotel beach. Pricey, but very reminiscent in aroma and flavor to that stuff we used to call commercial Columbian back in the day. We hung out at Las Caletas for the afternoon, drinking tropical drinks in beachside hammocks. We stayed for “Rhythms of the Night“, a very fun and magical adventure back to the Pagan
mysticism of ancient Mexico. We returned to the city and spent the night slurring songs at the lobby piano bar. Good times.
A ringing phone at 8am is not your friend. Not after the week we had just spent in Mexico. It was our wake up call. The rooms looked pretty nice but none of us could be real sure considering our eyes were much too bloody to see. We packed up and made our way down the elevator to hit the biggest buffet we’d ever seen. Everyone was so chipper and happy; they pissed us off something awful. Bold and rich Mexican coffee spiked with Cuban rum and we were off and running. On the ride to the airport we burned the last two fatties that Hector had provided. Our driver called us “Americanos Locos”. Then asked if we had any extra we could spare.
Our flight home seemed only minutes. Everyone slept the entire flight… except Artie. He spent 3 hours in the crapper.
Many thanks to ProwlingThePlanet.com for their travel tips, hacks and info that made this trip so outstanding.
You can contact Cisco and the Tahoe Cannabis Club by email at: Ciscog@TheNetSpies.com.