The Melting Pot of Cannabis Culture in New York

The fast-paced life, the hustle and bustle, never-ending noise, subway lines coming and going, street art, Wall Street, Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island are all fragments that make up a piece of the puzzle that is New York City. 

NYC is anything you want it to be, whether you’re from Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, or South America. New York City is where you will find a true melting pot of culture, where old traditions clash with modern life to create an unforgettable and lifelong experience. 

However, another aspect of New York City that is just as diverse as its population is cannabis. New York City cannabis culture represents far-away lands that stand side-by-side to produce something new. 

Read along to understand everything about the melting pot of cannabis culture that New York City offers.

Latin American Landrace Cannabis Strains

Latin America describes everything between the Sonoran Desert of Mexico to the tip of Tierra Del Fuego in Chile. Latin America contains high altitude, endless coastline, massive mountains, bone-dry deserts, lush rainforest, and infinite biodiversity. Latin America is home to many foundational landrace cannabis strains, such as Colombian Gold, Panama Red, Punto Rojo, Lamb’s Bread, Acapulco Gold, and Oaxaca. 

Aspiring New York City dispensaries may want to consider appealing to it’s diverse population by offering strains with said heritage; however, it is more common to find hybrids that contain traces of Latin American landrace cannabis varieties. Let’s take a look at the origins of each of these landrace strains and their modern-day offspring. 

Colombian Gold 

Colombian Gold is a world-renowned landrace sativa from the heights of the Santa Marta mountains of Colombia.

Santa Marta mountains of Colombia.

New York City is known for its vibrant Colombian population, so it makes sense that Colombian Gold will be a fan favorite for future NYC dispensaries. Colombian Gold produces boundless levels of energy and focus that pairs well with the intensity of New York City. 

If you can’t find Colombian Gold at a marijuana dispensary near you, then you may need to look for hybrids that contain it. Amnesia Haze is a popular example of a Colombian Gold hybrid that can be found in many recreational cannabis dispensaries.

New York City Budtender Paola – Sunnyside QNS x  Medellin Colombia

Panama Red 

Panama Red is a landrace cannabis strain that originated in Panama — the last stand between Central America and South America.

Whether it’s the reggaeton or wildly colorful traditional dresses seen during festivities, Panamanian culture is widely represented in New York City. Whether you’re Panamanian or not, Panama Red is a distinct Sativa that presents a semi-psychedelic high and limitless energy. 

It may be challenging to find Panama Red in any future New York City dispensary, so try to look for other popular hybrids that contain this Panamanian hit. Panorama and Panama Poison are a few hybrids that contain Panama Red if you need a taste of one of the most classic strains from the Panamanian cannabis community. 

Lamb’s Bread 

Jamaican’s have a long history with cannabis from well before many immigrated to New York City. Now, Jamaican culture is intrinsically tied to cannabis culture in NYC. 

Lamb’s Bread is the ultimate Sativa strain that was born and bred on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Lamb’s Bread is incredibly famous for its ability to make you smile for hours and leave your anxiety behind.

Rastafarians smoke cannabis as a religious custom. Some believe that it grew on King Solomon’s tomb.

If you can’t find Lamb’s Bread at a local cannabis dispensary, you may need to wait for an aspiring cannabis dispensary that specializes in landrace strains. Popular hybrids that contain Lamb’s Bread are Irie OG or Banana Bread. 


Oaxaca is a state found on the Southern border of Mexico. This mountainous region is filled with delicious cuisine, artisanal mezcal, and the landrace cannabis strain known as Oaxaca. 

Oaxaca is a pure Sativa landrace that produces a soaring high that will send your mind to the stars. The cannabis community in NYC enjoys a strong Sativa, and Oaxaca always does the trick. However, finding pure Oaxaca in New York City may be difficult. 

Mexican lawmakers set to take up marijuana legalization in 2020.

Instead, look out for Pineapple Haze or Santa Muerte, which contains the legendary Oaxaca cannabis strain. 

Acapulco Gold

Mexico is home to multiple landrace cannabis strains, such as Acapulco Gold. The cannabis community in NYC appreciates the creative, energizing, and uplifting effects that Acapulco Gold and it’s relatives contain.

This farmer in western Mexico says he began growing marijuana when he was a teenager.

Acapulco Gold is originally from the city of Acapulco. Still, it has since disappeared due to the hybridization of local strains with new cannabis varieties. If you’re lucky enough to find real Acapulco Gold at any current or future NYC cannabis dispensaries — consider yourself lucky. 

However, if you can’t get your hands on genuine Acapulco Gold,, you can try Haze, Big Apple, Vegan Safari, or NYC Sour Diesel.

T-shirts, hoodies coming soon!

African Landrace Cannabis Strain 

The African continent is home to incredibly diverse cultures and landscapes. From the pyramids of Giza in Egypt to Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town in South Africa — Africa has it all. 

Africa is also home to potentially the most essential landrace cannabis strains of all time. Whether in their pure form or hybridized forms, African landrace strains are incredibly important not only to NYC’s cannabis culture but also to the world at large. 

Durban Poison 

You can’t mention African landrace cannabis strains without talking about Durban Poison. Durban Poison is from Durban, South Africa, and is world-renowned for its potent psychedelic high. 

Durban Poison isn’t a widespread strain to find at a local medical marijuana dispensary. You may need to wait for a future dispensary that carries rare cannabis strains to experience this African gem.

However, you will find hybrids built from Durban Poison. Cherry Pie is a Sativa-dominant hybrid that has become ultra-famous ever since it was used to create the legendary Girl Scout Cookies strain.

In 2018 South Africa decriminalized the use, possession, and growth of marijuana.

Although it won’t contain the intense Sativa high of Durban Poison, Cherry Pie is an excellent alternative when browsing for cannabis in NYC. 

Malawi Gold 

Malawi is an African country that’s famed for its cannabis — Malawi Gold. 

Malawi Gold is an ultra-Sativa landrace filled with spicy flavors and an electric high that lasts for hours. If you’re an adrenaline junky, then Mawali Gold will satisfy your needs after a single hit. 

Many of the old school heads in the NYC cannabis community remember the good old days of Malawi Gold. However, many of those in the new generation have never experienced it. Sadly, Malawi Gold is disappearing due to hybridization, and it’s difficult to find this beauty of a strain among NYC’s vibrant cannabis community.

Malawi Parliament Okays Cultivation of Cannabis.

If you want to get your hands on a piece of Malawi Gold, it’s best to look for Gold Star, SuperNova, or Malberry at a marijuana dispensary. 

Swazi Gold 

Swazi Gold is a landrace cannabis strain found in the heart of Swaziland.

If you’re looking for an energetic experience to take the edge off the intensity of New York City, Swazi Gold is the perfect treat. Swazi Gold is a popular medicinal cannabis variety across Central and Eastern Africa, and many African cultures in New York City will recognize it quickly thanks to its unique mango-like aroma. 

New York City cannabis culture is home to a wide range of enthusiasts. If you look hard enough, there is a chance you may stumble upon a niche cannabis community that offers a taste of Swazi Gold. 

Indian Landrace Cannabis Strains 

India is a stunning country that’s both ancient and modern. India is also home to thousands of landrace cannabis strains that infused an incredible array of vibrant characteristics into New York City’s cannabis culture. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Indian landrace cannabis strains. However, it is vital to note that Indian landrace strains may be uncommon in NYC. 


For those from Northern India, Malana is instantly recognizable. This tall Sativa is used to produce charas — traditional hashish made from rubbing cannabis flowers to separate trichomes. Malana is well-known for its intense resin coverage, which is why hash producers covet it worldwide.

Indian Charas comes from living plants, hashish comes from harvested ones.


Kashmiri cannabis strains are found along the disputed border of Kashmir. This mountainous landrace strain is incredibly sweet, making it a perfect dessert strain. 


Rasol is another Sativa landrace strain from Northern India that’s mainly used to produce hash. This incredible variety grows well above 9,000 feet, which means you’ll need to climb high before you can get high.

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smokes marijuana using a chillum at Pashupatinath Temple in  Nepal.

However, you won’t need to scale any mountains to find Rasol in New York City because this variety is uncommon in cannabis dispensaries. Aspiring cannabis dispensaries in New York City will always be open to suggestions, so make sure to recommend an Indian landrace strain. 

Middle Eastern Landrace Cannabis Strains 

The Middle East is a plethora of countries that present unique cultures and jaw-dropping landscapes. The Middle East is also home to some of the oldest landrace cannabis strains that have significantly influenced the cannabis industry and community in New York City. 


The Afghan variety is potentially the most recognizable landrace strain in the world. There are countless different types of “Afghan,” and each produces sedative-like effects that are perfect for relaxing after a long day in NYC. 

If you can’t find Afghan at a local medical marijuana dispensary, then ask a budtender if they carry any Afghan hybrids. Such hybrids include Jack Herer, NYC Sour Diesel, Mango, Anesthesia, Cheese, Afgooey, Lemon Valley Kush, or Combat Cookies.

Afghan Kush, an almost 100% Indica strain is naturally grown in the Hindu Kush mountain range.

Pakistan Chitral Kush 

Pakistan Chitral Kush is found along the Kush mountain range – the famed area where the Kush strain originated.  

If you want to experience nirvana, all while glancing at deeply purple flowers, then Pakistan Chitral Kush is a must-have. However, this is a rare landrace strain and may prove difficult to find in NYC. However, Pakistan Chitral Kush is gaining in popularity, so it’s best to talk to a local New York City budtender when recreational marijuana dispensaries eventually open up. 

If you can’t track down Pakistan Chitral Kush, look for Hindu Kush or these hybrids: Amethyst, Violeta, Black Haze, or California Dreaming.  

New York City’s Vibrant Cannabis Culture 

New York City is built on diversity. Just like the diversity of its inhabitants, the wide variety of cannabis is dazzling. However, it’s the differences that make each strain and each New Yorker unique. New York City is home to a booming cannabis community, and it’s here in New York City that you will experience a genuine melting pot of cannabis culture.