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Leafly holiday gift guide 2022: Illinois

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These curated weed picks will ensure your spirits stay high over the holidays in Illinois.


Eager to give a friend or family member in Illinois a weed gift this holiday season? The winter chill can make an intimate cannabis sesh even sweeter.

Check out these holiday picks fresh from Illinois dispensaries, and let us know if you end up sharing or keeping a few for yourself.

Shop for your friend, sweetheart, or the family member you love to smoke with most during the holidays. Weed always makes an incredible gift. Click the links to shop the strains and products right here on Leafly.

Stay safe and cozy, Illinois.

(93 Boyz/Leafly)

In 2022, we saw the debut of artist Vic Mensa‘s 93 Boyz brand in Illinois. The Black-owned cannabis company with deep ties to the Chicago community offers pre-rolls in three signature strains.

This holiday, we suggest the Pit Stop pre-roll, a 0.75 g joint that makes the perfect stocking stuffer. This hybrid blend pre-roll will help you or someone you love take a moment to relax amidst the busy holiday season without making them want to take a nap.

It’s also great to have in your pocket for a sesh with your friends or cousins.


(matter./Leafly)

A sponsored suggestion

The perfect gift for the rambler in your life, Chocolate Chunk is the result of the legendary rock group The Allman Brothers Band teaming up with the matter. crew to deliver a sweet treat this holiday season. 

The potent indica-like strain has Afghani landrace DNA and is primed to become your go-to companion for a relaxing night in with some tasty tunes, courtesy of the Allman Brothers. 

Light up matter.’s premium orange-flecked flower, and you’ll be greeted with a bold chocolate flavor and a slow-building euphoria that, like an excellent concert, crescendos into pure bliss. All you need to do is sit back, light up, and eat a peach.


(UpNorth/Leafly)

California-style cannabis makes its way to Illinois in the careful hands of UpNorth Humboldt.

The brand’s small-batch flower operation delivers well-loved strains to consumers, as is the case with their eighth of Durban Poison. The well-priced (for Illinois) 3.5 g jar provides an energetic boost known for relieving stress and anxiety.

Best of all, Durban Poison is dominant in citrusy terpinolene, a terpene you don’t stumble upon easily. The rarity of terpinolene makes the gift of UpNorth Humboldt Durban Poison extra special due to its unique chemistry and uplifting effects.

(Cann/Leafly)

Weed drinks can be a tasty way to unwind and enjoy holiday flavors, along with the added bonus of waking up hangover free.

We recommend Cann’s Blood Orange Cardamom Hi-Boys for both fun and festivity this holiday season. Grab a 4-pack to share with other cannabis-loving adults, or put a bow on one as a gift to your holiday host.

Each can contains 5 milligrams of THC, taking the evening up a notch with every crack of a tab.

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(Good News/Leafly)

What’s more fun than a holiday brunch? The only thing that may be able to compete is the Good News Brunch pen, a 300 mg disposable vape with a citrusy taste that will remind you of orange juice or mimosas.

The discreet vape provides a bright, functional relaxation, making it a smart gift for a friend who usually chooses coffee for their morning buzz or often needs a bump of energy in the afternoon.

The disposable format makes it NBD if it accidentally gets lost.

(Dogwalkers/Leafly)

Baby, it’s cold outside, and not everybody is trying to expose themselves to the elements for too long. That’s why these Kosher Kush Dogwalkers are THE gift for winter in Illinois.

This five-pack of 0.35 g joints provides someone you love with the perfect portion of weed to take a quick walk around the block at the end of the night. They are excellent to give to your friends who are on the go or to share as a nightcap at a party where you aren’t keen on also sharing germs.

Kosher Kush is an ideal evening strain with a delicious earthy flavor thanks to myrcene, its dominant terpene. It also helps with stress, pain, and insomnia.


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Janessa Bailey

Janessa Bailey was born and raised in the Midwest and serves as Leafly’s culture editor. She enjoys exploring the many ways that weed can tie into everyday life and rarely turns down an edible.

Janessa is the creator of Lumen and Seeds of Change.

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‘Is this your eighth?’: Reflections from NYC’s Smokus Pocus magic show

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Nowadays, if you live in a legal state, you can find all kinds of activities in which cannabis is involved, even centric to the experience. Like yoga? You can cannabis-ify it. Like painting, standup comedy, book club? That too. 

As America’s epicenter of entertainment, New York City, which is on the precipice of rolling out its legal recreational cannabis market in the coming weeks (or months), is a seemingly intuitive spot for artists and performers to weave weed into their shows. So, when I got an invitation to a cannabis-themed magic show, I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 


Mere minutes before the magician Ben Zabin’s touring show, Smokus Pocus, was set to start in Brooklyn, guests were passing joints and blunts on the corner outside. The sound of someone playing “Pass the Dutchie” from their phone floated through the air as clouds of pungent smoke lingered between conversations.

New York City allows public cannabis consumption just about anywhere tobacco smoking is allowed, and my fellow patrons and I were taking full advantage. How else to prepare for a marijuana magic show on a Saturday night?

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Once inside, the stage seemed appropriately set. There was a bong on stage, crates decked out with 4/20 slang, and colorful lighting. Then Ben Zabin took the stage. For 70 minutes, the audience was at his mercy.

A magician is nothing without his assistant. (Courtesy Ben Zabin)

The NYC production of Smokus Pocus had all the tenets you’d expect of a marijuana magic show, and thankfully, it’s slated to hit the stage again in Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA, on December 9 and 10, respectively, in addition to future tour dates across the US. I mean, a bong lit itself, an audience member guessed a strain that appeared on a jar of weed Ben hadn’t touched, and his assistant’s name is Mary Jane. Bags of weed appeared and disappeared: What more could one ask for?

As it turns out, there’s so much more: Mary Jane was an erotic blow-up doll, and someone’s phone ended up in a box of mac and cheese.. I would go on, but I don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say that my expectations went up in smoke when 50 or so people in the audience, including myself, found ourselves laughing, crying, and gasping.

Though I can’t speak for the other attendees, I can say with conviction that the laughter did not just result from smoking a fat bowl beforehand. 

It’s 2022, and in theory, when you’re in New York City, anything goes. Then how is it that no one else has thought to put these two together? I caught up with Zabin after the show to learn just how he’s made it work. While he wouldn’t reveal his secrets, he was adamant that a penchant for magic and a passion for pot make for great inspiration.

Seedlings of stardom

Zabin grew up in the tri-state area and did his first magic trick at the age of six after receiving a kit for the holidays. It was love at first sleight of hand. A decade later, he fell in love again, with cannabis. Within a couple of years, he’d left college to do magic full-time.

But not everyone can be Cris Angel, so he started selling weed on the side. He eventually started doing regular gigs on cruise ships and even toured with the US Navy (he says stoners are a much easier crowd).

“I was really shy growing up, and I was terrible at sports. Magic was one thing that I was good at. It was a passion—my whole life,” he tells Leafly. “I started doing birthday parties and then moved on to adult private events and the competition circuit. It kind of just grew [into a] career.”

Within a couple of years, he’d left college to do magic full-time. But not everyone can be Cris Angel, so he started selling weed on the side. He eventually started doing regular gigs on cruise ships and even toured with the US Navy (he says stoners are a much easier crowd).

It was during the pandemic that, with nowhere to perform, Zabin moved to Portland, Oregon, and started working on a weed-centric magic show, something that has been on the back burner. He launched it in May of 2021 and began performing weekly.

As pandemic restrictions lifted, he started touring in medical and recreational states, including Oklahoma, Montana, Alaska, and, soon, even Canada.  

“People have no idea what to expect! I really love that it appeals to so many different demographics,” he says, not unlike a 21st-century Woodstock.

A grass act

Ben Zabin weed jar magic trick
(Courtesy Ben Zabin)

There were classic tricks, like “Is this your card?” and plenty of audience engagement. I myself got corralled into a bit involving picking a gift card from a stack, which would magically appear in the drawing Zabin made onstage in real-time. (It was H&M) 

But beyond all the personal touches, Zabin has clearly been in the game long enough to anticipate and subvert magic show clichés. On numerous occasions, the item in question appears to be the wrong one. But as we quickly learned, this turns into another layer of the trick with Zabin emerging victorious.   

With performances in Brooklyn every weekend over the course of October, Zabin’s goal is to give Smokus Pocus a permanent home in the Empire state. New York’s imminent adult-use market means he could pull all kinds of possibilities from a pocket, ear, or mystery bag. In the meantime, be sure to check out the list of dates and cities he’s got lined up for December.   

“It’s an exciting forefront of this emerging industry—an intersection between entertainment, cannabis, community, and culture. Everyone comes together at a magic show!” 

Ben Zabin

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Amelia Williams

New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University’s journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.

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The best NYC museums to visit after tripping or toking

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You’ll never see art and science the same again.


If you’ve walked down any busy block in the five boroughs lately, you’ll smell weed in the air, and probably catch someone who’s either lighting up or poised to offer you a gram or two. While weed is legal in New York, government-regulated sales are not slated to start until the end of the year.  Still, no one is stopping the ganjapreneurs from cashing in and serving the public. The bodegas, weed trucks, and not-really-legal storefronts are multiplying, and the city has tentatively sanctioned cannabis consumption in outdoor spaces.

Amid the city’s post-Thanksgiving holiday cheer, locals and tourists alike often feel the itch to visit the city’s roughly 100 museums, which cover everything from indigenous history, to Lower East Side tenements, to ice cream. 

With legal cannabis sales just a few weeks away in New York, I wanted to find the best centers of history and learning that pair well with dome dispensary edibles, craft cannabis, and maybe some special mushrooms you picked up from a local provider. I can say with certainty, these were my favorite museums to visit after tripping and toking.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

One of my favorite things about weed and psychedelics is that they make the borders of our reality more permeable. Time no longer passes as it usually does, gravity shifts, and history becomes an experience that we can inhabit. 

The Met always presents guests with a prism of a different time and a world seen through different eyes. This is an ideal pairing with cannabis edibles, a thought-provoking sativa, or some psilocybin. I’d argue all the current exhibits suit a little bit of shrooms, but the zaniest ones available now are Chroma: Ancient Sculptures in Color, where ancient Greek marble statues get the color treatment, and Kimono Style, which traces the evolution of the kimono garment.  

The Met also hosts the Cloisters, an homage to medieval artwork and architecture that feels like a palace you’d encounter in the Game of Thrones universe. There are gardens, castle towers, and halls built for the booming voices of choirs and kings. If you’re feeling trippy, might I recommend you stay outside with the greenery, lest you begin to worry the High Sparrow is after you.

Museum of the Moving Image  

Now this museum is NOT for beginners. I repeat, if you are not prepared for a bombardment of moving images, colors, characters, and existential crises, just go without any sort of intoxicating substance. Because wow, I was not ready. 
But, I loved it! The MoMI is a multistory, intentionally-unassuming building in Queens dedicated to all things cinema craft. The heart of the museum is easily the Jim Henson exhibit, which traverses the prolific puppeteer, animator, producer, and inventor’s decades of work on Sesame Street, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock, and more.

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There is literally a quaint movie theater within the exhibit. I wasn’t so much in touch with my inner child as having her sit on my shoulders and run me through the whole thing. There are also temporary exhibits about Barry Jenkins’ The Underground Railroad, and most recently, a Walking Dead deep dive, which admittedly scares me.

Brooklyn Museum

There is always something good happening at the Brooklyn Museum. Their ongoing collection hosts art from societies across the continents, from Egypt to Polynesia to the First Nations. Further up, there are temporary exhibits that are just as fascinating as they are devastating: an interactive COVID memorial and a sprawling ruminating on how our everyday trash is, like, ruining the planet. Some pieces look like kaleidoscopes of tampon applicators, single-use flossers, and abandoned lighters, so something that incites visuals is the move.     
But the need-to-see show right now is definitely Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” a walk-through of the late Louis Vuitton creative director and designer’s forays into fashion, design, and architecture. There are well over 100 items, from his clothing collection inspired by the migrant crisis, a spectrum of his Off White shoe designs, and an entire wooden cabin meant to foster the creativity of Black artists while protecting them from the rigidity of white supremacy ideals.

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I’ve not been in a financial position to own a piece of Virgil’s legacy, but the vision in his work is only undercut by how much it seemed like he had to show us. The new Thierry Mugler: Couturissime exhibit just opened as well to further your passion for fashion.

Museum of Natural History

Definitely start in the elephant room. It’s technically the hall for African mammals, but the elephants are the stars. I myself popped one of the new Kiva Grape Pie Cookies gummies, a partnership with Brooklyn rapper Saint Jhn, and felt overwhelming awe at just how many other species have evolved across the globe alongside us, or far from our urban experiences. Where else would you ever see the skeletons of Chihuahua-sized lemurs or enormous salamanders? The Museum of Natural History, naturally. 

I went specifically for the new Sharks exhibit, which I heard multiple young children describe as “scary.” It’s a darkly lit room full of shark trivia, interactive games, and shark recreations (no great white tanks, sorry!) that you can detour to, then get back to the animal kingdom. I would not do any psychedelics if you plan to check out the halls of American Indian history, which feature somewhat uncanny recreations of people and their cultures who are still very much alive. But you do you.               

The Tenement Museum

Admittedly, the SNL sketches are a lot funnier than learning about thousands of European immigrants living in poverty; I would recommend this if you want to feel sad when you’re high and enjoy an emotional purge. The Lower East Side often feels like a millennial playground or a collection of furtive alleys, but one guided tour of the Tenement museum will make you feel very happy about the cramped apartment I’m betting you have lived in, at some point. 

As a descendant of immigrants from multiple European countries, but none of them went through Ellis Island or lived in New York. I used to feel somewhat jealous of all the thousands of people who got to reshape their lives in the Big Apple, until I walked through the squalor they had to deal with on a daily basis. This is definitely an indica, introspective kind of day, for feeling sympathy and gratitude that we have developed as a city and country beyond these circumstances.       

The Guggenheim

Museums often feel stuffy, and their architecture can feel monotonous. The Guggenheim, which reminds me of something straight out of Westworld’s latest season, sets you up in a spiraling circle, allowing you to get into a flowstate as you survey the best of an 8,000 piece collection.

The people watching alone can eat up an entire afternoon, but if you’ve got a nice microdose buzz going, I highly recommend the Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene and Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction exhibitions. Both toy with artistic medium as much as some mushroom chocolate toys with your perception. Both exhibits center on contemporary art that rejects our cultural reverence for minimalism and clearly understood messaging. Colors, shapes, and senses abound!

The New Museum

Sometimes you need some nastiness in life to remember how good it can be. But sometimes the grotesque has its own beauty and allure.   Doreen Lynette Garner’s new show at the New Museum, Revolted, makes you queasy in the best way and leads to deep interrogation.

Her sculptures seem like they’re meant to be in Dexter’s clean-up room or a negligent slaughterhouse. Everything is made from mostly synthetic materials, but the sculptures evoke the ick of live, fleshy bodies all the same. It might be best not to see this exhibit if you have a sensitive stomach or like to dose or smoke heavily     

SPYSCAPE

Ever wonder what kind of spy you’d be? That’s half the fun of SPYSCAPE, a Midtown Manhattan building that takes you through a series of mental and physical games that help determine your best spy skills while helping you learn about international surveillance and the history of espionage. 

There’s also a Batmobile or two. My friends and I made sure to chief beforehand, and while it made the math portions harder, it definitely made everything feel more 007. All important spy skills will be put to the test here—cracking ciphers, lie detection, surveillance monitoring, and sneaking through a room full of lasers, to name a few. There are, unfortunately, geometry questions too. Each phase takes you through different parts of the museum, so it doesn’t get stale.    

At the end, you receive an analysis detailing your role in a hypothetical intelligence agency. I myself got “analyst,” which seemingly means I’m great at seeing patterns and reviewing data, but maybe I don’t take as many risks as I should.  


All these visits were done under ideal tripping and toking circumstances; I had control of my dose and experience without adverse effects that can arise—cannabis and psychedelics aren’t exact science, after all. If you want to take your next museum visit to the next level, always start low and go slow. You just might see something you’ve never seen before.

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Amelia Williams

New York-based freelance cannabis journalist Amelia Williams is a graduate of San Francisco State University’s journalism program, and a former budtender. Williams has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s GreenState, MG Magazine, Culture Magazine, and Cannabis Now, Kirkus Reviews, and The Bold Italic.

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Leafly holiday gift guide 2022: Massachusetts

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Give the perfect present with this curated weed gift list created with Massachusetts in mind.


Looking for the perfect plant-based gift for the cannabis lover in your life? Well, Massachusetts, we’ve got you covered! Instead of leaving your holiday shopping to the wayside, you can choose from some of Leafly’s favorite weed products on the market right now.

Whether the person on your list prefers smoking, eating edibles, or doing dabs, these picks are available at dispensaries across Massachusetts and will help everyone to relax, get cozy, and enjoy the holiday season.

(Blue River Terps/Leafly)

There are so many different concentrate consistencies out there, but for the dabber on your list, why not try Blue River Terps’ wintery snow rosin?

Blue River Terps calls its snow rosin the “world’s healthiest dab” because it’s created through a completely solventless process—no ethanol, butane, or other chemicals touch this concentrate. The name “snow rosin” comes from this rosin’s consistency. It’s light and flaky, breaking apart and dissolving like ice into water.

Each batch is derived from a single source and is strain specific, and the concentrate regularly tests in the high-90% range for total active cannabinoids. Terpenes make up between 1-3% of that.

Dabbers can either fire it up in a traditional dab rig or break it up and sprinkle it onto a joint or bowl for a terpy and potent boost.


(matter./Leafly)

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With a reputation for its potency, Intergalactic from matter. is an indica-dominant strain ready to take seasoned explorers on a ride that’s out of this world.

The citrusy, sweet strain is known to spark creativity, so it’s the ideal holiday companion when it comes to decorating, baking cookies, or crafting homemade gifts. And creativity isn’t the only thing Intergalactic inspires—consumers report it can give a serious lift to appetites, as well.

Keep it handy for all your festive feasting this season.


(RYTHM/Leafly)

RYTHM grows great bud, hands down. Their nugs are always full and coated in trichomes, offering smooth, terpy hits. Brownie Scout, however, is a standout strain in RYTHM’s impressive lineup.

This strain is a hybrid that leans heavily on the indica side, and RYTHM growers claim Brownie Scout is one of their densest strains. With hefty purple buds coated with specks of orange and white crystals, they’re almost as nice to look at as they are to smoke!

Regularly testing around 30% THC, just a few hits of this potent flower will give you a euphoric feeling and encourage you to get some sleep. It’s perfect for de-stressing and settling in on a cold winter night.

Brownie Scout’s dominant terpenes include limonene, myrcene, and caryophyllene. Upon exhale, it tastes sweet and earthy with a kick of spice.

(Levia/Leafly)

Cannabis-infused drinks have taken hold of the Massachusetts market, and Levia is at the forefront. Founded in early 2021, Levia was one of the first cannabis seltzer brands in the state. Its drinks are formulated in Georgetown, MA, with local bud and other natural ingredients.

The company’s original unique flavors each clock in at 5 mg of THC, making them easy to dose. And these zero-calorie drinks start working a bit quicker than traditional edibles since the THC is partially absorbed sublingually when you drink one.

Bring a few cans to a holiday party or wrap them up as a gift, and you’re sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

(Fernway/Leafly)

Since Fernway‘s inception in 2018, few have been able to compete with its potent, flavored vape products. The brand is constantly innovating, and the Traveler disposable vaporizer rolled out in July. Along with all other Fernway products, it’s recyclable at partner dispensaries that sell them.

These vaporizers combine pure, distillate cannabis extract with botanical terpenes to make flavorful vapes with great effects. And they certainly pack a punch with the concentrate inside measuring at nearly 80% THC.

Fernway’s Cranberry Jam flavor is the perfect present for the vape-lover on your holiday list. The flavor is tart and crisp, earthy and unprocessed. Once you try one, you won’t want to smoke anything else.

The Traveler hardware comes fully charged and has a sleek, slim shape you can easily toss in a bag or pocket. Each comes pre-filled with 0.3 grams of cannabis extract, perfect for the friend who’s on the go—whether they’re new to vaping or a seasoned smoker looking for a high-quality, delicious option.

(Nature’s Heritage/Leafly)

This strain is perfect for winter, and not just because of its name. Nature’s Heritage flower bursts with terpenes and sports bright, beautiful colors, and Snowball is no exception. Its name comes from the brilliant, glittering crystals that coat its fluffy nugs.

Snowball is an indica-dominant hybrid that crosses The White and Chem 4. The White’s hybrid qualities balance out Chem 4’s high-testing indica traits, providing a solid head and body high. This strain typically tests in the low-20% THC range, making it perfect for a cozy, relaxing evening toke that won’t knock you out immediately.

The dominant terpenes in Snowball are myrcene and limonene, which provide an aroma of sweet citrus mixed with pungent gas. Expect a diesel-heavy hit on the inhale, followed by flavors of sweet, fruity cream. Pair a bowl of Snowball with a mug of hot cocoa for a heavenly, snug evening at home.


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Grace Griffin

Grace Griffin is a journalist based in Massachusetts with recent work in The Boston Globe, Adolescent US, and The Austin-American Statesman. To see more work or cat photos, follow her on Twitter @GraceMGriffin.

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