Today, most content is literally made for people to ‘like’ it, so it is refreshing to watch people creating for the sake of creation, exploration, and fun. There’s a real distinction between creators creating for the sole purpose of getting retweets, reshares, or clout and folks who do what they do because they just feel that they have to.
“When we first started legalization hadn’t taken effect in Illinois yet. I think the idea of freely smoking copious amounts of marijuana on camera was still a little unsettling for some people, which made us lean into the idea even more. “
Since weed spent so many decades as an illicit drug, there are not a ton of shows that represent the culture, especially from the Midwest perspective. But there are some people who have been getting stoned faithfully and regularly despite the Midwest’s lagging weed laws.
Introducing your new favorite weed show, Smoked Out Saturdaze. Coming straight out of Chicago, Smoked Out Saturdaze, or SOS for short, is a weekly web-based show streaming on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter featuring 3 co-hosts and a rotating weekly guest.
And while those are the main components of the Smoked Out Saturdaze machine, much like the Wu-Tang Clan, their membership extends far beyond what you see on the show.
The influence of Smoked Out Saturdaze
The first time I came across the Smoked Out Saturdaze crew, was from following Larry Legend on Twitter. After actually meeting during a smoke session, I saw a video of Larry trying to teach the masses how to properly roll a Backwood. And while I was fortunate enough to learn how to roll a wood in-person, the video let me know he was not only hilarious but he was a true weed aficionado.
Over the years the SOS guys have interviewed some incredible artists, personalities, and people from Chicago. So when I caught up with the guys for Leafly, I was eager to know how they felt about the changing landscape of weed in Illinois and in the US. Plus there were a few other questions I always wanted to ask.
RB: How does Chicago smoking culture differ from other major cities like LA or NYC?
Larry: As far as strains go each city is a little different. LA likes a lot of indicas and NY is more into sours. Chicago is heavy indica. We love OGs. Even though everybody is gonna tell you they only smoke “Za”. They have no clue what they are talking about.”
“I feel like the weed culture in each city is as different as the cities themselves.”
– Mani O.
Mani: I feel like the weed culture in each city is as different as the cities themselves. New York is a fast-paced environment, everybody is always on the go so they need something to keep them up. That’s why they lean heavy sour/sativa.
LA is real chill and laid back. You just want to cruise and enjoy the sunshine so people love those mellow indica hybrids. And Chicago people like to fight so we want to wrestle with our high and try to function off the strongest weed we can find.
RB: You guys are Chicagoans born and raised, promoting and creating cannabis culture. What changes have you guys seen in the cannabis community since Illinois legalized recreational use?
Mani: I’m really into variety, so the biggest difference for me personally has been the variety available. Chicago has always had good grass, but nowadays there are so many different strains available. It’s fantastic. There’s also been a noticeable increase in acceptance. But we never cared too much about that to begin with.
Larry: I think more people are comfortable with cannabis smoke so it’s not as big of a deal in public as it once was. We are slowly but surely ending the stigma.
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RB: Do you guys think that a Black-owned dispensary could prosper in the city?
Mani: A black-owned anything has the potential to prosper in Chicago. A dispensary is no different. For me, the success of any dispensary is dependent on the product available.
If you’ve got fresh, potent flower for a good price your dispensary will prosper. If you’ve got all that and you’re black-owned? Even better.
Larry: I agree. I think if the dispensary is black-owned, it will prosper. I’d like to see dispensaries where they can source from black growers with black-owned farms, etc. That’s when I will feel like we really have a foot in the door.
RB: What’s one of the biggest misconceptions about Chicago’s smoking culture?
SOS: Probably that there wasn’t great bud on the streets before legalization. Yeah we have legal weed now, and everybody loves seeing the THC percentage on the label and all that, but before it was legal you could still find great grass in Chicago.
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RB: What’s the biggest hurdle in getting people in Chicago to go from the black market to the dispensary?
SOS: We still believe the streets are beating the dispensaries when it comes to strains and hard-hitting smoke, so the answer to that is simple.
Price and product. The taxes alone prevent dispensaries from competing with the streets on price, but if they maintained a wide variety of fresh, potent flower they would certainly develop a strong, faithful customer base.
RB: Why did you guys think it was important to start an online show around cannabis?
Mani: Honestly, the genesis of the show wasn’t centered around cannabis. The idea for the show was born out of our group’s need to get jokes off at all times. Comedy skits are a big part of the show and we just like cracking jokes in general, so SOS really started as a vehicle for that. But we smoke weed while we’re doing everything else so why not on our podcast? Ya know?
When we first started legalization hadn’t taken effect in Illinois yet so I think the idea of freely smoking copious amounts of marijuana on camera was still a little unsettling for some people which made us lean into the idea even more.
RB: Who has been your best guest so far and why?
Mani: It’s really tough to say who was the best guest. Not to be that guy but I really think all of our guests are special. If I had to pick one our episode with former NBA player and cannabis entrepreneur Al Harrington.
Al is the founder of Viola Brands cannabis company and just a cool guy. He talked to us about 2 things we all love, hoops and grass, and brought us some samples of his product. Any guest who brings gifts is gonna shoot towards the top of the favorites list.
Larry: I feel like we have had great guests all around. I can’t pinpoint a favorite but it’s definitely some people I wanna smoke with.
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RB: I have to ask. What’s y’alls favorite weed strain?
Mani: This is like asking me what is my favorite movie or my favorite song, the answer changes so often. A specific strain? I like London Pound Cake, Cereal Milk, Super Silver Haze, or just a good ol ‘Sour Diesel. I’m also a sucker for dark,purple flower in general. Don’t ask me why.
Larry: I like Bubba Kush, but from a specific grower I know. Every time I smoke it, I feel like the first time I got some grade A kush. That’s a high I’ll chase with pride!
RB: You guys are known for being pro-Backwoods. Is that still your favorite way to smoke?
Larry: Honestly, I don’t even smoke Backwoods anymore. Haven’t bought one in years. They lost their touch to me and got overpriced and underdeveloped. I’m a Fronto guy now. A man of good pure leaf. Not that gas station leaf either.
Mani: Larry was always the only guy really doing the Backwoods out of the three of us. We each actually have a different preferred way of smoking. Larry is a leaf guy, I smoke cones, and Terry is in transition, I think. He used to be a Swisher guy, but now I think he’s freelance.
Terry: Funny thing is, I fucking despise Backwoods. They give me the bubble guts. I’m actually tobacco-free now.
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RB: What’s coming next for the show? How do you guys plan on expanding?
SOS: We really want to hit LA. Whether it be for a one-off episode or something longer term, we want to do something in LA. Between our friends in comedy and just the position LA has in cannabis culture, we feel like getting more exposure on the West Coast can be a positive.
We also are looking to have some live events and get to interact with our audience. Looking forward to what’s ahead for us.