“Cuffing season” is the time of year during colder months when people are most likely to seek out romantic partners, culminating in Valentine’s Day. And according to consumers, Valentine’s Day is best celebrated by gifting or sharing cannabis. A recent survey by Wired Research found that 61 percent of Americans plan to incorporate the plant into their love-tinged plans this holiday. For New Yorkers, those plans can begin right at home with a special collection from Verdi Cannabis.
What Is Verdi Cannabis? Chelsea's First Licensed Retailer
Verdi, located at 158 West 23rd Street, is the first state-licensed dispensary in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. Its owners, father-son duo Mitchell and Ellis Soodak, celebrated the retail location’s grand opening only three weeks ago and have already kicked operations into high gear. As Ellis explains, they not only have a supremely dedicated and attentive staff, but also a rigorous sampling process to determine which products from New York’s varied marketplace make it onto their shelves.
That, he says, is where Verdi’s Cuffing Season Bundle comes in. This unique Valentine’s Day gift collection - exclusively available from the Chelsea retailer - is comprised of “hand-selected products that we know help you get in the mood for the loving season,” Soodak describes. He adds, “Our goal is to go beyond being just a dispensary; we want to contribute to special moments by providing a range of products that add joy and connection. Verdi is more than a place to purchase cannabis – it's a destination where couples can explore, learn, and create lasting memories together. Each product in the Cuffing Season Bundle was personally tested by Verdi management to ensure they bring the love."
What's In The Verdi Cuffing Season Bundle?
The Cuffing Season Bundle (a $200 value which is now available for $150) includes an array of topicals, oils, and consumables designed to delight the senses. As Honeysuckle caught up with Ellis Soodak in a recent interview, the entrepreneur shared his thoughts with us on what makes Verdi’s curated specialties perfect for Valentine’s Day… or any other time consumers want to try a little tenderness.
1906 Love Drops
These cannabis-and-herbal blend tablets are keys to arousal. The popular little pills from 1906’s line of fast-onset drops are touted as “the only equal opportunity, gender-inclusive aphrodisiac.” They include extracts from the plant medicines Damiana, Ashwagandha, Theobromine, Muira Puama, and Catuaba (the latter known as the Viagra of the Amazon).
For Soodak, this is one product that brings up blissful memories. “[1906’s Director of Wholesale] Matt Catalano actually introduced me and my girlfriend,” Ellis notes. “The first day we met, he gave us samples of the Love pills and we ended up spending all day together. It really works!”
Consumers will get three packs of the tablets in their bundle to spark their own true love stories.
Harney Brothers Tangy Lime Sparkling Water
From the Harney Brothers, a cultivator-processor brand based in Millerton, New York, comes a new flavor of THC-infused sparkling water. The beverage has just enough oomph from sun-grown cannabis to put you in a relaxing, elevated mindset without slowing you down, an excellent place to be for getting close to your bae.
“Tangy Lime is [the Harney Brothers’] limited-edition exclusive new flavor, and it’s fantastic,” Soodak comments of the refreshing citrusy drink, made with real lime juice.
High Priestess Drip CBD Lubricating Oil
You’ve melted your loved one’s heart, now make the rest of them feel like butter with Drip CBD Lubricating Oil from High Priestess Herbal Wellness. The Black woman-owned brand is based in New York City and offers herbalist-curated cannabis-based blends for sexual wellness, mental ease, and mood uplift. Her Drip CBD Lubricating Oil helps stimulate intimacy and connection between partners. With coconut oil as part of the blend and the anti-inflammatory properties of hemp-derived CBD, it’s a great choice for people with sensitive skin.
“High Priestess’s cannabis lube has a fantastic feeling and vibe,” Soodak asserts.
Soft Power Sweets Grapefruit Olive Oil Caramel
For a special dessert, try this two-pack of infused 10-milligram caramels for an unexpected sweet-and-sour mix that tantalizes the tastebuds.
“Soft Power Sweets are some of the best [edibles] on the market,” Soodak enthuses. The brand, based in New Paltz, New York, makes its products with all-vegan ingredients including delicious layers of dark chocolate in every caramel. Sourced from the legendary women and family-owned organic cultivator Hepworth Farms, these confections are bona fide good and good for you.
“To have [the caramels] in the bundle really makes it a Valentine’s Day bundle,” Ellis grins. “What’s Valentine’s Day without something chocolate?”
Ayrloom Restore Topical
Work hard, play hard, and treat yourself. If you and your lover have had some intense bonding time, you’ll want to follow that up with the ideal aftercare in Ayrloom’s Restore Topical. This 1:1 CBD-THC balm features organic botanical extracts targeted to soothe soreness and help relax your body’s pressure points. Coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and an essential oil blend of lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary combine with the cannabis extracts to create a truly restorative salve.
“It’s mind-blowing,” Soodak says of the topical. “THC is [an essential] chemical for your skin… And with Ayrloom’s Restore, you can recover from your sore points.” With a cheeky expression, he alludes that he will let consumers discover for themselves where those might be.
FLAMER Silly Goofy Pack
This pack of five half-gram prerolls from LGBTQIA+-owned brand FLAMER is exactly what it says on the tin (er, box). The flower, a sativa hybrid blend containing 20 percent THC, has been chosen for its effects that give the consumer a bit of extra social buzz. With flavor notes of citrus, papaya and spice, it puts you in the mood for fun. Whether you’re enjoying that euphoria in a party of two or a dozen, this sharable pack offers a zesty twist on the concept of the “giggle stick.”
“The FLAMER pack of prerolls definitely speaks to the community,” Soodak states. “[Verdi] in Chelsea, a historically LGBTQIA+ neighborhood. So it’s representative of us and who we want to be to our neighbors… And how can you celebrate love without celebrating all types of love?”
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Featured image: (C) Clay Banks @clay.banks