Reviewed: Hawkesbay Wellness

This week, in my search for another great I-71 shop, I conducted my survey from atop the heights of some the city’s most iconic buildings, getting a bird’s-eye-view of the best buds in the District, soaring about with a jetpack designed by an MIT undergrad as a “side project” and a state-of-the-art wingsuit! After getting chased away from the Washington Monument by a mob of starving tourists who’d been living in the Observation Deck — abandoned by their double-decker bus as so many are — I sought out a more discreet perch. I had a brief collision with one of the belfries of the National Cathedral, before my quest eventually took me to the top of landmark DC mid-rise apartment building, The Cairo. Crouched above one of the iconic gargoyles on the The Cairo’s roof, I fired up the jetpack again and put the new wingsuit to the test, headed towards Meridian Hill Park. As I soared above Columbia Heights, I spotted a crowd lined up in front of a new business on Georgia Avenue in neighboring Park View, and a familiar sign: Hawkesbay. Hey, we know them — these are our friends! And they’ve apparently expanded. Let’s swoop on down into Hawkesbay's Georgia Ave. location, and see what they’re roosting on! Comin’ in hot, Tokers! SCREEEEEEEECH!

Shopping at Hawkesbay Wellness (Georgia Avenue)

Hawkesbay’s new NW DC location is very easy to access by public transit, and is an equidistant 5-10 minute walk from either the Columbia Heights Green/Yellow line metro station or the Georgia Ave/Petworth station one stop up. Conveniently, the northbound 70 bus also has a stop right in front of the store! For those driving to Hawkesbay, parking will present all of the usual challenges it does at any NW DC storefront. If you find yourself a bit peckish on the way out of Hawkesbay, your hungry aeronaut reviewer found the most magical little café down Georgia Avenue on a stretch of awesome small businesses. 

If you hopped off of the 70 bus like your reviewer did, you’ll be delighted to see that you’ve been deposited directly in front of Hawkesbay. The black brick storefront and big green sign can’t be missed. 

The inviting main room at Hawkesday has super chill vibes.

Approach the bright yellow door so the security guard can quickly check your ID, and you’ll be let into Hawkesbay. The sales floor of this I-71 shop has some of the chillest vibes I’ve seen, with a loungelike atmosphere, a comfy couch to chill out on if you need a quick rest, great lighting, and plenty of products and gifts to peruse before making your purchase.

What's on the Hawkesbay Menu?

At the front of the sales floor are all of the CBD products that Hawkesbay offers, including tinctures, oils, gummies, topical ointments, bath bombs, and a nice variety of 25mg CBD sparkling water fruit beverages from Wyld. Near the CBD products are some merch displays where you can pick up a cool Hawkesbay logo or cannabis-themed T-shirt. 

As you make your way through the main room at Hawkesbay’s new location, you’ll come to the display cases featuring their selection of I-71 gifts. In the first display case you’ll find their current flower gifts, along with a nice array of Packwoods distillate-infused kief-covered joints and house pre-rolls, plus a very impressive collection of concentrates for those of you who enjoy the occasional dab, as I do. (When I visited, concentrates included live resin, crumble, sugar and batter.) A display case contains edible I-71 gifts, including gummies, chocolates, tinctures, and an impressive heavy-duty THC-infused Nerds Rope candy. Hawkesbay’s inventory of .5g cartridge gifts can also be found in this case. 

Once you have your gifts in mind, you  approach the service counter, where you can purchase either a black silicone bracelet, or a very cool two-sided Hawkesbay token which has some serious heft to it. If you forgot to grab cash on your way in, don’t sweat it. Hawkesbay has an ATM right next to the checkout counter.

I need to stress this: throughout my career as a reviewer, in which I have only had stellar experiences with customer service, the staff at Hawkesbay has always gone above and beyond. My budtender carefully took the time to explain every single product, and merchandise item, and gave me a gift-by-gift rundown of everything in the cases, all while graciously handling multiple other customers coming and going. 11/10 experience. Thank you so much, fam!

Reviewed: Gelato Mintz

Our kind friends at Hawkesbay guided us towards the Gelato Mintz flower gift sitting in the display case with a magnifying lens over incredible craggy bright green trees with little blue blotches playing peek-a-boo near the stems and intermittently throughout the buds. The premium 3.5g flower gift came in a cool matte black glass jar with a custom Hawkesbay label. And oh dear God, did we meet the Lord (or the Devil) when we opened up this jar of demonically good weed. 

Satisfyingly chunky Gelato Mintz nugs.

A chem-skunk reek escapes as you let this delicious fruit breathe, and then its true notes of pine, spearmint and herbal aromas take over. The jar contained a very unique, finely trimmed tree that split elegantly into three separate little spears of approximately .5g green-and-dark-blue buds, with a few more substantial nuggets and virtually no popcorns or crumbs. An extraordinary jar! 

In handling it, Gelato Mintz approached the “sticky icky,” or pleasantly resinous. In terms of moisture, the tree tested for the GT’s metric bounced back to nearly 100% its original form. However, the stem did not snap. 

The smoke is nice and fluid, producing a voluntary cough on the third or fourth hit. In terms of flavor, Gelato Mintz has a bit of an initial tang to it, which gives way to a smooth and somewhat smoky aftertaste. 

What’s the high like? Uplifting! Your reviewer had a rough day before the toke. Euphoric, with a good body, I’d say this strain is a nice hybrid for a concert, a social gathering, or an evening of some creative cooking. It did shake up my nighttime regimen of a night-cap-snap, and might be best reserved for leisure hours or a carefree weekend day, rather than your evening cool-down, as I tried to use it.

A little advice offered along with this review: take caution when flying an amateur jetpack/wingsuit rig, especially in the District! With all the restricted airspace around here, it’s damned easy to get shot down by an anti-aircraft missile. Plus, it’s been windy! Best bet is to make a safe landing call at one of the two Hawkesbay storefronts and chill out for a spell, DMV Tokers!