I’m not going to lie, it’s been a really weird month for me. From an uptick of trolls online to winning my first-ever award from Benzinga a few weeks ago, life is in a really surreal spot at the moment. I’m feeling seen. Because of this, I want to start this month’s post off with gratitude – whether it’s your first time here, if you’re coming back to check out the latest edition, or if you’re just looking for something to shit on, I appreciate you being here. Truly. I still can’t believe I get to do this professionally, and even if you’re only popping in for laughs, thank you for making this all possible for me.
Now, it seems summer has come and gone in a flash. While I’m kinda bummed I didn’t get outside as much as I would’ve liked, or swam in quite as many pools as I wanted to, I’m more than ready to welcome back hoodies & joggers. Maybe I’m just still fantasizing about school days and having a real summer vacation – more than a decade and a half later. Time to grow up, sport! Time to talk about fancy weed!
As I’m sure you all know, we’re getting into harvest season now, so these next few weeks are going to be busy. Kicking off with Puffcon on Saturday, Hall of Flowers next week, and a trip to New York for a while following that, I’m going to be on the road again for a minute, and I’ll be searching far and wide for new heat. If there’s something you think I should see along the way, or you’ll be in town for one of the stops, holler at me on Twitter and let’s get high! Otherwise, buckle up for our 28th edition, and check out this new flame:
Wizard Tree’s New Pheno Hunt
Last year was the year of 11, this year was the year of Zoap, but next year? Next year might just be the best year of all. Coming in hot with dozens of keeper phenos of what’s sure to be the strain of ’23, Wizard Trees has done it again, and this time the Z means exactly what you think it does. Although I’ll be honest, how he’s going to decide which one to release is a challenge even I feel completely dumbfounded about, I saw at least 4 different variations of his RS11 x Zkittlez that were as close to perfection as I’ve seen in the market lately. And that’s not all. With literal garbage bags full of testers that didn’t make the cut, I’ve seen some impressive hunts before, but few have likely ever had as many winners as these guys have coming. There’s 54 x 11 and 11 x 11 phenos too. And when I call them ‘winners for them’, recognize that 90% of the market could have taken anything from those garbage bags and made the block hot with them. WT isn’t just looking for winners, he’s looking for game changers. This is what separates the leaders from the pack.
Pixie Stix’ Sour Diesel
I’ve raved about Pixie in this column before, so y’all should already know about this dude’s magic. While there are several people doing it now, this was the first true hash-paper joint I smoked, and none of the knockoffs have come close to comparing. However, today I bring him up not for the wizardry of his rolling, but because his cultivation and selection skills are worth pointing out. You see, there have been a LOT of people coming up to me lately claiming that they have the original Sour Diesel but none have come close to the memory I’ve cherished for years. That is, until I saw Pixie’s cut. With the perfect light green hue and that funky sour nose to match, Pix has managed to reignite that memory from the past, but with today’s modern expertise.
So I’ll admit, this one had me sold on the packaging alone. There’s something about the King of the Hill flip with the Grateful Dead shirts & stealie that just tickles me in a special type of way, and candidly I was excited to get this jar even if only to display it on my shelf. That said, the rosin inside was world class by anyone’s standards, and it wasn’t long before it was emptied and doing just that. It’s worth noting that while it was my first time trying Pie Hoe (an apparent new favorite) so it’s hard to compare these specific results to others, their Moonbow was by far the best I’ve ever seen.
This one was a tall order for me. As someone who not only loves Maraschino cherries, but also Shirley Temples & Roy Rogers, and ice cream sundaes, and the story of the Maraschino cherry grow / suicide, you’re really going to have to deliver if you emblazon a name like that on yourself. Sure I was willing to try, as I’m a long time fan of the Insane brand, but I was not expecting the excellence that was about to be delivered. With a sweet almost tartness, you’ll be excited to smoke this one as soon as you crack the seal. However, once it’s ground up those cherries will really infiltrate, and you’ll taste ‘em on the smoke.
Ball Family Farms – the Phonzie
I’ve been a fan of Ball Family Farms since I saw my first of their jars, but man are they getting better with age. They were always terp-y, and their Daniel Laruso has been a regular in my rotation, but their latest cut, the Phonzie, is quite simply an explosion of flavor. While incredibly photogenic to begin with, and just the right hue for the market to really drool over, this is another one that will blow your top off with flavor. While initially presenting sweet out of the jar, this one really morphs in the grinder, mixing out the gas-y, super funk finish. It’s hard to describe exactly what this nose reminds me of, but I got so high after smoking it I stopped trying to figure it out.
No Till Kings’ Terp Charts
If you’re a frequent reader of mine you’ve likely heard me bitch about THC % being misleading, and that Terps are the way, a probably annoying amount at this point. Well friends, I’m going to keep saying it until the market reacts, and I’m pleased to report some movement. My guys over at No Till Kings, the living soil cultivators I told you about last year, are pushing the buck forward. Their new lab sticker not only includes THC & CBD percentages, but also a chart showing the dominant Terpenes present, as well as how they rank against each other. Now, while understanding what specific Terps work best for your body is definitely an individual journey, this is a great first step in helping consumers educate themselves. Even better, I heard this didn’t actually cost them any more money in lab testing, so maybe it’s something we’ll see start catching on across the industry!
At the Benzinga conference I was asked to moderate a panel with some of the most impressive athletes in the world, who now all happen to be getting into the cannabis game. While I’m admittedly not the biggest sports guy, the panel was filled with athletes that even the uninterested stoner I am recognized. I may not have watched basketball religiously growing up, but even I knew to fear the fro. So when I had the opportunity to chat with Ben Wallace, I totally expected something way more disruptive than the kind and gentle man I encountered. In fact, it was Ben’s answer about why athletes seem to be the only ones who could make the celebrity canna model work that made the most sense to me, and his answer was fairly simple: athletes are used to showing up everyday. They’re used to having to be on the court, to practice. While most celebs want a ‘set it and forget it’ model, it seems to be the athletes that care most about not only the quality of their products, but the actual business behind it. While I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed that panel, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Undrafted (Ben’s brand) was without question the best new brand I tried while in Chicago. Sure it’s a Michigan brand, but you know how the fire moves…
This dude was my favorite new friend from the Benzinga conference earlier this month, and while normally I wouldn’t just throw a homie in here, I think what he’s doing is really cool. His company, CannaDevices, distributes basic American-made glass paraphernalia to head shops and dispensaries across the country, and while that’s fine in and of itself, how he does it is what I find so dope. You see, Chris and CannaDevices employ glass artists from around the country, and empower them to follow their dreams while still being able to afford their bills. Let’s say you love making crazy expensive rigs, but you can only make – or sell – one every few months. Chris’s team allows you to monetize your hobby by producing basics for their business. This stops these artists from having to go out and get a 9-5 just to feed themselves, while still pursuing their personal goals and dreams. While I’m not saying this model works for everyone, I want to support anything that empowers creators to do more of what they actually love, and that’s what CannaDevices is doing. If there’s some way you can work together, or work for him, I think they’re worth checking out.
I’ve seen a LOT of accessories in my day, and while most all are capable of getting the job done, very few have been designed past their function. Because of this, most of the dab tools you’ll find in concentrate consumers’ homes remain those dentistry style tools or the very basic paddle & stabber. While I’ve never been mad at those, in fact I bought an actual set of Dentist’s tools off Amazon years ago, this is the first set I’ve found that actually seems like something that should be on display. Not too large, functional, and yet attractive, Apex Ancillary’s magnetic tools & display stand have seriously elevated the vibe of my set up. While sure, stacking used tools on top of Q-tips has worked until now, I’m finally feeling like an adult while I dab without having to spend tens of thousands on fancy rigs & tools.
Stuffed Puffs Big Bites
I swear you find the best snacks in airports, man. Last time it was those Jell-O pudding cup truffles, but this time – oh boy. This time I found sprinkle-covered marshmallows with birthday cake cookie-dough in the middle. WHAT?! You read that right. Now I know this probably sounds like it’s made for children, and it likely is, but let me tell you something – as a single, childless, self-respecting sugar-fiend, sometimes you just gotta accept that the best things in the world aren’t made for us anymore, they’re made for the next generation. That said, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it – y’all are still playing video games, aren’t ya? So while you may see the bag and think ‘I’m too old for that’, let me remind you, you don’t age out of deliciousness.