Can y’all believe this is number 30 already?! That means there are already over 300 picks published for this silly lil’ collection of dank. That’s a lot of smoke in my lungs… god I love this job.
Anyway, the past month has been a whirlwind. Having not really slowed down since August, this one has selections from across my travels over the past month and a half that I’m just now getting the time to scribe. From the Bay, to New York, New Orleans, and back to SoCal, the past few weeks have been a blast, and I’ve got a lot of dope to share. Well, actually I didn’t find anything to write home about product wise while down in NOLA, but I did have a great time hanging there with the weed I brought from home. I did see a surprising number of billboards advertising mushroom products down there, too! The South is adopting psychedelics, what a time to be alive!
And while I’m back in town right now, we’re not slowing down for winter yet! With MJ Biz Con next week in Las Vegas, and the Emerald Cup’s Harvest Ball right around the corner – which, btw, ya boy was just announced as a flower judge on – the weed celebrations continue. Next week I’ll be at Jimi’s Heat Quest on the 15th, and at High Times’ BizBash afterparty with Method Man & Redman at Brooklyn Bowl on the 17th, so while you’re still of course welcome as always to hit me with the newness you’re excited about on Twitter, if you’re coming to the Con let’s get together and actually smoke it!
Ten Co’s Nozu Pack (Blue Zushi)
If you’re paying any attention to the hype scene, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Team Ten and Zushi by now. Maybe the most notorious of the market leaders, there are few brands on the street with the level of fame, and brand loyalty, that these guys command. And while much of that market exists in the gap between quality cannabis and good marketing, these guys are the full package. Not only does that speak to the level of flower in their jars, but also the price point they’re able to command. You see, while I know much of the market is in a race to the bottom right now, there are few, cult-like fan bases that propel the cost of eighths and ounces far past those of its nearest competitors, completely opposite to the way the rest of the market is moving. These guys are one of those brands. Celebrating that fact, their latest release, the Blue Zushi Nozu pack, which is a play on the hyper popular Japanese restaurant Nobu, is simply put one of the best cannabis brand packages I’ve seen to date. Complete with a numbered tray, a sushi rolling mat, and chopsticks, it’s clear to see why fans are flocking to these premium one ounce packages. It’s an experience.
G’s admittedly been on my radar for years now, but the way my guy’s come into his own is certainly worth celebrating. Today, pumping out many of the hash holes from leading brands like Backpack Boyz, Squintz and Billy Kimber, G has been a ‘professional roller’ since long before the wave became a desirable one to ride. Having made a name for himself before branding handrolls was a thing, and while everyone else may be on board now, few have the business side down as well as he does, and fewer will make this an actual career. Now operating a bonafide preroll factory with his team, G’s expanding on both the brand partnership AND team growth side, and we love to see it!
This is a new one for me, but I’ve been hearing rumblings about J Cush for a minute now so I wasn’t the slightest bit surprised when he brought over some of the new gear he’s been working on and it all smacked. Out of what I saw from his camp, there were 3 winners that I was immediately craving after my initial consumption – the Gusher Pie 3, his Zkittles cut, and the #15 from his latest hunt, which I can’t remember the crosses on. Whichever you choose, you’re in for a flavorful ride, as each of these cuts presented just as prominently on the flavor as they do on the nose. Perhaps more important than the flavor, the effect for each of these were just as expected, with the GP & 15 significantly slowing me down, and the Z elevating me into the perfect place to get this list finished!
When I was back in NYC last month I was hanging at Astor Club one night when I met the new homie from Inspiration Seed Co. Now, while I am of course fortunate to meet a ton of cultivators, lately the game has been kind of stale. Everyone is rushing to recreate the same flavors and populate the streets with purple, candy and gas, but y’all know I’m on the hunt for flavors, rather than more of the same. Well friends, I’ve got to tell you – I’m REALLY excited about the portfolio Inspiration’s been working. Clearly the effort of years of hard work, what excites me about these guys is the breadth of terpenes they’re focused on presenting. With cultivars like Maui Sour, Monster Island, and Large Marge, each of these is incredibly bright in it’s own way, while providing more than nuanced differences between cuts. While I won’t call them all daytime strains, I will certainly say that if you’re looking for something that feels classic and yet new at the same time, check out Inspiration.
Another new NYC homie, the Smugglers Club was working a pheno hunt for a new strain they’re working on, Yamz, and I was fortunate enough to get one of the tester boxes to try. Filled with 4 different phenos from the same seeds, what excited me most about this hunt was the clear differences between the candidates up for the final spot. In fact, the nuance between the pops were some of the most clear I’ve ever seen on a hunt, and each had a pull that deemed it worthy to be the final contender. Two expressions, number 11 and 39, were both extremely sweet, but with 11 you’d get it more on the nose and with 39 you’d get it more in the taste. That said, I think my favorite was the 31, which presented more of a hash plant vibe, which I’m a big fan of. Was a wild conundrum to be a part of, and it was made even more special by the fact that I was able to bring the kit back to my parents’ house and show my elders what this process is really like, which I’ll certainly never forget.
Y’all have heard me praise Jimi’s events countless times in the past, but I’m not sure I ever properly credited the gang that’s been putting them together, so allow me to introduce you to Chronic Culture. It’s true Ellen just covered what these guys are doing in her Champelli piece, and if you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my coverage from the last event of theirs that I attended, but in case you missed it, this one’s for the Bay. While these guys are certainly on the road, actually holding a party in Vegas next week for MJBizCon on the 15th, they’ve also put together a clubhouse of sorts in San Fran that I can’t wait to get back to. While I don’t want to blow up the spot and publish the location, it’s also not some big secret. Keep an eye on their page to keep up to date with their events, and the next time you’re in the Bay, pull up!
I’ve been talking a lot about professional rollers lately, and while I mentioned in my synopsis of Dan’s Roll Ups a few lists back, the name of the game right now is creating the right combos, there are many ways to play that flute. Now evolving the level of meta to the combo idea, Rome has created a truly next level experience in his product’s packaging that I haven’t seen anyone from that field come close to yet. 3D printing a whole jar interior holding structure, in Rome’s limited edition Restashes each joint is housed in it’s own sheath-style chamber inside the larger structure. The whole thing fits comfortably inside the jars you’re used to, so I’ll admit, you don’t realize what you’re in for from the outside, but once you crack the seal you immediately realize you’re in for a fun new adventure.
Now this one’s a surprising one for me. I’m not usually the type to dig fancy dinners as I’m a picky eater and frankly most of that stuff usually seems like it’s made for someone with the appetite of a child. That said, I went to the first one that I actually had a really good time at, so I wanted to let you all know about it. The Cannabis Supper Club is made for people like us. While still focusing on the fancy, the point of these dinners is really to pair fine food with fine cannabis, and fine company – what more could you want? Taking place at different beautiful locations, the Supper Club I attended was built around American Wagyu, and while there were two fish courses that I didn’t eat, everything I did consume was out of this world.
Speaking of the Cannabis Supper Club, the provider of the American Wagyu for the dinner was surprisingly the Hash sponsor, the Secret Society Hash Company, who also owns Six Star Cattle Co. Because one six star business wasn’t enough, right? Turns out, they’re crushing on both sides of the fence, as both the meat and the hash pairings were flavorful and fulfilling. While processing hash is no small task itself, I can only imagine what it must be like to have to both push paddles AND herd cattle in the same day, so I’m quite impressed by what these guys are doing. Not sure how they ever get any sleep, but I’m certainly thankful for their efforts.
I gave them a quick nod in the Puffcon recap, but since we just did a different type of six star now I’m going to hit you with a different type of fresh press. If you’re looking for the best fresh juice in the game, look no further than Alkemist Organics. Providing not only the freshest of juices but also some of the most unusual flavors you could imagine, like Pink Pineapple or Cotton Candy Grape, this high end refresher finally has my LA-based ass hyped on fresh squeezed juice after almost a decade in town. And while his juice is good, it’s also very clear that Mo also cares about being a part of, and uplifting the culture. I’ve seen him at almost all of the SoCal events I’ve attended lately with a jug in his hand, which is more than I can say for most of the players actually trying to work this game!
BONUS: First Smoke of the Day
I have been trying to fit these guys into a list for awhile now as I really love the content they’re producing, but as I just filmed an episode with them and was worried about being nepotistic, I’ve included them as a bonus for this one so no one feels like I’m just mentioning my homies. That said, homies or not, what Lance & Cody have built is impressive for any industry, let alone one as fledgling as ours. Bringing in the most important voices from our community (and now me, who is not included in that group), Blackleaf (Lance) and Packgods (Cody) host some of the most incredible and insightful conversations I’ve seen from our industry players, pulling out all the sensitive and colorful details in a way that’s thoughtful, and comfortable for the guest, but incredibly informative for the viewer. Even better, the content is presented beautifully, with some of the best production work I’ve seen in our space to date. You can watch it on YouTube, but if you really want to support the gang and empower them to keep creating, sign up for their Patreon here. Also, be forewarned, my episode is all over the place – start somewhere else 🙂