Happy belated 4/20 y’all! I hope you enjoyed the special print version of the Cop List that went up last week. That one originally ran in the magazine but I figured since it was the holiday, and I didn’t want to rush a new one out just yet, that was a safe one to let rip. We could call it 35.5 – it was intended to have a more national feel, focusing on products rather than dank specifically, but I’m not pretending that was a suitable replacement for this month. We’re back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Last week, for the second year in a row, players from across the country (and globe, even) descended on New York City to celebrate our favorite holiday. Just like last year, this was another one for the record books. Between the East Coast’s Zalympix unbelievable showing at Terminal 5, to First Smoke of the Day’s Family Ties Brunch, Zushi’s Lower East Side Pop-Up Store, to the classic Washington Square Park celebration, I’m still trying to recover from the marathon of events that went on across the city. We sesh’d in an abandoned mall in Chinatown, ate insane meals at 2:30 AM regularly, and even watched them film a scene for the new Penguin show for HBO Max. It was pretty excellent by just about every measure.
So, in honor of the trip, #36 is compiled entirely of dank I found last week while stumbling around the city and it’s various events. I mentioned on social a few weeks ago that I wasn’t going to bring any bud with me on the trip, and the city more than provided. Shouts out to all the homies that came up to me throughout the week with some flavors to try, or just some kind words about our efforts over here. I was not expecting as many of you to recognize me as you did, and I’ll be honest, the love you showed in the city that raised me was incredibly special. Thank you. Also to Sasso – appreciate your hospitality as always my guy!
Like usual, you don’t gotta be a stranger. Finding the flame takes a village, and I want to hear what’s getting you up too. Hit me on just about any platform here: @joncappetta
Green Gold Collective
Courtesy Green Gold Collective
I’ve been hearing rumblings about this guy for awhile now, so imagine my surprise when I run into bro on the other side of the country, outside the Player’s Ball – I mean, the First Smoke of the Day Brunch. My homie CGO (who you’ll hear more about soon) was talking to him while I was waiting for the car, and called me over to check it out. While there are a lot of people growing great weed right now, I could immediately see why so many heads were pointing me in that direction. These flowers are special. Although I only got to check out their Pink Lemonade, which was clearly outstanding, I’m declaring right now that I’m going to make a dedicated trip to wherever they are once I get back to California to stick my nose in more of their bags.
I’m not going to lie, I’m abnormally rooting for these hometown heroes. Cultivating out on Long Island, where I spent most of my formative years, not only are these guys sweethearts, but the flower they’re cultivating really shows they not only know what they’re doing, but that they care about the details. They got a trophy at the East Coast Zalympix for having the Heaviest Hitting cut in the competition, with their rendition of Cap Junky, but it was their Biscotti – which I’m affectionately referring to as the ‘Barbecue cut’ because the nose has these hints of almost woody-ness that reminds me of an outdoor BBQ (not the chip flavor) – that really hooked me. I’ve smoked a LOT of Biscotti in my day, and it’s an excellent strain to begin with, but this rendition rekindled that obsession with what feels like a whole new swag.
Courtesy All Kings
Another true New York brand, All Kings were a totally new name for me, but boy am I glad we met. Actually grown in the state, they had two cuts to show me: their OG and a ‘Grape Head’. While the OG was definitely a dope varietal, it was the Grape Head that I’ve got to let you know about. This had exactly the nose you’d expect from a cut with grape in it’s name, but the taste of the smoke gave pure grapeade, which I wasn’t expecting. I’m talking that sweet artificial grape flavor, and just like the OG cut this one seriously drooped my eyelids.
A new discovery from the homies at Good Pizza and his breeding partner Exotiks916, I’m really excited about this stash of Torrone I got blessed with last week. Although these guys are based out West now, GP’s a native New Yorker like me, and about as Italian as they come, so all of his cultivars have some sort of Italian American theme – like his initial Carmela, affectionately named after the Sopranos matriarch. This new cut, named after the honey almond treat popular in the motherland, is delicious. While I have no idea how much it actually smells like the dessert, it’s got this wonderful pine-y menthol nose that I can’t get enough of, and it smokes like a dream.
The Book Club
Courtesy The Book Club
This is another one whose name had reached me before the flower, and I’m happy to report that from my perspective, the hype here is real. The second chapter in the Book Club Cannabis’ story (although I admittedly missed the first one), Osi illustrated to me that this is truly a connoisseur driven brand, with a cut that hits from pretty much every angle. And while you often hear me rave about the nose and flavor, it was really the effect on this one that shined. It genuinely felt heavy – which is appropriate, as it was on Trevy’s page that I saw it first. It’s worth acknowledging here that basically anytime Trev says something’s worth checking out, you should listen.
The Mechanic x Doja
Courtesy The Mechanic
If you’ve read even one of these in the past you’re likely aware I’m a big fan of Doja and the flower he brings to market. I’ve raved about several cultivars, as well as his parties, but perhaps his most impressive move yet has been the developments he’s made out of state. While having pumped out some truly next level gear out of Michigan already, his latest collaboration with The Mechanic in New York has me super geeked. You see, The Mechanic’s been popping several of Doja’s beans, and while I foolishly missed the tasting party and didn’t get to see the majority of the new cuts, the Cherry Runtz he grew is as good as I’ve ever seen it – Cali or otherwise.
Dallas Growers Club
Courtesy Dallas Growers Club
While these guys are not from New York, they’re also not from Dallas. Well, at least not that Dallas. Hailing out of Oregon, these guys pride themselves on cultivating ‘uncommon cannabis’ and I’ve got to say, they’re true to their tagline. I got to see four different varietals from them, and while they were all delicious tasting, both their Pure Michigan and Strawberry Driver were worth writing home about. My favorite of the crop was definitely the Michigan cut, as it had this weird almost cheese kush nose on it. I don’t know how else to describe it, but it’s a descendent of Mendo Breath, and the flavor is consistent, so if you remember that, add just a bit of sweetness to it. What’s not to love?
Surf’s Up Exotics
Courtesy Surf’s Up Exotics
Another out-of-towner in for the holiday that I met this trip was Surf’s Up Exotics, and they had their new star, ‘The Wave,’ in tow. I instantly saw what they were excited about, as both the nose and look of these buds were certainly top tier. That said, it was actually the flavor of the Wave that ultimately hooked me. Though the nose was initially a sort of minty runtzy expression, this one’s got an almost licorice undertone in the smoke, and it gets stronger as the joint progresses. It’s just a delightful smoking experience you’ll continue to crave long after it’s cashed. The high’s pretty great too, and not as drag-y as you’d expect from something that dark and candy, but the flavor!
I can’t complete this list without mentioning the big winner of the East Coast showdown, Gotti. Bringing home the 1st place trophy for the best overall, 1st place for best tasting, and 3rd place for best smell, their Zkittlez x Zoap selection deserves all the praise it’s receiving. I will admit this is my first time hearing of these guys, so while they’re clearly off to a great start, this is a brand I will certainly be keeping a close eye on as the market develops. Their flower smelled exactly how you’d expect it to, but the judges were right to award it so high on flavor – it’s probably the most delicious tasting smoke from a Zoap cross I’ve ever tried.
Out of all the new brands I met last week, this one was probably the most unexpected, and weirdly exciting out of the bunch. Dubbed Conchiss, this guy’s got some really good weed, but it’s the uniqueness of the whole experience that really resonated with me here. With insane cultivar names like ‘Green Eggs & Ham’ (shouts to the Dr.) and ‘Cape Cod Saltwater Taffy’, it was his ‘Pineapple Chroma’ that stopped the show for me. With a true pineapple nose that also holds this weird menthol behind it, this was one of the best tasting new flavors I found this trip. I didn’t dislike the crazy sounding strains either, but the Pineapple, man… there’s some real magic there.
Now I can’t front and pretend this is the first time I’ve heard of DeLisioso. Founded by America’s longest-serving nonviolent cannabis prisoner Richard DeLisi, and his son Rick, DeLisioso is the American Dream version of turning lemons into lemonade. Launching the brand less than a year after Richard was freed, this was my first time getting hands-on with their flower and I’ve got to say, I’m very stoked on what they’re working with. I tried two cultivars (the purple and yellow bag, although they weren’t labeled beyond that) and while they were both delicious, there’s something really special in that yellow bag. I don’t even know how to describe the nose because it’s just so different from the majority of the market right now, but the smoke was incredibly clean and the high motivated me to knock out half of this list immediately!
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