The best grower in Colorado will be crowned next February. Is your favorite dispensary competing?
The Grow-Off, a science based cannabis growing competition kicks off August 10th with a “Meet your competitor happy hour”. Guests include lead sponsors Precision Cultivation, Grownetics and Cultivate Colorado as well as master growers from around the state – even as far as Antonito, CO.
This private event held at Battery 621 is hosted by Batch:64 soil and WasteFarmers, two companies that utilize the downtown coworking space. Held from 7-10pm on the rooftop with complementary food and drinks for licensed retail cultivators that will compete to grow the best pot in categories of Potency, Flavor and Yield.
To learn more visit TheGrowOff.com or email [email protected] for your invite to this exclusive event.
Just as legalization is spurring the rapid evolution of the cannabis industry, it has inspired a new cultivation competition that some say has the potential to replace the High Times Cannabis Cup in Colorado.
Cannabis Critics for The Denver Post’s The Cannabist, Jake Browne and Sohum Shah, teamed up with Dark Horse Genetics, Cultivate Colorado and the famed Steep Hill analytical laboratory (now operated by Pazoo, Inc. OTC: PZOOD) to disrupt the future of marijuana growing competitions with The Grow-Off.
How is The Grow-Off different from the established contests we know so well? First of all, they’ve leveled the playing field by requiring that all participants start with the same genetics. The Grow-Off will supply entrants with clones that have all been cut from the same mother plant. Variances in growing methods will produce significant differences in the final products.
“I think it’s going to create some interesting data points. There’s a lot to be learned from this by taking all of the subjectivity out of it,”
said Jake Browne to Whaxy.
At the end of the cultivation cycle, each entry will be judged and a winner will be selected for three different categories — Yield, Potency (cannabinoids), and Flavor (terpenes). The cannabinoid and terpene profiles will be determined through lab testing by Steep Hill.
“Our goal is to shift the emphasis from qualitative judgement to quantitative analysis of phenotypical variance,”
added Sohum Shah, “By grading cannabis based on comprehensive laboratory analysis, we hope to improve end-consumer understanding of true product quality.”
Another exciting twist in The Grow-Off disrupt comes from Dark Horse Genetics, the seed-breeders you can thank for incredible strains like Bruce Banner. According to COO Mitch Shenassa, the never-before-released clones that contestants will start with are exclusive to The Grow-Off.
“We’ve spent two years developing this strain, and its first release outside our hands will be in this competition,”
Mitch Shenassa said. “We’re proud, honored, and excited to see the results with hard numbers attached.”
Also unique to The Grow-Off, this competition is only open to licensed Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facilities in Colorado that are “fully compliant with state laws and regulations.” Because of this rule, the entire competition will be executed entirely in compliance with state law. Already having twenty licensed facilities on the bill, the inaugural Grow-Off is poised to be a big hit among cannabis professionals.
Winners will be announced during the event’s closing party, and those awarded the first place prize for each of the three categories (yield, potency, flavor) will receive a cash prize. A portion of the proceeds will also be donated to Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Are you a licensed retail cultivator in Colorado? You can pre-register for The Grow Off starting April 20. For more information about The inaugural Grow-Off and to register, please visit thegrowoff.com.
Serving beer, wine and spirits at special events like weddings, engagement parties, birthday celebrations, and holiday gatherings is already a common practice in the United States. Now that cannabis policies have been reformed in nearly half of the nation, with four states legalizing recreational use and retail sales, serving cannabis (more openly) may be the next trend at such events.
Event planners, vendors and venues, especially in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, have already discovered creative ways to incorporate cannabis into special events, like weddings, in every facet from including fresh buds in bouquets and boutineers to offering a cannabis-bar (cannabar). In fact, this is expected to become so trendy in the near future that the world’s first Cannabis and Wedding Expo has already been scheduled for January 2016.
Island Jenn Photography
Cannabis policy reform is a relatively new development in the United States, but it will not be long before the attitudes of people begin to evolve with the laws. Americans are already beginning to realize that many of the facts presented in the form of propaganda during the Reefer Madness era were false, as the most recent Gallup Poll revealed that 58 percent of American voters believe that federal cannabis prohibition should end. As more people begin to realize that cannabis is no more harmful than alcohol, attitudes shift and the marijuana industry grows, many predict that consuming cannabis at weddings and other celebratory events will soon be just as widely accepted as alcohol.
Much like how the same alcoholic beverage may produce different effects in different people, it is important for hosts and guests alike to be aware that the same strain of cannabis may affect each person differently. While there are always exceptions to the rule, the majority of people can expect to experience the effects described for each of the strains below.
Consult the Experts
Each individual strain of cannabis is unique. When exploring beyond the basic differences between sativa and indica, understanding cannabis becomes more complicated when considering how each strains’ cannabinoid and terpene profiles translate into the effects experienced. Much like a bartender is trusted to pour drinks for guests at an event, a budtender or any person with extensive cannabis knowledge can be hired to work the cannabar at your next event. A budtender will be able to share knowledge, help guests select strains and decide which method of consumption to use. Having a cannabis expert onsite to help serve and educate guests will ensure responsible consumption, especially for novice or first time users.
Just as choosing which strain to consume may be difficult for a wedding guest, selecting how many and which strains to offer may be just as overwhelming for the bride and groom or wedding planner. In an effort to narrow down the hundreds of possibilities, we have put together a list of the top-rated strains that would pair well with weddings and other social gatherings.
Cannabis connoisseur Jake Browne, better known as the world’s first pot critic, shared his recommendations with Whaxy for a “three strain combination that is perfect for parties” to establish a no-brainer, go-to selection for those who find it difficult to choose.
Browne said that offering Blue Dream, Green Crack and Grape Ape, would provide guests with a well-rounded selection. Browne’s reasoning behind each choice is explained under those three strain names in the descriptions below.
Durban Poison is a pure sativa landrace strain that will leave guests or the bride and groom alert, energetic and ready to party. In heavy doses, this strain may cause the heart to race. Click here to read an expert review of Durban Poison to learn more about what to expect when consuming this popular sativa.
This fruity sativa, Strawberry Cough, would make a great addition to any cannabar because its the perfect combination of mental relaxation and energetic focus, helping guests feel good about dancing like no one is watching.
This award winning strain, Amnesia Haze, will leave guests mingling, laughing and dancing the night away with energizing, mood boosting, uplifting and pain-relieving effects.
Island Sweet Skunk
Both experienced and novice cannabis consuming wedding guests will be enticed by the sweet, fruity and slightly skunky scent of Island Sweet Skunk. Often testing higher than most in Cannabidiol (CBD), ISS is the ideal pre-vows strain, leaving guests relaxed and loose without lessening the ability to focus or socialize.
Sweet, tropical fruit scented Maui Waui flowers are a great option for a wedding where smoking is favored because guests won’t have to fear coughing much when exhaling. The mood-boosting and energizing effects may also inspire friendship between guests who have just met.
Often praised for helping to inspire creativity and a happy state of mind, fruity Kali Mist flowers may provide the perfect mix of relaxation and focus that the bride and groom need before they say “I do.” Guests will also be impressed with the beautiful pink and purple hues splashed between the bright green leaves and orange trichomes.
Earning notoriety as a “high CBD” strain for having a 5:2 ratio of cannabidiol (CBD) to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive effects of Harlequin are mild compared to other strains because CBD buffers the potency of the THC. Like training wheels on a bicycle, Harlequin is perfect to have on hand for the novice and first time consumers at the wedding. The higher levels of CBD in this strain will eliminate the risk of developing paranoia or anxiety that some users face the first tim while also relieving the aches and pains of guests who have traveled a long distance or twerked too hard on the dance floor.
Browne explained, “Grape Ape is perfect for the end of the night. The robust grape candy notes taste great and it provides a deep body stone without too much couchlock. Its also great for hangovers!”
As a powerful indica strain, Critical Mass is great for the nervous bride and groom or an anxiety ridden guest. Often testing high in both THC and CBD, Critical Mass is best consumed in small quantities (one to two hits maximum) at social functions in order to avoid lethargy and drowsiness. In small quantities, Critical Mass can free the mind from overthinking by relaxing the body with tingling sensations through the arms and legs.
Grand Daddy Purple
Grand Daddy Purple (GDP) is one of the most recognized strains in the world for good reason. Guests can anticipate feeling happy, uplifted and relaxed almost instantly without being sedated. Plus, the resinous flowers spotted with dark purple leaves will pique the curiosity of guests, encouraging them to ask questions.
G13 is the ultimate strain for anyone who prefers a powerful body high with very little cerebral euphoria. While it may uplift your mood, G13 allows for intense relaxation and lightness of the limbs without clouding thoughts or making it difficult to focus. G13 is also ideal for pre-meal consumption, as it may increase the appetite and enhance the taste of food even more so than all other strains.
Likely to encourage a positive outlook and a case of the giggles, Bubba Kush and the slightly more difficult to find Pre ’98 Bubba Kush are great strains for clear-headed relaxation and intense body tingling sensations. The Bubbas may be best delivered in smaller quantities in order to avoid being too tired to get out of your chair when its time to teach ’em how to dougie.
Often recommended for the treatment of pain, insomnia, depression and appetite loss, Northern Lights is the perfect compliment to the wind-down portion of the evening, allowing newlyweds and guests alike to drift attention away from sore muscles, aching feet, and dance floor fails.
In small doses, award-winning Blueberry can be energizing and encourage socializing, but it can also ease end of the night tension with waves of weightless relaxation throughout the body. Often reported to enhance feelings of arousal, these sweet scented flowers may be best reserved for the newlyweds’ nightcap.
Browne said, “Blue Dream is ideal for guests who might need a little help getting on the dance floor, as its a body moving hybrid that is great for mood elevation.”
Browne explained, “Green Crack is the ultimate conversation piece and truly does give a ton of energy to those who might be exhausted from travel or just being at a wedding. The fruity flavor is just a bonus.”
Happy-go-lucky New York City Diesel (NYC Diesel or NYCD) is an ideal strain to offer at weddings because it is suitable for cannabis consumers of all levels of experience. Promoting happiness and talkativeness in social settings, makes NYCD a great option for events, especially weddings because it may also enhance feelings of arousal.
Suitable for novice users, its more than the sweet, citrus scent that of Jilly Bean that may increase the reach of your soul-shine rays. While Jilly Bean effects start with an immediate rush of cerebral euphoria and relaxation, while the body tingling sensations creep in over time.
As an energizing, stress relieving, promoter of happiness, sweet and citrus scented Cinderella 99 (Cindy 99) is a strain that could be enjoyed before, during and/or after the wedding. Demonstrating mostly motivating and euphoric effects, Cinderella 99 may be able to rejuvenate sluggish guests near the end of the night.
Often recommended for daytime stress and pain relief, Golden Goat, is the ideal strain to get the party started on the dance floor, as the initial effects often consists of silly, happy giggles that may encourage the sharing of such incredible dance moves as “Running Man,” “Rolling the Dice,” “Stirring the Soup,” and “The Bernie.”
The almost mentholated, spiciness experienced in the back of the throat upon exhalation of XJ 13, alone, is noteworthy, but it’s ability to increase a person’s ability to spark conversations with strangers landed it a spot on the list for Best Strains to Offer at Weddings. Pair the clear-headed creativity with intense body relaxation and tingling sensations, and you get a strain that is suitable for novice and cannabis-experienced guests.
Following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in the state of Colorado in 2012, The Denver Post started sifting through applications for their first cannabis critic. The Post quickly set their eyes on Iowa transplant Jake Browne, who began working in the marijuana field in 2009.
After beginning at a medical marijuana dispensary, Browne worked as a blogger, consultant, and social media manager, before hearing of the opportunity to be the critic on the “Colbert Report” in late 2013.
As Colorado quickly emerged as the leader in the cannabis legalization movement, Browne has been right there working on providing insight into the industry for readers. Since he began, Browne says he has reviewed over 30 strains, including Purple Haze, Afghan Kush, and Amnesia Haze.
In a state where a leading public universities are teaching classes on marijuana law, Browne is right beside the movement offering an inside look into the industry through his writing. Similar to the wine reviews that have been a staple in newspapers for years, Browne is offering reviews for a product that is just beginning to take flight.
“Usually every week I go to a different shop and get [a strain] and review for structure — how it looks, how it smells, how it tastes. It’s similar to wine criticism, but I get to talk about how it makes me feel as well,” said Browne. “I think it’s really essential with there being so many questions that people have these days.”
There is more to his position than just getting high and writing about it, Browne has a system that he goes by to help readers get the most out of his strain reviews. “There are a number of different notes that people are unaware of,” he said about dissecting the smell of different strains. “One can smell like fresh pines with tennis ball rubber smell to it, while others can have a fresh citrus smell like a tangerine.”
Aside from the smell of the pot, other factors such as having no mold, mildew or bugs are important. Browne says that in good strains, the taste should reinforce the smell. Browne also aims to feel out the “initial high,” that he says differs from the lasting high a person gets from cannabis intake.
Colorado is indeed center stage in the nationwide move towards legalization. Cannabis and is playing a very unique role in the lives of Colorado citizens, whether that be through government, schools, or journalism. Browne realizes that other states are watching and waiting to see the evolution of a legalized marijuana market.
“Other newly legal states haven’t taken this on with the same gusto. It has become its own cottage industry in ways we never would have predicted.”
Now at just 32 years old, Jake Browne is helping to lead the way for a new generation of critics responsible for providing the public audience with insight into an industry that hadn’t been legally accessible until now.
Photo Credit: The Cannabist