Hall of Flowers lived up to expectations as the industry continues through its roughest waters yet.
These days Hall of Flowers (HOF) feels a bit like meeting the winners of the hunger games. With the little guys tending to team up and the big guys attempting to out-big each other with parties and giveaways hoping to secure some of the coveted shelf space in California dispensaries.
As we noted last week, this first big cannabis business event after the summer growing season is very high stakes. For many, it’s about reminding the buyers why their brands drive so much passion via the best flower possible. It’s definitely fair to say a lot of the people we expected to be very high in the conversation were just that.
The Mendocino Cannabis Alliance was one of those groups that rallied smaller producers together to share booth space. They featured both indoor and outdoor offerings for buyers from across the state to check out. The indoor selections were anchored by Woodwide’s recently launched lineup, while the outdoor offerings were led by Mendocino Family Farms’ GMO Cookies, which recently took first place in the state fair.
Alien Labs’ new phenotypes were a master class in the hype. The Sacramento-based company has set a tough bar to top over and over again at events like HOF. But regardless, it was able to do it again with masterfully cultivated new phenos that included one of the best Z-heavy OZKs we’ve ever laid our eyes on. The second big new hitter from Alien Labs was Agent X, a pairing of their Atomic Apple and Xeno. Agent X is one of our favorite jars we’ve seen for months, never mind just at HOF.
CAM was another big winner from HOF. CAM’s whole thing is selling weed a little bit cheaper than people of similar quality, and its HOF spread reminded us it was deals-and-steals season. There was a variety of both gassy and more complex dessert stuff that was sure to please most pallets.
In its inaugural HOF, The Emerald Cup champions at Fig Farms brought the heat and shiny new packaging. We got to see a few more phenos than the general public and the things they have in the pipeline on top of the recent winners already on display are pure gas. Keep an eye out for the new drops soon.
Another group that held its own among the pack was SOG. We’re already familiar with the quality of its work, but it felt like the Hall of Flowers spread was even better than usual. In particular, the Pink Zaza was in the running for best-in-show; we had it tied with Alien Labs’ Agent X, in that regard.
There was a bunch of psycho rosin from all the fresh material from the harvest. The Moonbow from Feeling Frosty was elite, as was Kalya’s collab with Alien Labs on Agent X. The rosin that caught us the most off guard was the Banana Punch from Arcata fire. In a world that’s GMO and Papaya-heavy, you could really appreciate just how different the Symbiotic Genetics-bred terps were from the more prominent hash strains known for their commercial viability.
Joey Diaz’s Laughing Gas line continued to be one of the things that stacked up well. There wasn’t a lot of celebrity flower there, edibles sure, but after some celebs had rough showings at HOF in the past against the pros, we saw fewer in the mix this year. It didn’t matter for the laughing gas line, it would be reputable regardless of the face on the front.
420 Kingdom’s aeroponically grown Watermelon Mimosa was another fun surprise. We haven’t really seen aquaponics done at a wild scale, so it was nice to be able to compare a commercial version of the format against the more traditional grow mediums in cannabis.
Our favorite Social Equity story was Conscious Mindz in Oakland. The company is considered a unity-conscious delivery, distribution, and manufacturer looking to bring forth “awareness and provide a positive impact to the community and environment while helping marginalized individuals.” Well, it’s a lot easier to do that with great pot, and Conscious Mindz has done an awesome job sourcing product to sell. Its lineup was a delightful surprise.
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