We covered the Best of Cannabis for 2021 last month, but there are still plenty of other cannabis efforts of note from the past year. 

Cannabis is such an all-encompassing thing. Beyond the great flower or dispensary experience that backbone most of our thoughts about pot – besides smoking it – there is a lot of worthwhile stuff in between the lines to take note of. 

So here are a few things we definitely took note of in 2021:


Best Clothing Drop: Alien Labs’ Away Team

Courtesy of Alien Labs

It was another competitive year for cannabis industry threads and we really appreciate the effort that everyone is putting into their attempts to break out of the norm. That being said, we definitely loved the Away Team drop from Alien Labs designed by Yellow Brick Group. Wildly fun and on-brand from some of the best cultivators in the game. 


Best Comeback Party: Kushstock

We’re in the desert for California’s first official event back from full lockdown and it was a blast. Some of the state’s top producers came to Adelanto to get their toes wet in the event scene. Some brands like Jelly Wizard even had their first legal sale that day. Kushstock remains, without a doubt, one of the top free cannabis events in the country. 


Biggest Clout Surge – Solventless Prerolls

The idea of putting hash in joints is not new. Hell, one may even argue it’s dated. But the current level of excitement around the idea has certainly poured fire on the flames. We think it started with the first wave of Fidel prerolls, and then a bunch of other folks jumped on the train. 

Best Launch – Blueprint

Courtesy of Blueprint

The organic hype of Blueprint’s launch was something to behold. The whole game knew the company has roots in the heat in the past, so when it was time for the first drop, expectations were high and they certainly lived up to them. We’re excited to see and smoke whatever they come up with in the new year as they continue to hunt down killer phenos. 


Widest Impact – Seed Junky Genetics 

With Seed Junky’s clone operation now running at full steam, their fame now transcends people hunting down famous winning phenos from packs. But now, their hand-selected best representations of their work are available for the masses to enjoy. We expect the recent work with Jealousy collaborations will have a huge impact on 2022 as we find winners from the summer and fall seed drops. 


Best New Trick – The Original Z Zeuz Pods

While we don’t get into the vapes too much here at L.A. Weekly with all the demand for exotic flower coverage, it’s undeniable that the Zeuz pod was probably the biggest launch of the year for vapes as last year’s Emerald Cup champ Mistify doesn’t have a ton of shelf space yet. That being said, the Original Z pairing their terpenes with C-Cell’s best tech has proven to be a great move and one of the hardest-hitting vape pods of all time. 


Wackest Trend – Still Not Having Bank Accounts

The wackiest thing of 2021, apart from the struggles of small farmers and equity operators fleeced over the years trying to get open, was definitely the fact the industry doesn’t have proper access to financial services. This has led to further violence over the last year as criminals targeted various cash-heavy cannabis operations all over California. 


Best Look – Cookies Helping Small Farmers Take Part in The Emerald Cup

One of the things Tim Blake mentioned to us during the build-up to the Emerald Cup was the fact that Cookies provided a lot of the support needed for the 27 small farms that wouldn’t have been able to be there on their own. We haven’t seen too many folks chatting on it so we figured we’d give them the final nod as we close out 2021 and look forward to the heat in 2022. 


Most Exciting Announcement – The Emerald Cup Awards Show Moves to L.A.

Emerald Cup Judging 2018. Photo: Jimi Devine

We were in Santa Rosa for The Harvest Ball and it was awesome, but our hearts are really set on the big awards show being down south for the first time ever in hopes of giving small farmers better access to the world’s biggest cannabis marketplace. The entry window for this year’s cup also just opened. 


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