Los Angeles recently hosted Connect Community’s Lemon Cherry Gelato Battle Royale. 

The classy name for the event was Cultivation Chronicles “Crop Steering Candies.” After previous community-building events in Sacramento and Palm Springs, this was the first installment in the Los Angeles area.

Organizers noted that cultivators came together to create a collaborative environment to showcase the heat of a specific cultivar and share knowledge in cultivation and level each other up. IMG 0503

“The LCG Battle Royale was introduced to celebrate the wonderful cultivation work of one of the most popular cultivars in the industry — Lemon Cherry Gelato,” said the event’s producer Sergio Picazo. “Candies are dominating the market right now, however, they can be challenging to grow. We aim to bring value to the cultivation community by having a focused panel discussion with killers sharing their perspective and grow tech on how to grow these small bud trait cultivars.”

Picazo said there are so many unknown genetics out there claiming to be LCG, they leaned into the trait-agnostic genomics tool, known as the CCI (Certificate of Cultivar Identify) powered by MyFloraDNA, to provide genetic similarities between the different flower samples submitted into the Battle Royale. 

“Results will be shared in a few weeks once the genomics reporting has been finished,” said Picazo. “Every single submission of the 11 cultivators who competed were absolutely fire! The judging criteria was simple: Aroma, Bag Appeal, Taste, Harshness of Smoke.”

Picazo went on to all the cultivators in the competition and multiple trusted lungs of judges have been involved in other major events. The judges’ picks came in two awards. One was based off of a scoring system and based on points. The other was a people’s choice category where the judges picked their favorite without breaking it down. BVTCHER WINNER LCG Battle Royale 10.19.23


Kush Alley would end up the top dog no matter how you counted the votes. They took home the win in both categories. AJ’s Flower Co was in the runner-up position with Maven Genetics finding their way to yet another podium, this time without the strain formerly called French Laundry doing the heavy lifting.

Picazo went with an open invite to rec cultivators, allowing them to participate in the first-of-its-kind event.  

“We’ve seen grow-off competitions with a single cultivar provided by a nursery, which is totally cool and appreciated, however, what makes The Connect Community unique is that in addition to providing molecular IDs to the genetics submitted into the competition,” said Picazo, “we invited cultivators who competed in the Battle Royale to discuss cultivation techniques on how to bring out the most genetic expression focused on quality, and the knowledge dropped on the panel was next-level cultivation discussion.”

Picazo aims to bring value to the community with what he calls no-ego, positive vibes-only educational discussions focused on leveling each other up mixed with engaging networking opportunities. But there is always going to be a pinch of ego when someone is the winner. 

There is certainly a place for these kinds of strain-specific events. As the marketplace gets flooded with certain strains, like Lemon Cherry Gelato, understanding what makes the best version of anything special is critical. And it’s important that it’s happening at the cultivation level. 

If it was at the consumer or distro level, it would just be another cup. Centering everything on how to make something popular exceptional is a fun new take on things. 


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