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All of 2023’s Cannabis Cup winners and where to buy them

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Strap in, Leafly nation—this one is going to be a doozy. Everyone in cannabis, as in any other industry or field, wants to be the best—but how do you tell who is actually the best? Well, look at the awards. With tens of thousands of strains and products available in your area (we hope), how do you choose where to spend your hard-earned Benjamins? We can tell you that. 

Cannabis competitions are back like they never left, and more state legalizations means higher bars to clear to call your stash fire. From the Bay to the Big Apple, and many detours in between, these are the buds that struck gold (and silver) at esteemed cannabis competitions and cups in 2023. Did we miss any? Let us know for 2024!

High as eagles balls: The Ego Clash barn and meadow from above. (David Downs/Leafly)
High as eagles balls: The Ego Clash barn and meadow from above. (David Downs/Leafly)

Golden State, gold standard. California, despite its market quirks, continues to set weed trends, and the world takes notes. This year was a particularly rich outing.

We begin (where else?) with the Emerald Cup. The Oscars of California weed and their expert judges have sampled thousands of flower entries over the years from cultivators looking for glory and recognition. With four commercial flower categories and 20 slots for each—that’s a lot of weed!

(Photo by Demetrius Daniels, courtesy of Fig Farms)
Blue Face. (Photo by Demetrius Daniels, courtesy of Fig Farms)

This year, Fig Farms won Best in Show and cinched the indoor flower crown with their Animal Face pheno, Blue Face. Double OG Chem #15 by Rebel Grown showed out for sungrown, and Ridgeline Farms proved their Runtz work is unparalleled with a mixed light LANTZ. Bubble Bath by Chameleon Craft won for greenhouse.

The California dispensary Greenwolf has been winning awards of their own for years, and now they dish them out. Their latest California Zalympix puts the golden taste of the Golden State in perspective. The Ten Co and Zushi teamed up with Blue Zushi to nab Best Overall, Best Taste, and second for Best Terps. 

Another collaboration, Limitedtreesgenetics x Flavor Design, won Best Terps with Versace, and second overall. Maven GeneticsFrench Laundry won Best Looking and Most Unique, with The Hydro Boys winning Heaviest Hitting with Blue Gotti Sapphire and Sour Power by Kush Company taking Gassiest. Alien Labs made the podium for Best Overall and Best Terps with a classic Zkittlez.

Now for some math. The California State Fair Cannabis Awards crunch the numbers across cannabinoids and terpenes. A number of last year’s winners returned to show out, along with some new contenders. Mercy Grown swept three Best of California awards with John Lemmon (THCa), and Pie Scream (Myrcene and Total Terpenes); Greenshock FarmsPassion Orange Guava took Ocimene gold once again, while Esensia, MOCA Humboldt and Talking Trees Farm won with new offerings Maracuya (THCa), Caffeine (Limonene), and Rainbow Beltz (Caryophyllene), respectively. For something funky, check out Prism, the CBGa winner by Nimbus Cannabis.

Leafly contributor and one of the headiest journalists on the weed beat Jimi Devine keeps climbing with the latest Transbay Challenge V, which held four qualifier events before the ultimate competition in October. Hawaiian Snowcone by Moon Valley Cannabis, one of our SOTY alternatives, took the ultimate honors, with (again!) Maven Genetics’ French Laundry and Moonbeam by A Golden State rounded out the top three. Greendawg got an honorable mention for Candy Fumez.

Top Shelf Cultivation's Whoa-Si-Whoa (Courtesy Top Shelf Cultivation)
Top Shelf Cultivation’s Whoa-Si-Whoa (Courtesy Top Shelf Cultivation)

The people of SoCal have spoken, and they have bougie tastes too. For the High Times People’s Choice Cup, we saw many familiar, and winning, faces. Fig Farms hit a double whammy for Best Indica Flower and Hybrid Flower with Blue Face and Animal Face, while Maven Genetics’s Orange Bellini reigning over the sativas.

Maven’s French Laundry appeared again in second place for hybrids, and A Golden State popped up again with Lava Flower. TopShelf Cultivation, Team Elite Genetics, and Seed Junky rounded out the flower categories with Peanut Butter Breath, Whoa Si Whoa, Styrofoam Cup, and Gello Shotz

Last but not least, the 2023 Ego Clash saw Eddy’s Lemons by Anudai Farms (A New Day) take indoor flower gold, with Blue Lobster and Zkittlez not far behind. For outdoor, it was Lemon Cherry Gelato by Terp Mansion, followed by two other winning strains of 2023, LANTZ and Hawaiian Snowcone.

Denver’s Connoisseur Cup brings legacy and licensed operators together under OG scrutiny. The industry side showed loyalty to enduring favorites, including Super Lemon Haze (Super Farm), Gelato (DenRec), and Animal Face Mints (Meraki Brands), while pointing to newer classics like Top Fuel Cherries, Purple Monkey Face Slap, and Grape Cream 2.1. MAC, Zkittlez, and GG#4 also made it to the winners circle. 

Rooster Magazine and Media’s THC Classic also scoured hundreds of entries to parse out the fire. Golden Leaf blew the competition away, winning with Lemonhead Delight, Black Maple #22, and Candy Fumez. 

The ninth annual Oregon Growers Cup showcases one of the most pot-prolific state’s best greenery. They give laurels to sungrown, indoor, and greenhouse flowers, with a wide range of cultivars in the winners’ circles. For Outdoor, Alter Farms wins with Strawberry Fizz; Artisan Grown cinched Indoor with Candy Rain; Hash Burger grown by Cannassentials sweeps Greenhouse. 

Trop Cherry. Sativa hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Trop Cherry. Sativa hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

The Oregon Leaf Bowl took it a step further with winners designated by terpene profile (Fuel/OG, Purps/Dessert, Exotic Fruit, Citrus, Open) within the three cultivation categories. For Sungrown, WM Ranch won for Fuel and Dessert with Trop Cherry and Ice Cream Cake; Left Coast Standard also doubled up wins in Citrus and Exotic Fruit with Orange Blossom and Juicy Fruit. Greasy Runtz by TrueCare Farms was the wild card. 

For indoor flower, we see a Sherbet (Slims/Conception nursery), Tropicana Cherry (Verdant Leaf), Biscotti Pie (High Noon Cult), Garlic Budder (Green Clover Farms), and Grape Stank (LUVLI) rise above the rest. And with mixed light, Real Eve won all but one category with their Super Boof, Chem-lato, Sherb Cake, and Hash Burger; Bald Peak Farm and Chalice Farms nabbed a win with Blueberry Octane.

See also: After a couple years’ hiatus, the High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice Edition has returned to Oregon—tune in mid-January for the winners!

Biskante (David Downs/Leafly)
Alien Labs Biskante. (David Downs/Leafly)

The Grand Canyon State is making a play to be called the Grand Cannabis State, with over $1 billion in medical and adult-use sales in 2023. They hosted two Errl Cups—the authority in concentrate tastemaking. Spring 2023 saw Peanut Butter Mintz by Aeritz, Alien Labs’ Biskante, and Lemon Meringue by Genesis Bioceuticals crowned. A SOTY runner-up, Super Boof, made the podium in both flower and concentrate forms by Mohave Cannabis Co and Glorious Extracts. 

For Fall 2023, Shango’s Guava Tangie won for both Sativa Flower and Sativa Non-Solvent Concentrate, with Nirvana’s Mafia Funeral and High Variety’s Kush Mints rounding out the Indica and Hybrid categories. We spied White Rainbows and KY Jealousy by Earths Extracts and Grape Gas rendered by Copperstate Farms in the winners’ circle too.

Consecrated Farms nearly swept the Open Class Flower, with LA Kush Cake, Platinum Garlic, and Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Honorable mention to Ice Cream Cake, the Sungrown winner by Classix

In neighboring New Mexico, The Growers Circle did double duty, winning Best Indica Flower and Sativa Flower with Homage and Trop Cherries; hvst’s El Chivo #11 took the hybrid crown. Seed Junky made multiple top-three appearances with Pineapple Fruz and Purple Push Pop, a close relative to our 2023 Strain of the Year winner, Permanent Marker

See also: Judging is currently underway for their 2023 High Times People’s Cup, so stay tuned for the February 5 winners announcement.

New York’s legal cannabis rollout isn’t quite ready for a High Times Cup of their own. But they did host their second annual New York Growers Cup, where dozens of legacy growers competed across a handful of flavor profile categories: Gas, Sweet, Haze, Sour, and Exotic. We saw many strains that we lauded as winning-material take home trophies; Trop Cherry Gas and Tropical Trufflez tied for the Sweet category, with a Sherb x Biscotti x Animal Mints clearing the Gas lane. Green Haze won for its eponymous group, while Sour Royale got the Sour crown, and Kaboom was dubbed the most Exotic. 

The Zalympix also landed on the East Coast this year to survey the Northeast’s best buds; a few frontrunners emerged. Zkittles x Zoap by Gotti was best in show, though Maine Trees’ Blue Lobster won Gassiest, Best Terps, and Best Taste. Marijuantauk Gardens won heaviest hitting with Cap Junky (no surprise there), and Sherbanger by Rugged Roots won Best Looking and runner-up for taste. Apples & Bananas was also in the mix.

NECANN has grown from a multistate expo to a regional competition, with cups held in Maine and Boston this year. In Maine, homegrown heroes Maine Trees placed first for Indica Flower with Blue Lobster, while our 2023 Strain of the Year, Permanent Marker, won Indica Flower gold for High Road LLC. Shamanic Roots’ Peach Milano won the sativa category. The best of Boston’s buds went to Northeast Alternatives’ King Garlic Cookies, Ideal Craft Cannabis’ Jokerz, and AMP’s Turbo Diesel.

The first Maryland Home Growers Cup showed us that the Old Line State likes old school cannabis, with the top winner, Orange Velvet, followed by a Northern Lights cross, and—surprise!—Blue Dream.

See also: Results from Massachusetts’ next annual High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Edition are out in January. 

(Courtesy Zalympix)
(Courtesy Zalympix)

Michiganders like their weed savory and fruity. Their High Times Cup was two-pronged for medical and adult use, which means twice the winners. MI Loud Farms won on both sides, with Garlic Cocktail and Kush Mints. Blue Skunk by High Level Health, Society C’s Spritzer, New Lyfe’s Gogurtz, and Dutch Touch Genetics’ Mr. Clean took flower gold as well. Cap Junky and Moonbow #12 were also in the mix. 

Greenwolf’s Zalympix came to Detroit this year to sniff out the fire. Rkive’s Candy Fumes won Best Overall and Best Tasting, and Lightsky Farms’s Titty Sprinkles, third overall, also nabbed both Gassiest and Best Terps. Sherb Pie by Peninsula Gardens was the Best runner-up, with their Cap Junky hitting the heaviest. 

Also in the Midwest, Illinois’ High Times Cannabis Cup (People’ Choice) showcased a mix of national and niche, with winners that spanned from Jack Herer (RYTHM) to Cobra Milk (nuEra), and Slapz (also RYTHM).

Cannabis in the middle of the United States is anything but mid. Missouri hit the ground running with their adult-use industry, primed to judge the best of the best. The Missouri Growers Cup chose Blueberry Muffin by Green Thumb Grow Pro for the Grow Master award, with Elevate’s Gary Poppins winning best flower, and Tropicana Cherries emerging as the Home Grown winner. 

(David Downs/Leafly)
The ironically named Super Boof. Boof is slang for low-grade. Grown by Triple 7, CA. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

In Oklahoma, the judges of the Cowboy Cup crowned Mac 1 by Savage Organics and Very Good Grows’ Candy Apple for best sungrown and indoor flower, respectively, with some Kush Mints and Larry Bird (that’s Gelato) runners up; finalists include Tropicana Cherry, Super Boof, Pure Michigan, and Jungle Pie.
Over in Montana, Cup Fest judges chose 710 MT’s Mega Runtz as Best in Show and Best Hybrid flower; Collective Elevation won Indica with Donny Burger and Awesome Blossom’s Fruity Pebbles OG was crowned Best Sativa.

Winners Circle—All 2023 US cannabis contest winners





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The ultimate weed contest calendar of 2024

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Life is short—so smoke the best weed in human history. Shoot, help vote for the next best weed in human history.

More cannabis competitions are coming coast to coast, and even across oceans, in 2024. High Times results come in hot this month, and entries are already open for multiple East Coast competitions.

To help you keep up with deadlines and ceremony events, we’re tracking dates for the cannabis cups, contest, and championships you can’t miss. Keep an eye on upcoming deadlines, and make sure to grab your tickets early to be the cannabis culture you want to see in the world.

Here’s the singular list of winter and spring 2024 cannabis contests that you need to know.

Email Leafly to submit a listing, or boost your placement.

January cannabis cups

High Times judges kits bring smiles to Oregon consumers this year. (Courtesy High Times)
High Times judges kits bring smiles to Oregon consumers this year. (Courtesy High Times)

Voting is now open in multiple categories for the inaugural International Cannabis Awards, with the ceremony slated for March 13 in Barcelona. [link]

Entry for the Spring 2024 Maryland Home Growers Cup is open. [link]

Entry for the Greenskeeper Cup in Massachusetts is open. [link]

Entry for the Florida Cup 2024 is now open. [link]

Fig Farms' winning Animal Face. Hybrid. 30%+THC. (David Downs/Leafly)
Fig Farms’ winning Animal Face. Hybrid. 30%+THC. (David Downs/Leafly)

2023 Cannabis Cup winners and where to buy them

Winners announced for High Times Cannabis Cup Massachusetts: People’s Choice 2023. [link]

Shop highly rated dispensaries near you

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Nominations for the 2024 Pennsylvania Cannabis Awards are now open. Deadline is Feb. 14. [link]

Winners announced for Farmers Cup: Harvest edition in San Diego, CA. [link]

Winners announced for High Times Cannabis Cup Oregon: People’s Choice 2023. [link]

Related

How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

Get to the golden bear trophy. (Photo by Justin Abrahams, courtesy of CA Cannabis State Faire)

February cannabis cups

February 5

Winners announced for the Cannabis Cup Arizona: People’s Choice 2023. [link]

February 9

Entries due for the 20th Emerald Cup in California. If you’re not entering, what are you doing? [link] Judge applications are also still open. [link]

February 15

Voting begins for the 2024 Pennsylvania Cannabis Awards. [link]

February 24 & 25

Winners announced for the X Cup in Connecticut. [link]

Talking Trees owner Craig Nejedly accepts an Emerald Cup award in 2023. (David Downs/Leafly)
Talking Trees owner Craig Nejedly accepts an Emerald Cup award in 2023. (David Downs/Leafly)

Related

Stay high in Dry January on Blue Dream—2024’s first Leafly HighLight strain

March cannabis championships

March 1

Entry deadline for the Greenskeeper Cup in Massachusetts. [link]

March 2

Entry deadline for the National Cannabis Championship in Washington, DC. [link]

March 13

The first International Cannabis Awards, “the Oscars of weed” will be held in Barcelona in a 14th-century building. This will also open the stateside competition portion to 2025, so prospective entries should keep an eye out for the official announcement and how to enter. Leafly is a media sponsor and judge. [link]

March 15–17

Spannabis lights up Barcelona. [link]

More seeds, Zkittlez strains, live rosin, and dope collaborations are just a few of the trends coming to your cannabis from Europe’s 25,000-person megafest in Barcelona, Spain. (Courtesy Spannabis)
More seeds, Zkittlez strains, live rosin, and dope collaborations are just a few of the trends coming to your cannabis from Europe’s 25,000-person megafest in Barcelona, Spain.
(Courtesy Spannabis)

Related

Sniff away, America—Permanent Marker wins Leafly Strain of the Year 2023

April cannabis contests

April 13

Winners announced for the Greenskeeper Cup at the Grass is Greener Gathering in Worcester, MA. [link]

Winners announced for the 2024 Pennsylvania Cannabis Awards. [link]

April 19

Winners announced for the National Cannabis Championship in Washington, DC. [link]

April 27 & 28

Winners for the Florida Cup 2024 and festival announced in Miami. [link]


2023 Hall of Flame

For a roundup of last year’s winners, check out our guide to 2023 cup winners and where to buy them.

2023 Cannabis Cup winners and where to buy them image

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Strains & products

2023 Cannabis Cup winners and where to buy them

Amelia Williams

December 21, 2023

Email Leafly to submit a listing, or boost your placement.



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Cannabis MSO MedMen is exiting Arizona and Nevada

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Marijuana multistate operator MedMen Enterprises is exiting Arizona and Nevada by selling its assets in those states to privately held MSO Mint Cannabis.

The sales are the result of a strategic review by MedMen, according to a news release, and consist of the Los Angeles-based company’s wholly owned operating subsidiary in Arizona and two operational stores in Clark County, Nevada.

The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Mint Cannabis has operations in its home state of Arizona as well as Michigan and Missouri.

MedMen warned investors in February that the company was running out of cash and later in the month said it was evaluating divesting properties in Arizona, Illinois and Nevada.

In November, MedMen advised that its annual results for the 2023 fiscal year ended July 1 would be late.

“MedMen is pleased with the outcome of our strategic review and has made good progress in our restructuring efforts,” MedMen CEO Ellen Deutsch Harrison said in a statement.

“These transactions will bolster liquidity in the short term, reduce liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on operating efficiencies and executing our long-term asset-light growth strategy in our core markets.”



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October 2023 Leafly HighLight: Rainbow Belts strain

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Hash heads, flavor chasers—your love of sweet-sour candy terps and sky-high-THC have brightened the spotlight on the Rainbow Belts strain this October. This Oregon cultivar’s fumed-out blast of fuel, flowers, and citrus, and its rapid growth to national ubiquity make Rainbow Belts our Leafly HighLight for October.

There’s a reason why elite hashmakers like 710 Labs keep it around, and why Ember Valley just hunted hundreds of crosses of it. Rainbow Belts sweetens up any bowl or dab rig with a vivid, neon trip down a syrupy road of lime and stone fruit. Grab your sunglasses, Rainbow Belts mixes the Leafly Strain of the year 2021 DoSiDos with the winningest strain in current cannabis, Zkittlez—times Z again. 

LA Family Farms Rainbow Belts (David Downs:Leafly)
LA Family Farms Rainbow Belts. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

In the database since 2021, Rainbow Belts has notched 2,662 likes, 65 reviews, and a score of 4.4 out of 5. Folks note its sweet, tropical, treefruit taste and its talkative, euphoric, and giggly effects.

“The taste is incredibly fruity like Trix cereal, both on inhale & exhale,” said one reviewer.

“This is probably in the top five tastiest flower I’ve ever smoked,” said another.

Bred for potency, its dominant terpenes caryophyllene, linalool, and limonene can brighten up the mood and bring on sleep, reviewers report. It’s a great treat for some relaxing self-care.

“This might be my favorite strain of all time!”

Leafly reviewer, Rainbow Belts

Best Rainbow Belts flowers and hash in the US

Lolo, CA-grown indoor Rainbow Belts. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Lolo, CA-grown indoor Rainbow Belts. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

Rainbow Belts grows coast to coast—from $7 flower grams in Oregon to $60 per gram cartridges on the East Coast.

In the Bay Area, PAX, Lemonnade, Shango, and XZibit’s Napalm brand have pods, joints, flower, and infused joints. 

Los Angeles keeps it high-grade with Ember Valley live rosin RB grams for $39, Real Deal Resin rosin, Dabwoods live rosin carts, and Field live rosin.

In Seattle, 98 RB products await, including FireBros, Constellation Cannabis RB3.0, From the Soil pre-rolls, Fugu Farms rosin, and MFused Live Resin tanks.

Related

How to order weed delivery online with Leafly

Over in Portland, OR, we’d try the Cannassentials Rainbow Belts and the $120 oz from Legacy Farms.

In Denver, Green Dot sells these insane 4-gram rosin buckets and their Blue Label RBV2; plus, 710 Labs’ persy rosin 1-grams, hot dayam.

Freshly legal Baltimore has 63 RB items like flowers, pre-rolls, live resin carts, and dabs. And Boston smokers have 116 RB options, starting with Bountiful Farms’ live hash rosin of RB x Zeclair.

Rainbow Belts seeds

Rainbow Belts 3.0. Hybrid indica. Hashes at 6%. (Courtesy of Archive Seed Bank)

Get the Rainbow Belts 3.0, the 2.0, as well as the Moonbow, Dark Rainbow 2.0, and Zazul direct from Archive Seed Bank of the pot hotbed Portland, Oregon.

Breeder Fletch’s goal with RB? Lock in the Z terps, “with a much-improved growth pattern and most importantly, POTENCY,” Archive states, using all caps. 

Mission accomplished. If you love Z, trade up to Rainbow Belts.

“A special MoonBow #75 F1 female was selected from a population of 200, for her stable sexual orientation, wonderful color, OG-Like potency, bud structure, and a wonderful Zkittlez dominant potpourri purple Zkittlez candied lime sugar-coated OG Kush skunk funk. Really a wonderful improvement while retaining all the desirables.”

Rainbow Belts awards

A zoom-in a dense fields of trichomes set on green leaf with orange hairs sizzling throughout — Archive Seeds Rainbow Belts, grown by LA Family Farms, via Greenwolf Zalympix 2021 (David Downs/Leafly)
Zoom – Archive Seeds Rainbow Belts, grown by LA Family Farms, via Greenwolf Zalympix 2021 (David Downs/Leafly)

Leafly named Rainbow Belts a ‘Best seed to grow in 2020,’ and further accolades followed. In 2022, LA Family Farms’ Rainbow Belts live hash rosin won the elite Transbay Challenge IV LA. In 2023, Rainbow Belts took 1st and 2nd in the Spannabis Champions Cup 2023. RB shows up in wins at Ego Clash, as well as High Times Cups. And Rainbow Belts often competes against its own parents Z, and Moonbow. That’s wild.

Rainbow Belts terpenes

Rainbow Belts’ top three aroma molecules—terpenes—average out in lab samples to: gassy caryophyllene; floral linalool; and tart limonene. You can hunt that terp profile in Leafly Strains for similar effects: look up caryophyllene + linalool + limonene. See how similar Rainbow Belts is to Z’s caryophyllene-linalool-humulene combo? Look at how Dosidos matches terps with its grandchild, just in different ratios: limonene, caryophyllene, and linalool. 

(Your RB should not have any terpinolene or myrcene in it, sorry.)

Other highlights this October

No rainbows on your horizon? Let these three more hot strains HighLight your way.

Jealousy

Seed Junky Genetics Sherbert Bx1 x Geato 41 cross Jealousy—grown by LA Family Farms.(David Downs/Leafly)
Seed Junky Genetics Sherbert Bx1 x Geato 41 cross Jealousy—grown by LA Family Farms.(David Downs/Leafly)

Our Leafly Strain of the Year 2022 stayed busy in 2023 growing coast to coast and powering a new generation of crosses. Jealousy offers smokers Gelato times one thousand—with creamy-berry-fuel flavor and afternoon and evening effects.

Goji OG

Goji OG gives OG Kush fans something more gooey and and sweet and hybrid from the pre-legalization era. It still shows up in a lot of stores because it’s so good. Goji OG presaged more modern OG projects including Zawtz and OZ Kush. Shout-out breeder Bodhi Seeds.

Pancakes

Pancakes Headshot (Courtesy Cookies)
Pancakes (Courtesy Cookies)

Sweet, pancake batter terps come off the best bags of Pancakes—a piping hot dessert strain made from reportedly a London Pound Cake #75 with Kush Mints #11. Order up!

And that’s the Leafly HighLight for October, see you back in November after Strains of Harvest.


So hey, what’s ‘Leafly HighLight’?

Cannabis dispensaries can sell more than 200 types of flower. It’s overwhelming. Leafly HighLight cures choice paralysis with a monthly deep dive into a popular, national cannabis strain you should know. We combine:

  • Leafly Strain Database search data,
  • dispensary menu data,
  • dispensary visits,
  • and smoke sessions

to select one cultivar that pairs with the season and mood.
That’s Leafly HighLight.

Read past Leafly HighLight columns.

We’re copywritten, so don’t copy us.



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