Do you feel that? The sun’s starting to set earlier, temperatures are dropping – fall’s in full swing, baby! It’s hoodie season, aka my favorite time of the year. Cuffing season, if you will. We’re a few days out from Halloween, which means next week there will be massive candy sales across the country – there’s not much not to love right now. Well, except for all the death and destruction happening across the world, but let’s try to put that out of our heads for right now. It’s impossible to get anything done otherwise, and with respect the situation is far too complex to distill into a seemingly insightful paragraph or social post – that just feels like virtue signaling.
So, pretending the world is all warm and fuzzy, there have been a lot of cool things happening lately. This month’s list includes some cool collabs, a recap of some of my favs from recent events, as well as a very special product I’ve been waiting to talk about for months. There are even a few bonus picks that while admittedly aren’t smokeable, are fun nonetheless – even something to look forward to! It’s been a tough few weeks, so the more we can remember that good things are abound, hopefully the higher our spirits will get. I don’t know if this will work, but it’s what I’m trying right now. I hope it works – for all of our sakes.
But even if it doesn’t, we’ll get through this – as we always do.
And as always, feel free to hit me on the platform formerly known as Twitter with your favorite new heat, or to bitch about what wasn’t included here. I am always happy to argue with you about it! 🙂
I’ve been waiting to talk about this one for months now so this is a big day for me, and it’s not even my product. If you’ve seen me out in the wild this year, you might’ve heard me or someone else talking about ‘the Spritz’. You might’ve smelled the bubblegum scent, or seen the sweet twisty container. I think I even teased it awhile ago in one of the earlier lists this summer, but the time has finally come to let the larger group in on the fun: Sans Aperol is officially in the wild. Affectionately known as ‘the Spritz’, this thing is the most nondescript LSD microspritzer you’ve ever seen, and it SMAAAAACKS. Coming in three different varieties, one being a candy-flip option, the Spritz is also flavored, so you’re not just doing drugs – you’re also having fun. I can’t say enough good things about this thing, and if you know me in real life I’ve probably already shown you the magic and spritz’d your life up, but for those just hearing about this, remember the name. This one’s going to be BIG.
The hype brands always have a higher barrier to stardom for me because of the insane price tags they typically carry, but here’s an example of one of the heady boys I actually rock with. I’ve professed my love of citrus varietals here before, and Hylia’s Lemon is an excellent showing of a bright flavored smoke that carries some serious stopping power. While I wouldn’t say it’s exactly a couchlocker, it’s definitely going to slow you down significantly, so beware of smoking in the early hours. I don’t think I’m allowed to tell you where this comes from, but let’s just say it’s available where typical hypebeasters shop, and you’ve likely been on the founder’s Instagram before.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s a brand with relatively little brand acclaim downstate that came out of nowhere and absolutely smashed the competition. They’ve been around since 2015, so they’re definitely not a new brand, but they’re from up in Sonoma, and don’t make it down to LA as often as some of the other upstate players. After spending the year doing qualifiers across the state attempting to find the dopest of the dope, Moon Valley’s Snowcone was the big winner once again this past weekend at Jimi Devine’s Transbay finale. Grown in living soil, these guys are proof that with the right inputs you can get an incredibly flavorful product au naturel.
Taking home the big hash prize at Jimi’s latest Challenge, Gas Gang’s Zuspenders was worth the praise it got from the judges. I did flower, not hash, so it wasn’t my call on this one, which means this isn’t a victory lap – I was just glad to grab a jar at the pre-party from Frosteezie, who ran the flower with Gas Gang. A cross between Rainbow Beltz 20 & Fiejoa, originally bred by Little Lake Valley Seed Co & grown by Soul Evolution Enterprises, this one’s less Z and more body cheese funk, but in a complex and kind of disgusting way that just keeps making you go back for another sniff, then taste, then sniff, then taste, and so on…
To close out my picks from TB5, I’ve also got to give a shout to by far the most unique flavor that crossed my plate during the event, and that was Gorilla RX’s Moroccan Peaches. Smelling like an especially ripe rotten fruit, or like ‘old furniture’, as my friend Monika claimed, this was my pick for the ‘Best of the Rest’ category (although I’m not disappointed in a Green Dawg win either). This was some real old school feeling funk, with a flavor that’s sure to make waves once it starts getting pressed into rosin. That said, even in flower that flavor transfers and stains your taste buds in a massive way – I couldn’t get enough of it.
A few weeks ago these guys made a splash on Twitter by claiming they had the single best small batch Z available on the market right now. Obviously I immediately chimed in to offer my services of letting you know whether or not they were fronting on that claim. Having spent some time with it now, while I can’t call it the best Z in the world, I do respect the bravado it takes to make a claim like that, and the truth is, it is a really, really good cut. It’s true not all flowers are created equal, and a LOT of people claiming they have Zkittles turn out to have something else entirely, but this one was special, even if it’s probably not the best in existence. It’s worth noting that I also got to check out some of their Gelonade, which was also one of the better expressions I’ve seen recently, so it’s clear these kids know what they’re doing. One to keep an eye on for sure.
I’ve included CAM in the Cop List before so they shouldn’t be a new name for most of you, but I’ve got to give them some props for the Devil Driver they showed me a few weeks ago at the Network show. A cross of Sundae Driver and Melonade, I was not expecting this flower to rock me the way it did – it got me HIGH high – or the immediate desire to smoke it again the next time I wanted to be cozy. If you’re looking for a repeatable put-you-in-the-couch smoke, this one’s quickly become my go-to.
Another Network show pickup I was stoked about was the Crown OG I got from the Dabwoods bodega, which I should mention was an awesome activation that put me onto Strawberry Coke for the first time (I know, it’s wild). I don’t want to pretend like this is the first time I’ve seen this flower though – Adam Ill put me on a while ago when I did the shopping spree part of his podcast at the Apothecary, and while it’s a classic cut, the latest batch is smoking on another level. For those of you asking what happened to that old school OG, it’s right here.
You read that right. G-Pen has an official collab with the Grateful Dead, and it’s honestly way better than I was expecting. Dropping a Dash dry herb vaporizer and a Stundenglass, which is basically a high end gravity bong, the products are beautiful – which is more than I can say for many of the band’s collabs lately. More on brand, too. Anyway, if you’re a head this seems like a no brainer to add to the arsenal. Of course there have been tons of knockoff dead pipes in the past, and not that some of them weren’t very dope, this is the only official I know about!
Speaking of cool collabs, I’ve got to shout out the new merch drop Khalifa Kush did with Camp High. Released during Fashion Week LA, the four piece set includes a hoodie, shorts, a t-shirt, and a dope handmade beanie. True to form for Camp High, the materials used are all top tier, but my favorite part about the new gear is the dye job. You see, the hoodie and shorts have this white dye on black cloth effect that makes it look like smoke is rising through it – and for a guy who’s got a lot of tie dye, I’ve never seen this move before!
Y’all know I’m not a huge edible guy, and I am definitely not co-signing the skinny joints these guys put out, but the Fizzy Dizzies are honestly as delicious as edibles come – and I’m a guy who eats a lot of candy. Modeled after the portfolio of a soda company, these gummies are a mixed bag of flavors ranging from cream to cherry cola, and packing 10 mg’s per gummy bottle. While maybe not for everybody, these things are absolutely delicious – and very on brand for me.
So I get that summer’s over and that these are really for children, but holy smokes if only we had these things as kids. In case you didn’t see them dominating your social feeds this summer, Gel Blasters are basically the new water gun, except instead of shooting streams of water you’re firing off these ‘gellets’ – which are basically plastic BB’s that expand when you soak them in water. Think paintball that doesn’t ever really hurt and with next to no clean up. They’re dumb fun, relatively harmless, but still allow you to act like a minorly destructive asshole with your friends. What’s not to love?
These guys deserve a mention on this list for sure, but I added the nepotism tag because I’ll be speaking at their next event mid-November with Anna from the aforementioned powerhouse CAM. Sam, the founder, has been hosting great TED-style talks for years, and honestly I’m honored to be a part of it. If you’re in LA, join us on 11/12 at High Rise’s new office. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m going to be talking about the intersection of media & marketing, so if you’re still unsure why tf we’re doing any of the stuff we are, here’s your chance to see how the sausage is made!