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The Emerald Cup Recognizes Willie Nelson With Honorary Award At Annual Cannabis Celebration

CALIFORNIA: The Emerald Cup, one of the cannabis industry’s premier culture and awards events, announced today that Willie Nelson will be honored as the recipient of an honorary award at the 15th annual cannabis celebration. The award will be given during a ceremony taking place on December 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif. The 2018 Emerald Cup will mark Nelson’s first-ever appearance at a large-scale cannabis event.

Nelson, a relevant and progressive musical and cultural force with a six-decade career and over 200 albums, is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of CrazyRed Headed Stranger, and Stardust. As a longtime cannabis activist, he has been an advocate for both the consumption and legalization of marijuana and is the creator of his own recreational cannabis companies, Willie’s Reserve and Willie’s Remedy. The Emerald Cup will also honor Nelson by renaming the annual award to the Willie Nelson Award for future honorees.

The Emerald Cup 2018

In recent years, he has delivered more than a dozen new album releases, released a Top 10 New York Times’ bestsellers book, again headlined Farm Aid, an event he co-founded in 1985, received his fifth degree black belt in Gong Kwon Yu Sul and headlined the annual Luck Reunion food and music festival at his ranch in Luck, TX during SXSW. Nelson, a Texas native with a long and well-known career as a singer, songwriter, author, poet and actor, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1993. In 2015, the Library of Congress honored him with their Gershwin Prize for Popular Song for his contributions to popular music—making him the first-ever country artist to receive the distinguished award.

“We have a great deal of respect and admiration for Willie, who is graciously allowing the Cup to honor future individuals with an award that will remain in his name,” said Tim Blake, Founder and Producer of the Emerald Cup. “An unwavering ability to stand true in his beliefs and refusal to accept society’s rigid set of rules are only part of what makes Willie the perfect individual to be recognized as a hero to the cannabis world.”

Past honorees of the award include Pebbles Trippet, Eddy Lepp, Valarie Corral, Jack Herer, Ed Rosenthal, Tony Serra, Dennis Peron, Debby Goldsberry, Martin Lee, Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad, Fred Garner, Dale Geringer and Steph Sherer.

The Emerald Cup has grown into one of the largest, most influential cannabis events of the year and features a highly-curated experience for cannabis enthusiasts from around the world. Beyond its headlining musical acts, this year’s lineup features a variety of presentations from industry experts, artists and educators. Attendees will also have access to an array of exhibitors and retailers offering food, products and entertainment. Additional musical acts and artists will be announced over the coming weeks.

The annual cannabis celebration, taking place on December 15 through 16, will also continue its careful and elaborate judging process, which spans across multiple categories including flowers, concentrates, edibles, CO2 cartridges, topicals and a range of CBD categories. The contest intake dates run from October 15 to November 18, 2018.

Tickets are available for purchase through the Emerald Cup website, as well as ticket retailer Eventbrite. Weekend passes start at $120 and attendees must be over the age of 21. This year’s event will be a celebration of the new ways of thinking and living within cannabis culture.

FESTIVAL DETAILS
The 15th Annual Emerald Cup
Dates: Saturday, December 15, 2018 – Sunday December 16, 2018
Time: Doors open at 10 a.m. PST
Venue: Sonoma County Fairgrounds
Address: 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Admission: Varies // Weekend Pass Starts at $120
Age restrictions: 21+

Purchase Links: 
General Admission
https://emeraldcup2018.eventbrite.com

​VIP Emerald Passes & Travel Packages
https://www.cidentertainment.com/events/emerald-cup/

Connect:
Emerald Cup – Website
Emerald Cup – Facebook
Emerald Cup – Twitter
Emerald Cup – Instagram

Willie Nelson Admits To Smoking Pot On White House Roof

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Country music legend Willie Nelson has confessed to smoking pot on the roof of the White House in the 1970s.

The singer/songwriter and longtime weed advocate makes the confession in his new memoir, It’s A Long Story, which was released on Tuesday.

In the tome, Nelson recalls the 1977 incident, which happened after he spent a brief stint behind bars in the Bahamas for marijuana possession when then-President Jimmy Carter invited Nelson to the White House to thank the singer for his support.

Following a dinner with the U.S. leader, Nelson claims he was taken to the roof of the Washington, D.C. residence by a “White House insider” to see the city views at night

Willie Nelson’s Daughter Advocates Legalizing Marijuana After Possession Arrest Last Sunday

TEXAS: Willie Nelson’s daughter was arrested last Sunday for marijuana possession, something her famous father knows about.

Saturday, country singer Paula Nelson talked about her parents’ reactions and that her arrest was not a publicity stunt.
The Paula Nelson Band had just spent two weeks performing in Colorado where recreational marijuana is legal and received some “souvenirs.” The band then headed back home to Texas.
“We were driving back from Colorado, which of course it’s now recreationally legal, and because of my lineage I get a lot of gifts while we’re there,” said Nelson.

Willie’s Reserve Available Now In California

CALIFORNIA: Award-winning music legend and marijuana activist Willie Nelson announces the launch of his Willie’s Reserve cannabis brand in California. Flow Kana, the premier sustainable sun-grown cannabis provider that embraces the small farmer ecosystem, was selected as the Willie’s Reserve partner in California. Available in select California dispensaries now, cannabis enthusiasts can enjoy Willie’s Reserve Legendary Stash of packaged flower and signature Ready Roll pre-rolled joints from Flow Kana’s network of independent heritage farms in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties.

Throughout his career, Nelson has served as the face of responsible marijuana use and has never wavered from his mission to build fair and profitable business with a positive impact on cannabis culture.

“California has a progressive way of thinking and they’ve decided that cannabis is a positive plant to have in the land which is what I’ve always believed,” Willie Nelson said. “And know we’ve come pretty damn far. From the point where they’d put you in prison for life for a seed to where we are now, which is a lot of progress.”

The boutique strains are hand selected, Willie-tested, and will be the first craft cannabis strains offered by Willie’s Reserve to be available in the Golden State in early spring 2018. Each strain is cultivated on independent farms in small batches, using only organic inputs, and under full sun in California’s premier cannabis growing regions of Northern California.

“California has a unique gift of thousands of small cannabis farms that have been cultivating for generations and Flow Kana is focused on bringing their sustainable, sungrown cannabis to market,” said Michael Steinmetz, Flow Kana CEO and co-founder. “It is an honor to partner and power the Willie’s Reserve and other brands that share the value of building a better and more sustainable cannabis industry.”

The carefully selected Willie’s Reserve strains are processed, packaged, and distributed throughout California from Flow Kana’s Flow Cannabis Institute, the world’s first cannabis campus and processing center dedicated to the small-batch craft cannabis farmer. Flow Kana offers partners a range of distribution and white label co-packing services to companies who strive to provide consumers with premier clean, compliant, and sustainable products.

Beginning this month, Willie’s Reserve is available at these select retailers in California: Medithrive in San Francisco, 7 Stars Holistic Healing Center in Richmond, Ojai Greens in Ojai, Desert Organic Solutions Collective in Palm Springs, Torrey Holistics in San Diego, Green Goddess Collective in Venice Beach, Little Trees in Arnold, Airfield Supply Co. in San Jose, and Big Sur Canna+Botancials in Carmel-By-The-Sea.

 

Music Legend Nelson To Roll Out Own Brand Of Marijuana

TEXAS: Music legend Willie Nelson is jumping into the movement to commercialize marijuana and plans to roll out his own brand of cannabis that he intends to make “the best on the market.”

The singer-songwriter announced in a statement Monday that Willie’s Reserve will be grown and sold in Colorado and Washington, two states where recreational use of the drug is legal.

A release explaining Willie’s Reserve says it reflects Nelson’s appreciation for “the many varieties and range of the plant’s qualities.”

The release says the 81-year-old Nelson will collaborate with master growers to define standards for the strain.

The Emerald Cup Launches TV Channel For 2021 Edition of Award Show On SocialClub

CALIFORNIA:The Emerald Cup announced they will be going virtual and global for the first-time during their 2021 edition. Long known as the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” the iconic global cannabis competition will launch their own CTV channel on the SocialClub TV platform on April 5, 2021. With countless hours of linear programming launching over the all 6 days leading into the live-cast of the world-renown The Emerald Cup 2021 Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

Fans of the event – new, old and all across the planet – will be able to enjoy:

  • High wattage exclusive live-musical and comedy performances (line-up revealed later this week)
  • Insider access to the judging of awards with special appearances by B-Real (Cypress Hill/Dr. Greenthumbs), Jimi Devine (LA Weekly) and Abdulluh Saeed (Great Moments in Weed History Podcast)
  • A visual history of iconic moments from The Emerald Cup in a documentary format
  • A full library of past The Emerald Cup shows spanning 17 years of events
  • Fireside chats with leading names across the cannabis, and now psychedelic industry
  • Expert filled educational panels concerning topics including “The Cannabis Plant: Terpenes And Beyond”, “The future of Cannabis Genetics Around The Globe” and “Real Social Equity: Creating Impact not Impressions”
  • Interviews with hosts and founders Tim and Taylor Blake, Willie Nelson Lifetime Award recipient Winona LaDuke and many more

 

How Do Musicians Choice Of Weed Strain Affects Their Music?

What do Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg have in common? Their own cannabis strains! See how Artists’ favorite weed strains connect with their music.

By Kate Patterson

Over the years, Denver, Colorado, has gained the reputation for being the biggest ‘reefer town’ in the U.S. The “Mile High City” certainly has had its share of celebrities coming in to visit and experience legal marijuana consumption.

But as the cannabis culture is crossing over to the mainstream world, local musicians along with famous American rock stars are heading to Colorado to create their own marijuana strains. How cool is that?

With 4/20 – the official stoner holiday – coming up in a few short weeks, 303 Magazine teamed up with Big Gigantic, Snoop Dogg, Trev Rich, GRiZ, Willie Nelson and Allman Brothers Band’s bassist, Oteil Burbridge to test out their very own cannabis bud.

If you’re curious to find out what type of experience you can get from these famous musicians strains, keep reading. We’ll also delve into what it was like to smoke their strains, while at the same time, listen to their very own music.

WilliesReserve

 

  • Musician: Willie Nelson
  • Genre: Country
  • Album: Wille and Family Live (Released 1978)
  • Name of Strain: Colin OG Strain (Indica)
  • Where To Buy This Strain: Diego Pellicer and LivWell Enlightened Health

The Inside Scoop: The initial scent that comes up when we lit up Colin OG was very distinct. It had a fruity smell that was very pungent. The smoke tasted a little bit sweet. If you like to smoke sweet strains, as opposed to the earthly ones, you’ll enjoy Colin OG for its berry fragrance.

Colin OG is an indica hybrid with a 70:30 indica/sativa ratio. In the initial stages of smoking, the indica effects were felt right away. It creates a body buzz and about halfway through, drowsiness creeps in. On the other hand, the sativa side to Colin OG is its mood-boosting effects. As the body buzz starts to make its way through, you feel uplifted and happy.

Now about relating it to Willie Nelson’s music. Since Colin OG is a dominant indica strain, listening to Nelson’s country ballad hits, “One Day At A Time”, “Crazy” and the “Red Headed Stranger Medley,” made you drift into a relaxing mood. Colin OG is meant for those who like to kick back, smoke and listen to the slow songs of Nelson’s laid-back Nashville twang.

Final Decision: Can you believe that Willie Nelson has been smoking weed for more than 60 years? He’s been noted for being the first country artist coming out of Nashville for smoking weed on stage and even advocating for its legalization since the 1960s.

In an April 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, Nelson called weed ‘the safest medicine.’ However, in December 2019, he has reportedly stopped smoking, since he is battling a serious case of emphysema.

But the legacy of Colin OG lives on as it’s still a popular strain sold on his brand site, Willie’s Reserve. If you’re a fan of Willie Nelson and cannabis, you got to get your hands on Colin OG. It’s for the smoker who likes to mellow out and listen to old country music. We’re sure that the man himself, Willie, would enjoy seeing you unwind and relax.

Willies Tin

  • Musician: Willie Nelson
  • Genre: Country
  • Album: Willie and Family Live (Released 1978)
  • Name of Strain: Sour Diesel (Sativa)
  • Where To Buy This Strain: Bud Fox Enterprises LLC and LivWell Enlightened Health

The Inside Scoop: Although Colin OG lined up perfectly with Nelson’s Willie and Family Live album, his Sour Diesel bud doesn’t trail off too far.

Nelson’s e-commerce website Willie’s Reserve is popular for carrying strains with high THC content and potency, and Sour Diesel ranks high in those two departments.

In comparison to Colin OG, Sour Diesel is a sativa plant. It doesn’t give the punch of a body buzz like Colin OG does. With Sour Diesel, you won’t feel anxious. The scent is that of a mix of ‘skunky’ and sweet. A few puffs of Sour Diesel and it tastes earthy with a hint of lemon and berries.

This complemented the 1978 release of the Willie and Family Live album as it brought out a creative and introspective feeling. While I was listening to Nelson’s live album, I closed my eyes and transcended back to that time. I imagined myself sitting on the lawn, smoking a joint, while Nelson performed on stage with his guitar and singing his country tunes in his deep Southern drawl. I was swaying slowly to his country hits, “The Only Daddy That’ll Walk The Line” and “I Gotta Get Drunk.”

Final Decision: Even though Willie Nelson has reportedly stopped smoking weed in 2019 due to emphysema, do you think he wouldn’t have created a line of buds that didn’t complement his music? If you prefer sativa experiences that uplift your mood, smoke some Sour Diesel and turn up Nelson’s faster songs like “Uncloudy Day” and “I Gotta Get Drunk.”

Higher Ground Holdings To Aquire High Times & Industry’s Top Cannabis Content

Sale Price: $9340 (plus unopened box of Dead bootlegs).

Re-Branded Venture to be called High Leafly Cannabis Culture Times 

HOLLYWEED, CA: In a stunning move, the world’s largest satirical cannabis conglomerate, Higher Ground LLCBD, announced the purchase of dozens of cannabis sites and magazines this week, aggressively moving to centralize stoner cliches in one place.

Speaking at MJ BizCon in Las Vegas, CEO Michael A. Stusser said the deal had been a long time coming. “How many stories about Seth Rogen or close-up pics of stank bud do you really need?” Stusser exhaled. “Our acquisition will enable us to consolidate the various marijuana brands – and by that I mean snuff ‘em out like a smokin’ roach.”

In obtaining High Times Holding (publisher of High Times magazine, Culture, Dope Magazine and Green Rush Daily) Higher Ground will have the chance to corner the “boobs and bongs” market (aka weed porn), along with re-licensing dozens of Cannabis Cups to Starbucks. Among those snapped up in the take-over were magazines and “lifestyle brands” Marijuana Business Daily, Sensi, Skunk, Grow, Marijuana Venture, Merry Jane, mg Retailer, Civilized, the Fresh Toast, Herb, CULTURE, Green Entrepreneur, Ganjepreneur, Freedom Leaf, Gossamer, Broccoli, Cannabis Now and MassRoots, allowing Higher Ground to control the vast majority of cannabis content, and assure the number of puns and cliches to go up in smoke.

In the first official move after the purchase, Stusser instituted what is known as The Tommy Chong Rule: In order to modernize and reach new demographics, the Cheech & Chong legend is banned from appearing in any additional marijuana media until the year 4020. Future bans said to include Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Whoopi, Martha Stewart, Joe Rogan, Bill Maher, Miley Cyrus and Chelsea Handler. (Not mentioned: Rihanna, Jason Silva and, surprisingly, Woody Harrelson.) 

highergtv logoReportedly, Higher Ground Holdings wanted to keep the transaction under $10,000 to avoid a Federal SAR (Suspicious Activities Report) filing by the bank.  “We spent about $9500, and traded away some valuable assets.” (Rumored to be a box of Jerry Garcia bootlegs on 8-track cassette.) “Basically, we bought a database of every single person who’s ever fired up a fatty,” said Stusser. “We’ll send ‘em all a copy of Fertilizer Today, our agribusiness trade title – which we also own – and are currently shopping…” Official figures could not be independently verified. When reporters asked for documentation, Stusser said he would share them at the Grasslands VIP Party, but then asked assembled press if anyone had tickets for said event.

“Our goal is to offer customized mainstream video content productions and licensed extensions for cannabis service agencies across the sub and pop-culture spectrums,” said Al Olson, Higher Ground Editor-in-Chief. “And get into the whole CBD-thing, whatever the hell that is. Hemp too!”

An unnamed source also reported that Leafly, owned by Privateer Holdings, was thrown into Higher Ground’s aggressive take-over at the last minute. The insider said the site and app was ditched in order for Privateer to concentrate on making an actual profit – emphasizing their stable of weed-growing companies, including Tilray. Tilray’s partnership with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev makes them less interested in un-profitable pot content. Of the deal, Privateer’s non-cannabis using billionaire CEO Brendan Kennedy said, “Oh, thank god. We’ve been wanting to get Leafly off our books for a decade now, and keep our focus on the beer bong business.”

“We also tried to buy Future State Brands (PROHBTD), MedMen (Embers) and Civilized (New Frontier Data),” noted Higher Ground’s CFO “but by the time we got the paperwork lined up, they’d all burned through so much seed money, they had to abandon their swank offices – and we had no way to reach them.” In a related non-move, Canna Law Blog was NOT acquired in the deal, as they are…well, lawyers, and have positive cash flow.

Michael Stusser and Higher Ground TV captured this year's Hot Pot Products

Michael Stusser & Higher Ground TV: This Xmas We’re Banning Tommy Chong!

Higher Ground’s blockbuster acquisition was announced at the Vegas trade show, MJ Biz Con. BizCon parent company MJ Biz Daily was ALSO swallowed up in the mega-deal. “With a hostile hippie takeover of MJ Biz Daily, we can consolidate all these dope-fiends under one tent – literally,” noted Stusser from his small mid-aisle booth at the trade show. “I mean, The Emerald Cup, CannaCon, CHAMPS, the Cannabis Congress, New West Summit!? Hempfest! How many places do these potheads need to buy a glass pipe, anyway?”

Like so many of the recent corporate buy-outs of alternative weeklies across the country, the Higher Ground deal seems similarly nefarious. “Our main goal, of course, is to fire as many good reporters as possible,” Stusser explained, “and get down to the real business of being stoned to the Bejesus. Frankly, we’d like to sell the whole she-bang to the Huffington Post. We always wanted to be called The Puffington Post – and this is our chance.”

Officials at High Times Holdings were not available for comment. When reporters tried calling the phone number listed in SEC documents, a recording with Bob Marley’s “ Waiting in Vain” played. The mailbox was full. No additional calls to media companies or employees were made before press time.

Higher Ground is a global viral marketing company focusing on Elevating the Dialogue on Cannabis Culture. (Kind of….) Their flagship show is described as “The Daily Show meets Good Morning America, just with a giant bong on the desk.” For more information about the mega-merger, visit www.highergroundtv.com or www.michaelstusser.com

The Emerald Cup Returns To Sonoma Co. Fairgrounds Dec 14 & 15th, 2019

Bringing Top Cannabis Experts, Educators and Farmers Together with Consumers

CALIFORNIA: The Emerald Cup has announced the programming for the 16th annual competition and festival, to be held December 14 & 15, 2019. Long known as the largest, most-respected organic outdoor cannabis competition in the world, The Emerald Cup has developed into the destination for agricultural experts, industry innovators, health and wellness advocates, cultural enthusiasts and the canna-curious to celebrate and expand their horizons. In addition to the competition and highly coveted awards, the gathering features the year’s finest sun-grown cannabis harvest, panels, and talks covering a range of current topics, multiple stages of genre-spanning music, experiential and installation art, and a premier organic epicurean experience.

Named for the Emerald Triangle growing region of Northern California’s Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties, The Emerald Cup will be held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA and tickets are on sale now for 21+ patrons here. The Emerald Cup weekend will be preceded on Friday, December 13 by the invitation-only Emerald Cup Mixer, an industry event open to California licensed cannabis brands.

The Emerald Cup is a place for both cannabis experts and the “canna-curious” to explore. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to what promises to be the best Emerald Cup to-date,” notes founder Tim Blake. “It is truly a beautiful moment in the history of cannabis culture. After enduring the challenges of legalization in California over the last two years, and three years of enduring devastating fires, rain and power outages, the industry has begun to stabilize and this year’s event is an opportunity for our community to celebrate this year’s hard work together.”

A few of the companies that Emerald Cup has partnered with for the 2019 installment include sponsors Flow Kana, Cookies, The Botanist, Elyon, Connected Cannabis, Alien Labs and SC Labs. Learn more about the multi-faceted Emerald Cup below and click here for additional details and tickets.

Emerald Cup 2019

THE EMERALD CUP COMPETITION 

Open to personal use sun-grown flower cultivators and any currently licensed California cannabis business, The Emerald Cup’s contest features categories including Licensed and Personal Use Cultivators, CBD, Infused Products (Edible, Beverage, Topical & Tincture), Most Innovative Product and much more. “We’re honored to host the largest and most respected cannabis contest in the world,” adds Blake. “Having expanded from just a flowers contest to over twenty seven different competitions in sixteen years has been a remarkable ride. We’re extremely excited to be able to carry on the essence of the contest, which is the tradition of the competition between the personal use farmers. This year we’re also extending it to include solvent less concentrate makers.” For more information on the contest and to enter click here.

The Regenerative Cannabis Farm Award will also be presented and recognizes farms for their outstanding ecological and community work. It is designed to be a catalyst of positive competition filled with information sharing, land stewardship, ethical marketing, watershed consciousness and love of nature, living soil and biodiversity.

The Emerald Cup has also named entertainer and entrepreneur Tommy Chong the recipient of the Emerald Cup’s Willie Nelson Award–the annual lifetime achievement award celebrating those persons who have spearheaded the cannabis movement through advocacy of it’s benefits and accessibility.

EMERALD TALKS & SESSIONS

Emerald Talks (panels and keynotes) will feature over 80 of the biggest and important names in cannabis advocacy, business and culture and will cover a range of compelling topics including: Federal Cannabis Legalization; Sex, Wellness & CBD; Criminal Justice Reform; Regenerative Agriculture; Vaping Facts & Fiction; Entrepreneurship; Cannabis in Food & Wine and more. A few of the speakers that will be at the Emerald Cup include former NBA player, cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Matt Barnes;Drug Policy Alliance Ethan Nadelmann;Entrepreneur and activist Wanda James, who was the first black woman to open a dispensary in Colorado; natural soap giant Dr. Bronner’s CEO (Cosmic Engagement Officer) and leader in establishing the Regenerative Organic Certified standard, David Bronner; Regen Talks with Dragonfly Earth Medicine, author Jeff Lowenfels, Deepak Kumar Chaudhary (Indain Landrace Exchange) and Matthew Trumm (Tree Top Permaculture); and Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm.

“I’m always blown away by the brilliance of our speakers and the variety of topics we present at the Emerald Cup,” notes Blake. “In addition to such high caliber cannabis community members presenting at the Cup, we will be joined by industry experts in farming, science, legal, and manufacturing, as well as everyone from the leaders in the psychedelic movement to the mayor of Santa Rosa.”

MUSIC

The weekend will also see multiple stages of live music, including performances from DJ Snoopadelic (the alter ego of legendary Doggfather and Merry Jane founder Snoop Dogg), Santigold, Steel Pulse, The Polish Ambassador, The Expendables, The Movement, Con Brio and Chali 2na, who will be both performing and creating a “puff & paint” mural. Programming for the Redwood Stage will be curated by the producers of Northern Nights Festival and will be announced soon.

MARKETPLACE & ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCES

Bringing together a wide collection of vendors and exhibitors and featuring over 300 brands, the Marketplace is one of the largest draws to the Emerald Cup.The weekend will also feature all organic food and locally grown produce from organic small farms, display of all the Contest Flower, MAPS psychedelic art and muralists, and a version of Blake’s mystical Mendocino County event space Area 101 will be featured as a throw-back to the location of the very first Emerald Cup 16 years ago.

Edibles, Medical, Concentrates, Oh My! The Best Brands In Each Weed Category

Most smokers remember a day when they were happy to get whatever strain of weed they could find — but now that marijuana is decriminalized across much of the U.S. and legalized medically and/or recreationally in more than half of all states, stoners can afford to be a bit more discriminating. These days, cannabis lovers can enjoy a large and diverse selection of brands and products, from traditional flower to vape products, concentrates, capsules, edibles and more.

If you don’t want to waste your time trying lower-quality weed products, you don’t have to. Read on for recommendations for the best of the best brands in each product category.

medical weedMedical

Since medicinal marijuana has been legalized in more states than recreational weed, there has been more time for medical cannabis brands to grow and develop. While medical marijuana products vary in type — you can find medical bud and pre-rolls as well as edibles, vapes and more — we are separating this category because brands here have claims about their products that other weed brands might not. Specifically, medical cannabis tends to boast a higher quality of product and more controlled experiences, such as less euphoria and paranoia and more pain relief or relaxation. Some medical marijuana brands target specific medical ailments, like menstrual discomfort or arthritis, but here are the best general medical marijuana brands on the market:

  • Nature’s Medicines. Starting as a dispensary chain and now producing a line of unique, high-quality strains and concentrates, Nature’s Medicines is gaining national attention for its efficacy.
  • Trulieve. Offering flower, vape cartridges and a number of concentrates, Trulieve is an exceedingly accessible medical marijuana brand that places emphasis on safety.
  • KIND Concentrates. As the name suggests, KIND Concentrates specializes in concentrates, specifically capsules, vape pens, RSOs and the like, with high percentages of THC.

Flower

To those new to cannabis culture, “flower” (also called bud and nug) is the portion of the marijuana plant that contains the highest percentage of cannabinoids that create the mind and body high stoners (and other marijuana users) seek. While flower is ground up and refined in chemical processes to produce edibles, concentrates and other weed products, you can still purchase flower on its own to smoke in joints, pipes and bongs or to generate your own cannabis creations. However, flower can vary greatly in quality, so until you get a feel for finding the best buds in your local dispensary, you should stick to ordering from these brands:

  • Caviar Gold. Marketed as the strongest weed in America, Caviar Gold offers four types of flower, all of them considerably higher quality than anything else in the market.
  • Omaha Farms. Recently purchased by marijuana giant MedMen, Omaha Farms is wildly popular for its flower Salad Bowls, which should be widely available soon.

Edibles

Humans have long experimented with baking and cooking cannabis into all forms of food, with the result that the candies, baked goods, crackers and other treats now available tend to be exceptionally refined recipes that taste as good (or better) as anything you can find in a regular grocery store. The world of edibles is huge and truly deserves a post all to itself — after all, how do you compare a chocolate bar with beef jerky? Still, experts agree that you can’t go wrong with the following edible brands:

  • Kiva. It’s hard to mention edibles without bringing up Kiva, which was the first widely available edible brand that used professionally trained chefs and chocolatiers to produce high-quality treats.
  • Baked Bros. Baked Bros essentially set the industry standard for infused gummies back in 2014 when their Sour Kush Kids won the Cannabis Cup, and they continue to offer the best worms, rings, bears and more on the market.
  • LOL Edibles. Specializing in reimagining popular snacks as weedy treats, LOL Edibles offers pitch-perfect THC versions of Froot Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Cheetos and more.
  • Kush Nuts. For potheads without a sweet tooth, Kush Nuts produces savory nut mixes seasoned with THC-infused oils. They look and feel fancy, but they’ll definitely get you high.

Vapes

Even amidst the concern about a vape-related lung illness, vaping remains one of the most popular ways to use cannabis. Vapes tend to offer a concentrated hit of CBD and/or THC that creates an immediate effect; plus, they are small and tend to produce less odor than traditional smoking, making them discreet for stoners on the go. Yet, it is becoming ever more obvious that quality is imperative in vape tools and products, so you should stick to these best vape brands:

  • Dosist. Setting aside the vape juice for a moment, it should be noted that Dosist produces some of the most attractive vape pens of all time. Perhaps this is why Dosist is becoming one of the fastest growing marijuana businesses in the country.
  • Willie’s Reserve. In truth, Willie Nelson offers all kinds of stuff in his line of marijuana products, but his vape cartridges are the cream of the crop.
  • Roots. Roots offers another stunningly beautiful vape pen as well as premium vape oil extracted from the highest quality cannabis plants.

You don’t have to settle for whatever weed you can scrounge up from the shady neighborhood dealer. If you try any one of the above brands, you won’t ever be tempted to go back to low-quality skunk; you’ll develop the refined marijuana palette that you deserve.