David Downs June 28, 2022
Coast to coast, these buds are hot! (Leafly)
Fact: Americans enjoy more weed freedom and variety than any people in the history of the Earth. Our global competitors? Crazy backward about the pot.
Ganja’s a $25 billion legal industry and the country’s 5th largest cash crop, with 19 rec legalization states and more on the way. The California market alone boasts a mind-boggling 39,000 types of products. This July, newly legal New Yorkers will put smoke in the air. Floridians can hit a medical dispensary. Legalization polls better than any party or politician, because freedom effing rules.
Put down those M-80s and pick up some zaza—here’s 9 scorching weed strains of Independence Day 2022.
Jump to a scorcher
- Red Velvet
- White Runtz
- Blue Power
- GMO Rootbeer
- Miami Punch
- Jack Herer
- Landslide #4
- Permanent Marker
We gotta start with the colors. When I think of a hot ‘red’ strain in summer 2022 that’s actually on the market, my mind goes to Red Velvet. Lemon Cherry Gelato to Pina Acai is pretty on-trend, and top Oakland growers Grandiflora claim it. Our Sunset Connect brand bag had a red hot cinnamon smell to it. There’s a lot of room for more red strains besides Red Dragon and Red Congo.
Sheesh, UMMA Sonoma has the world’s best version of White Runtz, one of July’s most hyped strains. Just look at it—it’s literally white with trichomes. As if Runtz wasn’t blingy enough, White Runtz gets even icier than Runtz, which is Zkittlez x Gelato. That means tropical berry syrup over ice cream cookie smells—and yes, weed can do that. Umma grows for the best breeders and brands in the world, including Compound Genetics.
Shout out one of Las Vegas’ most impactful creations, Blue Power—powering today’s top flavors like Apples and Bananas from Cookies and Compound Genetics. Sin City Seeds’ Blue Power (Power x White Moonshine) has at least 43 direct offspring, and has spawned nine generations of strains: SinMint Cookies, Animal Mints, Kush Mints, Animal Face, Mint Chocolate Chip and on and on. Put some respect on Sin City’s name.
See also: Fig Farms Blue Face (‘blue’ pheno of Animal Face)
We spotted legit root beer-smelling weed in the wild for July 4—the mythical GMO Rootbeer strain. It’s like GMO lent all of its loudness to some root beer terps. Crazy high in THC and sets you down, of course. GMO x Rootbeer is reportedly a project of breeders Skunktek, and Mean Gene from Mendocino (aka Freeborn Selections). It’s been closely held, but it seems ready for a national debut. Root beer remains hella American for the 4th.
See also: Archive Portland MoonBeam, which combines YuckMouth (GMO x Dosidos) x MoonBow.
Time to get sweaty. Chicago-based Revolution out in the midwest serves up Miami Punch this July 4th—a crowd-pleasing mix of Florida Orange x Purple Punch. The tropical, cream-cake taste precedes energizing, sativa hybrid effects. Terp heads will note the terpinolene, ocimene, and limonene leading the pack.
It’s really important to stay hydrated over the long 4th of July weekend, and that includes periodic hits of Spritzer. The Colorado breeder Cannarado combines Runtz, Grape Pie, and MAC—pretty much all the great stuff right now. Peel back layers of candied gas, sugary cereal, and bubblegum funk; the olfactory kaleidoscope never stops turning. This is what even the most the jaded industry folks get excited to smoke.
Illinois, the land of Lincoln, cruises into summer number three of legalization with a classic: Rythm’s award-winning sativa staple Jack Herer. July 4th and the fight for independence lives in every puff of the sweet, energy strain. Activist Jack Herer envisioned radical pot freedom blooming across the land. Dare to dream just as big.
Washington fire flower growers Freddy’s Fuego democratized exotic pot selection with The Hunt—a collection of fresh flavors smokers can buy and vote on this July. We’re shamelessly lobbying for Landslide #4, a canny cross of Lava Cake x Fleetwood MAC bred by Lit Farms. We voted it terpiest of the bunch during a June field trip. It’s got bright, intense Cake and MAC terps that just sweep you away; probably from the Melonade parentage. Put on some Stevie Nicks and vibe.
See also: Item #9 by Colorado’s Veritas (Kush Mints x Wedding Cake)
The writing’s on the wall—Los Angeles indie brand Doja Exclusive dropped Permanent Marker in June on both coasts. Bred and grown by Seed Junky Genetics’ JBeezy and selected by Doja Pak, the strain fuses several well-established cultivars: Biscotti x Jealousy x Sherb Bx. Floral, soapy, candy, and gassy funk smells fully translate into the taste. It has a lingering pungent flavor of a soapy funk with a hint of candy and floral gas tones. The potent strain brings out creativity for daytime relaxation, followed up by the munchies and the urge to roll up some more.
OK, we got an SUV to pack with camping gear, so we’re stopping at these nine. But rest assured, the country is blooming with fragrant, fresh, freedom-blessed trees. So light one up, and take a breath—because far more work on America awaits.
Posted on November 20, 2021 By Grasslands Staff
With all the holiday news and journalists’ vacation schedules, the end of the year can be a tough time for cannabis brands to earn media coverage. But there’s one way brands can cut through the noise to make sure they get in front of readers right when holiday shopping hits a fever pitch—cannabis gift guides.
WHY GIFT GUIDES ARE GREAT FOR CANNABIS BRANDS
Gift guides have become a huge resource for harried shoppers looking for everything from children’s toys to the latest tech upgrades. But they’re an especially good fit for cannabis brands for a number of reasons. Gift guides are an excellent way to get CBD or THC products into publications that don’t normally cover cannabis. For example, fashion and beauty magazines are increasingly likely to include a relaxing CBD bath bomb or infused lotion in their product roundups.
Another reason cannabis brands can benefit from gift guides is that the format is ideal for earning trust and educating consumers. Shoppers are especially receptive to well-written, well-curated picks from reporters and editors at publications they already trust for the latest news and trends. A cannabis gift guide in a well-loved magazine feels less like an advertisement and more like word-of-mouth reviews from a familiar friend.
That reduced barrier is particularly important for helping cannabis-curious shoppers see how a specific product might fit into their recipient’s lifestyle. Cannabis gift guides can be a great education tool for those who don’t yet know what their favorite strains are or who aren’t familiar with the latest trends and product innovations in the cannabis space. Best of all, that information can be tailored to a publication’s tried-and-true audience, helping you get in front of just the right segment of your target market.
CANNABIS GIFT GUIDES KEEP GIVING ALL YEAR LONG
Cannabis brands stand to win with gift guides not just during the winter holidays, but throughout the year. From New Year’s to 4/20, and Father’s Day to “birthday presents for her,” gift guides always provide a reliable hook for journalists. Whether you’re touting THC-infused chocolates for Valentine’s Day or the best vape pens for outdoor enthusiasts, gift guides solve a problem for shoppers throughout the year who need a little help making a purchase.
Crafting quality gift guide content, however, is easier said than done. Phone in your content with copy-and-pasted product descriptions and muddled goals and your pitch can easily end up in some editor’s slush pile. But if you want your products to make a splash, try these five tips for cannabis brands creating great gift guides.
FIVE CANNABIS GIFT GUIDE TIPS
- Dial in your demographics. Gift guides aren’t one-size fits all. Knowing exactly which audience you’re targeting will help journalists know where your product fits and how to tell your product’s story. Relate the recommended gift to the specific needs of your target customer and help explain how your product would fit in their lifestyle. From stocking stuffers for budget shoppers to luxe splurges for cannabis connoisseurs, your job is to show how your product solves the problem of picking the perfect gift.
- Capitalize on good copy. Putting extra effort into the writing quality on your gift guide will do more than impress journalists–it will help save them time and effort. Tailoring your product descriptions to the audience, theme and publication you’re pitching helps the journalist see where your brand fits into the larger narrative they’re crafting. For example, product descriptions for ebb’s THC-infused dissolvable powder typically mention how useful the brand’s mixes are for workout recovery. That’s a strong message any time of year, but going the extra mile to relate those benefits back to the wellness goals many adopt after the holidays makes it crystal clear why ebb is a better fit for a holiday gift guide than other products.
- Partner up, give back and go exclusive. Another way to add value for the customer and help publications tell compelling brand stories is to partner with businesses or organizations in other industries to offer smartly curated gift boxes, altruistic incentives or limited edition products. For example, Veritas Fine Cannabis partnered with Icelantic again this year on a select number of Nomad 105 skis featuring a design by Denver-based artist and performance painter Morgan Mandala—a collaboration that has as much appeal for outdoor journalists as for those on the cannabis beat, and which celebrates the wide-ranging interests of Veritas’ target market.
- Plan and pitch early. By the time you’re hearing holiday jingles on the radio, you’re already late to the gift guide game. Your pitches need to be planned well ahead of time to get traction. Print publications, particularly the big household names, plan their editorial calendars and holiday coverage months in advance—usually around the time you’re counting down to summer vacation. Gift guides should be part of your year-round PR and marketing efforts. That’s not only to make sure your holiday pitches are received when editors are planning their end-of-year campaigns, but also to stay ahead of all the other opportunities each quarter.
- Activate affiliate networks. Affiliate marketing is getting bigger and bigger, and understanding the role affiliate networks play in today’s digital publishing landscape is crucial to getting more mileage out of your gift guides. Some publications prioritize products available on just one or two affiliate platforms—Heavy.com, for example, covers cannabis products regularly, but rarely shares items that aren’t available on Amazon. Doing your due diligence can increase your chances of getting plum placements in product recommendation articles.
Having good relationships with journalists at your target publications also goes a long way towards ensuring your cannabis gift guide pitches get successfully placed. That’s where agencies like Grasslands can help. We specialize in building strong media relationships that are crucial to securing coverage for clients. Want to learn how Grasslands can supercharge your earned media strategy? Let’s talk!
Experience baseball-themed events alongside quintessential Mile High City attractions
By Tiney Ricciardi, The Denver Post Jul 8, 2021, 6:00 am
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Week has landed in Denver, and you don’t need a game ticket to get in on the action.
Here are 20 ways you can metaphorically be taken out to the ball game and have the quintessential Mile High City experience.https://dce5b43e3e310a189111c2e94fd81706.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Catch free live music near the ballpark
Lower Downtown, or LoDo as locals call it, will be buzzing throughout All-Star week. July 11-13, the neighborhood will host a free festival called LoDo Rocks the Block. Stop by Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St.) to pick up a hot dog, bag of popcorn or ice cream cone before making your way to Dairy Block Alley (1800 Wazee St.) to enjoy local music and shop themed vendors. Restaurants in the Dairy Block building also will be offering deals and specials.
Another nearby festival, deemed the Stars and Stripes Streetfest, will be taking place through July 13. This free event, located on 21st Street between Larimer and Lawrence streets, features live music, shopping, food truck fare and more.
Hit a home run at Play Ball Park
From July 9 to 13, the Colorado Convention Center will be transformed into a baseball fan’s paradise with batting cages, an onsite home run derby, a Hall of Fame exhibit, celebrity autograph signings and more. Best of all, it’s free to attend, with a reservation.
More info at allstargame.com.
Spot a celebrity
OneRepublic, a blockbuster band with local ties, will be performing July 11 before the MLB Celebrity Softball Tournament, featuring musicians Quavo and Steve Aoki, actors Ross Butler, JoJo Siwa and Charles Melton, and social media personalities Blake Gray and Noah Beck, among others. Add that to the lineup of baseball talent and the celeb sighting opportunities are plentiful.
More info at mlb.com/all-star/sunday.
Eye a Coors Field Cat™
The colony of cats that live at the ballpark is a local legend. In April, one daring feline stole the internet’s heart when it crossed the field during game time. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of these elusive residents. And, yes, that would count as a celebrity sighting.
<>DENVER, CO – JULY 2 : Yankee Stadium Home Plate is displayed by the entrance of National Ballpark Museum in Denver, Colorado on Friday, July 2, 2021. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post)
Take me out to the National Ballpark Museum
Lauded as one of Denver’s hidden gems, the National Ballpark Museum started from a collection of baseball cards and has grown to feature memorabilia from ballparks around the country. It specializes in treasures from 14 old-school ballparks, like Old Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park, as well as the Polo Grounds and Sportsman’s Park, which opened around the turn of the 20th century. The museum also serves as an archive chronicling the history of baseball in Colorado. Entry is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors. Kids and active military get in free.
More information at ballparkmuseum.com.
Visit the Hall of Legends
Can’t get enough baseball history? Visit the new Rally Hotel at McGregor Square where History Colorado and the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club Foundation will set up a pop-up exhibit called Hall of Legends. Open July 10-18, the exhibit features a jersey worn by Joe DiMaggio, a program from Jackie Robinson’s 1947 major league debut game and more. Tickets cost $10.
More information at mlb.com/rockies/community/hall-of-legends.
Unleash your inner bookworm
Tattered Cover, Colorado’s largest independent bookstore, is curating more than 1,000 titles for a baseball-themed pop-up at its new location in McGregor Square. Peruse the collection July 8-13, when there also will be sports panel discussions held onsite.
More information at tatteredcover.com/all-star-game-2021.
Climb the rock wall at REI
REI’s massive flagship store in downtown Denver is a must-hit for gearheads, but even if you’re just a casual outdoor enthusiast it’s worth a visit. Adventure awaits on the 47-foot indoor climbing wall, which is modeled after the sandstone bluffs found commonly along the Colorado Front Range. The location also rents paddling gear to enjoy at the nearby Confluence Park.
More information at rei.com/stores/denver.
Snap a selfie with a mural
Street art is one of this city’s best assets, and these colorful murals are just begging for a selfie. Some, like Love This City in the Art District on Santa Fe, you’ve likely already seen on Instagram. We’d also suggest seeking out a series of larger-than-life works featuring Americans lost to gun violence or police brutality, including George Floyd, painted during the peak of last year’s social justice movement.
Other ways to get artsy
Artsy adventures abound in Denver, whether you’re perusing a collection at the city’s namesake art museum or checking out public sculptures. There are several galleries near the ballpark, too, where you can dip in for a little bit of culture. Check out our list of must-visits here.
Hit a dispensary
With nearly 200 recreational dispensaries, it’s no secret that Colorado is a destination for weed tourism. Live it up, light it up and keep your eyes peeled for baseball-themed products like Veritas Fine Cannabis’ All-Star Joint Pack, which includes three 1-gram pre-rolls, a lighter and a rally towel in a commemorative tin. One lucky buyer also will score a pair of tickets to the MLB All-Star Game stashed inside.
Visit the International Church of Cannabis
Opened in 2017, the International Church of Cannabis is home to a religious group known as Elevationists, who believe cannabis is an essential part of becoming the best version of one’s self. Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel’s bright mural on the walls and ceiling of the chapel is worth a visit, even if you’re not a cannabis enthusiast. Right now, the church is hosting a laser light show to enhance the viewing experience. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students; no consumption is allowed onsite.
More information at elevationists.org.
Satisfy your munchies
Food is an essential part of the baseball experience. If you’re headed down near the ballpark, we’ve rounded up 10 Denver restaurants that won’t break the bank. Need a hot dog to set the mood? Go to Biker Jim’s, which is known for dogs made with meats such as ostrich, wild boar, elk and even rattlesnake. Check out the affordable spots here.
Quench your thirst
Blue Moon Belgian White ale, one of America’s most iconic beers, was inspired by a recipe developed at SandLot Brewery at Coors Field in 1995. This Denver-bred celebrity now has its own microbrewery in RiNo where drinkers can sample it alongside other hoppy, malty and fruit-forward recipes.
If you’re craving something craftier, check out Wynkoop Brewing Co., regarded as the city’s first craft establishment; Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery, which notably employs one of Denver’s numerous female head brewers; or Great Divide Brewing Co., known for its Denver pale ale. All are within walking distance of the ballpark.
Get your football fix at Elway’s
John Elway is one of the most recognizable names in sports history, so it only seems fitting to include the legendary Denver Broncos’ namesake restaurant on any die-hard fan’s itinerary. Elway’s, which is a traditional steakhouse, has locations in downtown and Cherry Creek.
Rock out at Red Rocks
Coincidentally, there’s a rockin’ lineup of concerts slated for Red Rocks Amphitheatre when the All-Star Game is in town, including folk group the Avett Brothers (July 9-11) and former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann with bluegrass artist Billy Strings (July 12-13). For those less inclined to see a show, the venue is also hosting yoga classes on weekend mornings and is a popular day-hike destination.
Tickets and more information at redrocksonline.com/events.
Take a hike
Speaking of day hikes, there are plenty near Denver for all skill levels where you can indulge in Colorado’s natural beauty along the trail and take in panoramic views. Lookout Mountain, Mount Falcon Park and North Table Mountain are among the most popular.
Play bar games
Baseball isn’t the only game worth playing this week. Denver establishments like The 1Up Arcade Bar, Ace Eat Serve ping-pong restaurant and Punch Bowl Social bowling alley and restaurant are known for infusing fun into every visit.
Get stuck in an I-25 bottleneck
Denver traffic is infamous, even when there’s not a major national sporting event in town. The good news: You can miss it by taking public transportation to and from Coors Field. Here’s our handy guide to navigating the trains in Denver and what to hit along the way.
- MLB All-Star Game: No car? No problem. How to explore the metro area by light rail
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- All-Star bingo: How many classic Denver things can you knock out this weekend?
- Free, family-friendly fun is on deck at Play Ball Park during the MLB All-Star Game
- 9 ways to beat the heat this summer around Denver
Scoot on (carefully)
Scooters are a popular mode of transportation downtown, even if they don’t work near the ballpark because of zoning restrictions. They also can be a lot of fun when used responsibly. Check out this map and grab a helmet before you go. If you’re not riding, watch out on sidewalks, seriously.