According to a Pew Research study, 59% of Americans believe recreational cannabis consumption should be legal for adults. The “Stoner Stigma” is falling away and cannabis consumption can be compared to drinking wine; a social ritual that relaxes you and elevates the experience. Just like fine wine grape vines, premium cannabis is carefully cultivated. Tended with care and science – the ultimate focus is on the final product for the consumer. The CDFA’s Cannabis Appellations Program (CAP) is working toward making cannabis cultivation regional designations on par with those of Napa and Sonoma Valley. There is even a sommelier of cannabis certification – a ganjier – program available in Humboldt County. Flower and genetic brands are like the vintners (herbners?) of cannabis. Some grow and package the best, others find and combine the best. Here are the best “herbners” to watch in 2023.
#1 SF CULTIVATORS ◈ IG: @sfcultivators
From keeping a healthy mom stock and taking clones the old-school way to in-house hand trimming, packaging, manufacturing, and distribution, family-owned SF Cultivators makes sure you’re getting the absolute best version of what cannabis can be.
The Mission: Quality. Consistency. Variety. Trust.
The Product: flower, infused pre-rolls
The Facts: SF Cultivators’ team of less than 8 routinely vet nearly three dozen genetics per year all the way through to the shelf.
#2 NORTH SOUTH DISTRO ◈ IG: @northsouth_distro
The team at North South Distro takes the quality check process very seriously. They taste-test every single batch before it’s packaged.
The Mission: Bring California dispensaries the highest quality, cleanest smoke possible.
The Products: Champelli, High Mart, No Daze Off, Mount Burnin, Deep in the Bag, Haupia Strain, Permanent Holiday, Balikbayan Boyz, California Poppy
Their Claim to Fame: Exclusive Bay Area-based drops.
#3 WAVE RIDER NURSERY ◈ IG: @waveridernursery
Wave Rider Nursery is the definition of a legacy when it comes to cannabis. A farm started by a father-son duo who have been continuously cultivating cannabis for over 50 years.
The Mission: Provide the highest quality in clean and healthy clones and teens.
The Products: flower, pre-rolls
Their Secret: Dedicating time and resources to large-scale pheno hunts keep them ahead of the curve.
#4 PERMANENT HOLIDAY ◈ IG: @permanentholidayca
Permanent Holiday is a cannabis and lifestyle brand with roots in the San Francisco Bay Area and hills of Humboldt County. The foundation of their cannabis community has been built on the idea that all people should be empowered to live in their truths, authentically and unapologetically.
The Mission: Cultivate a brand that pushes a mindset of authenticity and passion, encouraging people to pursue desires that enhance the human experience while maintaining a deep connection to plant medicine and nature.
The Products: flower, live resin cartridges, pre-rolls
The Extra: Permanent Holiday supports artists, creatives, and dreamers out there making magic every damn day. They see what sparks ingenuity and want to fan those flames.
#5 THE PAIRIST ◈ IG: @the_pairist
The Pairist crafts premium pre-rolls and flower products partnering with some of the Emerald Triangle’s finest cannabis cultivators. It all starts with their careful sourcing of flower for the best starting product and then pairing it with concentrates or botanicals to add an extra boost of potency and flavor.
The Mission: Work with craft cannabis farmers located in the Emerald Triangle to bring cannabis from “farm to mind.”
The Product: flower, infused flower, pre-rolls, infused pre-rolls, botanical pre-rolls
The Facts: The Pairist selects their farm partners based on those who have sustainable and regenerative farming practices, meaning they farm in a way that builds up the environment rather than taking away.
#6 THE HUMBOLDT CURE ◈ IG: @thehumboldtcure
Joe “Fasho” Bilandzija started The Humboldt Cure in 2015. This family-grown tradition has now evolved into a full-scale licensed operation consisting of 3 farms nestled in the hills of Humboldt County.
The Mission: Preserve the Humboldt culture and family tradition of cultivating the highest quality full-spectrum cannabis available in the world.
The Product: flower, pre-rolls, live resin
Their Claim to Fame: The Humboldt Cure has won 35 competition awards.
#7 A GOLDEN STATE ◈ IG: @agoldenstate
A Golden State produces distinct cannabis strains; each cultivar is created specifically for relaxation, recreation, sharing, unwinding, or finding just the right head space. A Golden State is not a brand or place, it’s a state of being.
The Mission: Ensure customers are consuming the most eco-friendly and socially justified product.
The Product: flower, pre-rolls, solventless live rosin
The Extra: A Golden State has gone completely hydroelectric with their cultivations, uses organic growing processes and sustainable sources for their packaging, and donates to community gardens.
#8 PLAIN JANE ◈ IG: @tryplainjane
Plain Jane brings the best hemp flower to the flower game with unique CBD-rich strains and a wide selection of terpene profiles. All of their hemp strains have been bred to have the highest CBD to THC ratios possible.
The Mission: Make CBD hemp flower products more accessible and affordable.
The Product: hemp flower, CBD oils, CBD cigarettes
Their Secret: In addition to their partner farms,Plain Jane has their own small hemp farm to provide high-quality greenhouse flower with unique hemp genetics.
#9 WEEKENDERS ◈ IG: @weekenders_cannabis
For WEEKENDERS, it’s not just about getting high, it’s about feeling better than you did before. Whether you want clear thoughts and a focused mind, would prefer to lose yourself in a warm, heady embrace, or maybe you need a burst of inspiration to get you through your day – WEEKENDERS helps you do you, but better.
The Mission: Bring sustainably-grown cannabis to the people.
The Product: pre-rolls
The Facts: With a diverse leadership team composed of BIPOC and women founders, WEEKENDERS aims to bring further representation and diversity to the world of cannabis.
#10 COASTAL SUN ◈ IG: @coastalsunfarm
Coastal Sun produces organic cannabis on their farm using regenerative soil farming in the full-sun gardens, and bioponics (growing in containers) in their greenhouse and blueberry gardens. They believe that regenerative agriculture and decentralized local crop production is the only long-term viable alternative to our current agricultural ecosystem.
The Mission: Healthy plants heal humans®
The Product: flower, pre-rolls
The Extra: Coastal Sun sees bioponics as the future of farming since it can be set up and implemented where fertile topsoil does not already exist, such as food deserts, in closer proximity to communities in need.
#11 ESTRELLA RIVER FARMS ◈ IG: @estateweedery
Using artisanal production methods, Estrella River Farms’ cultivators produce premium cannabis with exceptional terpene profiles, potency, and freshness. They achieve the highest yields by using a proprietary organic soil blend that also ensures a high level of sustainability at the first Estate Grown Weedery™.
The Mission: Cultivate the best sun-grown organic cannabis in California.
The Product: flower
The Facts: At Estrella River Farms, one serving of cannabis requires only 1.2 cups of water to produce.
#12 CALI CONNECTION ◈ IG: @therealcaliconnectionseedco
The Cali Connection Seed Company is the second oldest legal seed brand in the USA. Edward “Swerve” Clarizio and his team have released cannabis genetics that have acted as the starting point for many of today’s seed companies, and continue to evolve and create some of the best genetics.