Massachusetts—a state of more than 6 million people—has just 88 fully licensed adult-use cannabis growers.
The situation is wicked hard, but improving by the day.
Eighty-eight final recreational cannabis cultivation licenses are better than the none. In 2016, voters got the state to start issuing them and sales started in 2018.
The pandemic killed 2020’s East Coast Cannabis Cups—trophies offer some of the few data points on a new market’s quality. Exactly who’s growing what, and whether it’s any good, is just now starting to come into focus.
Legendary growers like Chemdog operate in Massachusetts and players like Berkshire Roots have found their footing both growing and selling ganja. We pinged experts like Danny “Danko” Vinkovetsky at Northeast Leaf Magazine, looked up fresh Cup winners, and trawled Leafly menus and data for notable ganja and the farmers who grew it.
Here’s an early read on what’s worth trying in dispensaries.
Vertically integrated grower-seller Canna Provisions in Lee, MA has a proprietary brand, Smash Hits, and its Director of Cultivation is Greg “Chemdog” Krzanowski. That means authentic cuts of:
- Chem ‘91—the original, 30-year-old cut, thought to be the dogfather of Sour Diesel in the east and OG Kush in the west
- Chem 4—an “instant smack in the face”
- Chem D x Lemon Thai
- Urkle—from ‘06 and packing that sedative indica punch
- Urkle x Tres Dawg
- Stay Puft—Marshmellow OG x Jet Fuel Gelato
Smash Hits grows it out in Sheffield, MA.
Vertically integrated grower-seller Bountiful Farms took first place overall with Pina Grande in the Massachusetts Cultivator’s Cup September 4.
Seventeen miles outside of Boston in Nattick, MA, and for medical card holders only—try the Meow, Bubblegum Breath, Horchata, and Pina Grande. The Cup winner’s just sitting there on the menu. Bountiful Farms also got second runner-up in the Cultivator’s Cup for Secret Formula. That’s Wifi #43 and Do-Si-Dos, dayam.
Bountiful Farms cultivation general manager Zachary Taylor claims 22 Cannabis Cups and runs a tight ship based off his days in Colorado. Weed grow room temperature and humidity never vary more than 10 degrees all day, every day.
Plants drink in small, frequent bursts like an Olympian, instead of in one or two daily gut bombs. Hand-trimmed and pesticide-free, Bountiful Farms is the first grow facility from exotic grow consultants Juiced Grow.
Director of cultivation Brendan Delaney runs Gelato, Swamp Dog, Dominion Skunk, and old school Purple Trainwreck off multiple acres of solar and natural gas co-generation. The goal is at least 60% of carbon emissions offset for tasty flavors like Cherry Punch—Cherry AK-47 and Purple Punch F2.
Solar Therapeutics sponsored the much-needed Massachusetts Cultivator’s Cup in early September in sunny Somerset, MA, with Cypress Hill, Method Man, and Redman. Man, I can’t wait to go to a concert again. One day.
First-place runner-up at last weekend’s Cup? Nature’s Heritage with Crescendo (Chem D x i95 x Mandarin Cookies x Headband).
Found in stores across Massachusetts—Nature’s Heritage runs a lot of Ethos Genetics’ gear, the cookies cross Crescendo and Lilac Diesel. I’d also check out It’s It (Exotic Genetic’s Gelato x Mint Chocolate Chip).
Plus, they mess around with racy African sativas like Horace (Banana OG x Nigerian) and Ebony + Ivory (The White x Nigerian).
Head’s up, Boston— vertically integrated grower-seller Berkshire Roots is rocking the knock-out OG Kush cross, OGKB 2.0 BX. It’s listed for nighttime sleep aid and pain relief (yeah, no kidding). The name stands for OG Kush Breath, and this is the second, super version of it. Sheesh.
This big boy dispensary lists 31 cultivars for sale and carries their own good stuff, and the good stuff from the rest of the high-end Mass legal gang: The Botanist’s Garlic Drip and Nature’s Heritage Forbidden Zkittlez.
Come in there with a game plan because the retail side of the operation is all business. Ask for that fresh, terpy zaza and be prepared to pony up for it.
There are lots of multi-state operators operating in Massachusetts—don’t hate the player, hate the game. One big dog pumping out the jams all across Massachusetts is the grower Rythm. I’d order the Tahitian Punch: Sour Tangie x Sour Apple—all Diesel-y and tart for weekend cleaning.
The rest of Rythm’s strains are gonna beat up your diet goals: Scout Breath, French King (i.e. Louis IX), Alien Apple, Brownie Scout, Gelato … Come on, man.
We got more intel on fire tree in Bay City this fall. High Times’ People’s Choice Cup results are due Oct. 21.