Strains & products

Slam dunk 2023 with the Gary Payton strain—January’s Leafly HighLight

Published on January 6, 2023
The Gary Payton strain is a slam dunk for January 2023. Read why from the experts at Leafly.
The Gary Payton strain is a slam dunk for January 2023. Read why from the experts at Leafly.

Smokers across the US are becoming super-fans of the surging all-star strain Gary Payton.

Since its 2019 release, Gary Payton has become a top 200 most popular variety nationwide—in stores from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Miami and Boston. The NBA Hall-of-Famer licensed his name to the strain. But you need not enjoy sports to love the strain’s heavy-hitting hybrid indica effects, and its sweet, fuel, and stone fruit taste. Gary Payton flower goes into joints and bowls across the US, and it’s super popular in cartridge and dab forms, too. 

All these factors and more make the officially licensed Gary Payton the starting Leafly HighLight strain for 2023. 


Bred by Kenny Dumetz of Powerzzzup Genetics in San Francisco, and co-selected by cannabis mogul Berner of Cookies—Gary Payton has an average review score of 4.6 out of 5 from 249 reviews. 

Leafly reviewers consistently say G.P. makes them giggly, talkative, and relaxed—great for these cold, dark, and rainy winter days. Gary Payton warms and brightens moods as an after-work treat for getting your stuff done.

“It’s a rainy night right now and it’s making me happy as fuck so 5/5,” said one reviewer.

“Best giggly strain on the planet,” said another.

Mood management and appetite stimulation consistently pop up in Gary Payton strain reviews.

One reviewer wrote: “DEPRESSION CURED. ANXIETY CURER. grammarly is on and i stil cant spell.”

“If you don’t want munchies I don’t recommend it,” said another.

Breeder Kenny Powers has a professional lifetime smoker’s tolerance, so prepare accordingly for maximum THC effects.

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“I tried opening my apartment’s front door with my debit card until I realized while I was in the motion of putting the card in the key slot.”

One reviewer said, “this strain made my friend reverse puberty. He was talking in the highest voice possible for about 30 mins.”

How much does Gary Payton cost?

NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton licensed his likeness for the Wheaties-inspired bags. (Courtesy Cookies)
NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton licensed his likeness for the Wheaties-inspired bags. (Courtesy Cookies)

On the West Coast, Gary Payton’s so popular that it approaches commodity prices. As you head east, supplies are lower and G.P. gets more expensive. Oregon has $3 half-gram pre-rolls of G.P. and $30 1-gram dabs. Florida has $50 eighths and $74 grams of live resin.

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Gary Paytonprices across the US:

1 gram of flower buds$4$10$15
3.5 g of flower buds$25$40$50
1 g cartridge$30$40$50

Gary Payton seeds

Gary Payton. (Courtesy Cookies)

Wanna grow some G.P.? Good call. The problem is: Lots of reputable seed outlets have sold out of authentic G.P. genetics, so beware of less reputable outlets. (One group of charlatans sells G.P. seeds for $50 per seed.) 

We’d grow the G.P. x Zawtz from Cannarado, via SeedsHereNow. The official Cookies Seedbank has the G.P. cross Elephant Trunk (G.P. x Sherb). Exotic Genetix has Power—G.P. x Scotty 2 Hotty, and Clearwater Genetics made Gargantua (G.P. x Apple Mints). Lastly, packs of Tiki Madman’s Super Sonic (G.P. x Gelato 41 bx) probably contain a winner or two. Official Powerzzzup seeds are coming soon to the Cookies seedbank, so stay subscribed.

Gary Payton awards

Gary Payton marijuana strain
Gary Payton nugs. (David Downs/Leafly)

Gary Payton is a sibling of Cereal Milk off The Y line—that’s champion genetics right there. Notably, two Gary Payton hashes have taken home the most recent awards: a Gary Payton hash took 1st place in the 2022 Errl Cup in Arizona; and a 2nd in 2022’s The Emerald Cup. A Gary’s Wedding won 3rd in the Oregon Grower’s Cup 2022, and a G.P. took first place for pinene terpenes in the 2022 Cowboy Cup in Oklahoma.

All of 2022’s Cannabis Cup winners and where to buy them

Gary Payton terpenes

The aroma molecules (aka terpenes) of Gary Payton offer a collection of what’s hot in pot. It’s got caryophyllene which brings the gas (some might call it ‘pepper’). Lab tests also show a lot of limonene and pinene, two more astringent, biting terps that contribute to G.P.’s power. 

Other highlights this January

Can’t find our HighLight? No harm, no foul. Here are three more analogous flavors to savor.

The Glove

NBA Hall-of-fame player Gary Payton earned the nickname “The Glove,” and now it’s the official name for the Gary Payton x Leafly Strain of the Year 2022 Jealousy cross from Seed Junky Genetics with Powerzzzup. Again, you’re in the Cereal Milk meets Gelato wheelhouse, so expect thick, sweet, dank fuel and fruit smells with unstoppable power. The indica hybrid effect is relaxing and great for riding out the long winter. 

2022’s Leafly Strain of the Year is—Jealousy!

Blackberry Gary

Blackberry Gary. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)
Blackberry Gary. Hybrid. (David Downs/Leafly)

The hot-hot new-new for 2023? Blackberry Gary—LA breeder Serge Cannabis’ cross of Gary Payton to Sunset Sherbert and Zkittlez Bx2. Blackberry Gary brings together the genetics behind blockbuster hits like Cereal Milk, Sherbert, and Z for a super-flavorful potent smoke. Serge grows small batches of Blackberry Gary at Cookies Maywood in LA and distributes them in Cookies stores and beyond. The extremely strong hybrid effect warrants sharing with a connoisseur while gaming on your new Playstation 5. 

Georgia Pie

Georgia Pie (Courtesy Cookies)
Georgia Pie. Hybrid indica. (Courtesy Cookies)

Georgia Pie has the same acronym as Gary Payton (G.P.) and elicits similar effects as the above strains, but with different parents. It’s Kush Mints x Gelatti from breeder Seed Junky Genetics and earns its name with a peach, apricot, and tree fruit taste. The hybrid effect hits uplifted, happy, and hungry, and also pairs well with eating, sleeping, and chilling. Georgia Pie x Z ounces from NorCalCannabis became our favorite buy from The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball. 

And that’s our Leafly HighLight for January 2023. Hope they helped. Stay warm and cozy, Leafly Nation. We’ll see you on Feb. 1 with the annual Love Edition of Leafly HighLight. Rawwr.

Hey, what’s ‘Leafly HighLight’?

Leafly HighLight helps US weed shoppers discover all-star strains on dispensary shelves. Each month, Leafly News’ experts spotlight a trending, top 200 national cannabis strain you should know.

We combine:

—Leafly Strain Database search data,

—dispensary menu data,

—dispensary visits,

—and smoke sessions

to select one cultivar that pairs with the season or mood. Leafly HighLight.

Read past Leafly HighLights.

Like Leafly HighLight? Fave this post, leave a nice comment, and order some trees on Leafly.

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David Downs
David Downs
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
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