Our forefathers didn’t put their lives on the line so we could smoke mids, or even worse—face jail for weed.
This Memorial Day, America leads the world in cannabis freedom and innovation. Twenty-two states and climbing have legalized the now-$20 billion industry. Minnesota’s governor said he’ll sign their bill. Maryland flips the switch July 1.
Break out the boardshorts, clean the grill, and start doing some push-ups. America’s top Memorial Day weed of 2023 covers 11 states and includes Gary Payton, Georgia Pie x Z, new Cookies x Terphogz pods, and more.
Americans will strive to smoke a ton of Gary Payton on Memorial Day weekend 2023. It’s got a dominating look, taste, and potent indica-hybrid effects great for chilling. The actual NBA player Gary Payton licensed his name to Cookies for this extremely effective cross of two Cookies strains, The Y and Snowman, bred by San Francisco’s own Powerzzzup Genetics. Gary Payton ranks as a top 10 searched strain on Leafly this May, and has become a top 100 flower in stores.
Super Silver Haze
Banish the glum of winter’s moods with the sunny, hyper-energetic Super Silver Haze. Despite its old-school roots, Super Silver Haze ranks as a top 200 most popular strain in the US. SSH has that classic, sweet sativa smell from terpinolene, and a bright emerald green color with tangerine orange hairs. The smoke hits light, but the energy makes your mind a frickin’ laser; folks use it for focus, stress, anxiety, and depression. Soon-to-be-launched Flora and Flame of Oakland, CA coax the best parts out from the classic strain. The senior cultivar has never looked bigger, blingier, louder, or more potent.
Keep your dab rig’s expensive glass carb cap where it belongs with a Tuff Tether. Invented by a Southern California husband-and-wife team, these heavy-duty customizable fabric coils ($18) secure e-rig caps to devices. The whole thing looks like a tiny spring reaching its arms out to hold your stuff. You can customize the color on four different pieces to create your personal design, make the coil larger to fit your dab tools, or add the swab holder accessory. Tuff Tethers work on all the popular electronic hash vaporizers, from Dr. Dabber and Puffco to Focus V. The family-owned and operated business keeps adding new options for every dabber.—Matt Jackson
Georgia Pie x Z
You survived the winter—treat yourself to some of the best cannabis ever grown. We’re talking about Sacramento lords of indoor, CAM, and their latest run of Georgia Pie x Zkittlez [make strain page]. Gifted by Seed Junky’s J Beezy to CAM’s Anna herself, she coaxes perfection under HPS lights, using Athena nutrients and rockwool. Georgia Pie x Z is crazy-loud with candy, gas, and Z terps. The big, dense, multi-colored nugs smell like lime and pine on the fingers; grinding releases pink bubblegum terps backed by anise. It smokes with Cookie spice and a fruity Z overtone, and hits as only Seed Junky can. It’s Z improved in every way we want.
Raspberries and Cream
Start the day with the parfait goodness of Loud Trees’ Raspberries and Cream. It has an authentic raspberry top-note and groovy hybrid daytime effects that can propel some mindless spring cleaning. Raspberries and Cream come from crossing Red Pop x Runtz, and it stood out in the crowded Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa in earmy May. Loud Trees’ main brand, Talking Trees, took home 1st Place in Eco-Conscious Packaging at The Emerald Cup 2023 for their compostable pre-roll boxes and sleeves.
Sour Space Drops
The gummy edibles space does not get any more stellar than Space Gems—California’s Emerald Cup 2023-winning gummy. Started by Wendy Baker in her home kitchen in Humboldt, CA, Space Gems use premium, single-source ice water hash instead of generic hydrocarbon distillate extract. They’re vegan, organic, non-GMO, and corn-free. Sour Space Drops come in five flavors sets randomly chosen from 23 flavors total. There are sweet options and CBD versions, as well as Belts, tinctures, and beverage mixers.
Cookies x Terphogz
Want to smoke zaza but need to keep it low-profile at the cookout? This May, the global leader Cookies launches its collaboration with the Terphogz crew behind Zkittlez and their custom pod system, called Zeuz pods. The Zeuz pod and battery fits in the palm of your hand, and the new blue-colored Cookies Zeuz pods debut with Bernie HanaButter, London Pound Cake #75, and Mexican Flan. The 1-gram pods cost $70, while the full system with battery runs $90.
The sunshine returns to Washington just in time for the Torus brand’s Gas Face to make the shimmering Seattle downtown waterfront look more vivid and intense than ever. Torus popped and hunted through packs of Face Mints x (Biscotti x Sherb Bx) from Seed Junky Genetics to find their keeper— and a keeper they found. The initial aroma smells like dank fuel, and it tastes similar. What’s most ferocious is the strength. Seed Junky defeats the highest tolerances in human history in LA, and certainly beyond. Gas Face is an after-work strain—plan some pizza, brews, and a lot of wandering thoughts.
Colorado has raked in $2.4 billion in weed taxes since it kicked things off in the US in 2014. Doing their part—Lit Colorado’s cut of Runtz took a 2022 Connoisseur Cup and remains a go-to party strain. Zkittlez x Gelato just does not miss; in the heat of battle, Runtz emerges victorious. The Indica-hybrid combo of berry, candy, and gas stays winning nationwide. See also: Harmony Extracts’ Original Glue live resin pen.
Testing at 24% THC with an abundance of terpenes, Lemon Shiv offers an ultra-flavourful and equally potent hybrid in Shango’s summer ’23 lineup. This one packs high levels of the terpenes ocimene, myrcene, limonene, terpinolene, and more. This Lemon Shiv woke me up in the head while providing a nice, relaxing body feel. Lemon Shiv comes from the juggernaut breeder Capulator, who crossed his Cap’s Frozen Lemons with Shiver Me Timbers. A solid value buy in Arizona. —Cannabis Cactus
Old School Root Beer
What’s a Memorial Day cookout without root beer? How about cannabis-infused root beer? Available in 10 mg or 25 mg THC per 12 oz can, HaHa Edibles’ Old School Root Beer enlivens a party in small doses, while the big can will mellow everything out. This infused root beer is noticeably smoother than its THC-free, syrup-filled counterparts; HaHa uses pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup—the taste says it all. The root beer’s THC hits quicker and lasts shorter than regular edibles, but it still does the job. Pro tip: a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream makes for a tasty canna-root beer float. The Vegas-based producer also sells a lemon-lime soda in the same size and strength as its root beer, plus a grape and berry soda with 10 mg THC. HaHa comes from the Planet 13 brand, produced on display behind a giant glass window at the dispensary’s superstore. The sodas debuted in July 2021, but at least 50 Sin City dispensaries including Planet 13, Las Vegas ReLeaf, and The Source carry them. Batch size: 2,000 cans. Cost: $7 or $9.—Chris Kudialis
Poddy Mouth rosin vape
New York’s dispensaries just got a little danker. Marijuana Farms of NY (MFNY) joined the recreational market after the initial wave, but they bided their time well. They’re the first rec brand in the Empire State, to my knowledge, to offer exclusively rosin-based vape pens and solventless concentrates for dabbing. The rosin vape I tried, Poddy Mouth, comes from a Humboldt Seed Co. and Ridgeline Farms selection of Mountaintop Mint x Humboldt Pound Cake; it’s got some sweetness, some earthiness, a touch of lemon, and that menthol mouthfeel. It’s balanced—I could puff on it day or night. The slim, discreet vape doesn’t fry the terps away; clouds are a plus. Other options include Apple Fritter and Gazzurple. You can find MFNY vapes at Housing Works, Union Square Travel Agency, and Gotham in NYC and at Upstate Canna Co in Schenectady.—Amelia Williams
In a landscape of doughy, gassy, kushy strains, sometimes you need something a little fruity. Maine remains one of the cannabis world’s best-kept secrets—they provide the dank across all categories if you can make it up there. On a recent trip, I picked up an eighth of Albariño grown by craft brand Firefly Organics, a delectable hybrid of Grape Pie and Lemon Tree that seriously impressed me. Both parents showed up: Smoking elicited a balanced euphoria of intense calm and a side of the giggles, tasting both of musky concord grapes and citrus tang. Firefly Organics grow their buds in soil, and both hand water and hand trim. It shows—these buds were big, green, and beautiful, shimmering with frost and hella pungent. I needn’t have worried about accidentally purchasing year-old weed—Firefly Organics is the in-house brand of the independent Fire on Fore dispensary in Portland, ME. —AW
1:1 THC-CBG Pear Gummies
Got a high tolerance? If you take an edible at the start of your smoke sesh, it’ll kick in an hour later and escalate your high. Wyld’s 1:1 THC+CBG blend is a go-to in a state with a lot of dizzying edibles. It’s got great flavor and texture, and the CBG helps counteract nausea from maxing out on THC. The high builds slowly and lands happy and creative. Low-tolerance friends stay satisfied with half of one. True psychonauts take one, and when we start to feel it kick in, we take another. Wild.
Massachusetts’s Bountiful Farms took a 2022 Cultivators Cup with this Ethos Genetics strain on sale for Memorial Day. Zsweet Insanity mixes Durban Poison, Rainmaker, and Original Glue. You get massive, resinous colas that reek with pungent, earthy, pine notes. Zsweet Inzanity is a must-try. See also: Award-winning Happy Valley’s End Game pre-roll.
Origins OG Kush
The best-selling strain OG Kush returns to its homeland with authentic Origins OG Kush, from the Origins TK brand—selling at Fluent Coral Gables. Origins TK claims ownership of Triangle Kush, which reportedly led to both Bubba Kush and OG Kush in the ’90s. Now that Florida has legal medical cannabis, Origins TK Selects did a deal to bring authentic TK and its children to smokers in that state. OG Kush goes great with a good time on land and water. See also in Florida: Backpackboyz White Cherry Gelato.
Leave it to Society C in Michigan to craft a knock-out award-winning example of the strain Spritzer. The high-tolerance heads of Michigan gave Society C a 2022 Cannabis Cup for their cut of this Runtz x Grape Pie x MAC; bred by Cannarado. Spritzer’s an uplifting, high-THC hybrid that increased our reviewers’ appetite for intimacy as well as dessert. Eat that cake two ways.
OK—we must stop, or we’ll never get to our long weekend.
Go ahead and fill your bag, check out, take delivery, and smoke one for those that paid the ultimate price. And let peace and freedom ring.