Pride month celebrants and allies nationwide have more freedom to chose legal cannabis—indeed, multiple lab-tested types of it—than ever before.
Across the US, there’s 18 legalized states, and 65% of the country supports a consenting adult’s freedom to walk into a well-regulated store and buy weed.
The question becomes, exactly what weed should you smoke for Pride month, our nation’s annual nod to equal rights for sexual orientation?
First and foremost, there are different effects to consider, but flavors must resonate, too. Then there’s who’s growing it and selling it. Here, the queer weed community and supporters sounded off on 15-ish cannabis cultivars to take Pride in this month.
Marching, biking, riding all day
Gay rights and weed legalization have been inextricably combined since the late ‘60s. Pride occurs in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 28-July 3, 1969.
“Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity,” the White HousestatedJune 1, honoring the month of parades, parties, and reflection on equality
You can always keep Pride pairings simple—broad, effect-based, pre-made joints insativaorhybridare in season this June, from San Francisco to Bangor, Maine. For example:
Woman-founded, queer-ledBesitoalso sells sativa or hybrid prerolls. They help dispensary shoppers who don’t know a specific strain, Besito founder Maggie Connors.
“I don’t know if consumers will think in these categories forever,” said Connors. “But it does help guide the experience and the desired end state.”
As for other daytime strains that pair with pride, the heat is on sweet, powerfulRed Congolese. For sativa hybrids, look for balanced, funBlack Jack, on sale from queer-owned SPARC in California.
For more centered hybrids, SPARC has fresh, best-sellingBlue Dream, and they know their stuff. SPARC founder Erich Pearson has led the company with empathy for 20 years, giving away cannabis to terminal AIDS patients.
Over in Maine, Instagram stars Lee and Sue at@420oldfatlesbiansgave a special Leafly shout-out to the tropical, citrusy, daytime Guava Tangie.
Partying and vibing into night
As day turns to night, you want to relax without passing out, meaning it’s time for a chill hybrid.
For example,OG Kushesand family are what people want to feel at this time in the day.
David Goldman, head of the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of San Francisco, agrees—you can’t have Pride without OGs. He’s celebrating this month with Cypress OG, “a classic Kush experience not to be missed.”
SPARC’s got anAlien OGthat’s “flying off the shelves,” said Connors at Besito. SPARC announced it acquired Besito on June 2.
“That Alien OG is awesome,” she said.
Cousin to OG,Dieselswill also get you there. Specifically, Northern Emeralds’ Maui Diesel has classic diesel power with a mellowing, tropical top note.
Maggie’s all about it. Besito sells a Diesel parent Chemdog that’s great for June. Maggie also grows her own Diesel offspring, Original Glue, that staff dub Margarita’s Reserve.
“We love a little indica-leaning strain to get us relaxed on the couch in creative brainstorms in the afternoons—what we call high-deas,” Connors said.
For the after-party, OG-grandchild and powerful, flavorfulSlurricanecombines Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch.
For the after-after-party, break out theCookiesandCakes—they’re tastyandsedating.
Lee and Sue-approvedWedding Caketakes the #1 spot for Leafly strain traffic in multiple states. (A 2020studypublished in the journal LGBT Health found LGBTQIA smoke more weed than straight folk—as in, 11% of gay people reported being daily burners, versus 4% of straight people.)
For the first time ever, a congressional committee has approved a piece of legislation to end marijuana prohibition in the United States. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act, better known as The MORE Act, would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and impose a minor excise tax on the legal cannabis industry to pay for the expungement of criminal records, among other changes, passed with a bipartisan vote of 24 to 10.
This is a truly historic moment in our nation’s political history. For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notably on communities of color and other already marginalized groups,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “Opposition to our failed war on marijuana has reached a boiling point with over two-thirds of all Americans, including majorities of all political persuasions, now supporting legalization. Congress should respect the will of the people and promptly approve the MORE Act and close this dark chapter of failed public policy.
The passage of the MORE Act represents the first time that the Judiciary Committee has ever had a successful vote to end the cruel policy of marijuana criminalization,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Not only does the bill reverse the failed prohibition of cannabis, but it provides pathways for opportunity and ownership in the emerging industry for those who have suffered most. In 2018 alone, over 663,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana-related crimes, a three-year high. Now that Chairman Nadler has moved the MORE Act through committee, it is time for the full House to vote and have every member of Congress show their constituents which side of history they stand on.
Northern California's biggest public media station stopped by Northern Emeralds' operation in Humboldt County recently.
Founder and CEO Cody Stross provided San Francisco-based KQED Newsroom an insider's view of a connoisseur-grade cannabis business on the threshold of legalization -- and also provided a few clues as to why Northern Emeralds commands platinum status in the current California cannabis marketplace.
Viewers received a peek inside Northern Emeralds' production, processing, and marketing stages, and heard directly from founder and CEO Cody Stross about what it's like to run a fully compliant medical cannabis business in the months before recreational legalization.
Put simply: it's still a big risk.
"Making Humboldt County the 'Napa Valley of Cannabis' takes a great leap of faith," the television station's reporter notes.
"People think we're raking in the dough -- it's really not that way," says Stross, who notes that being a transparent producer requires taking risks -- with service providers, from payroll to construction, who charge a cannabis businesses a premium, as well as with law enforcement. In the end, the reward is about being a pioneer, not a profiteer.
"It's a relief we have the opportunity to come out of the shadows," Stross says. "It's a lot more work, but it's a big relief."
*Northern Emeralds uses power derived from renewable sources and recycles as much as 85 percent of the water we use;
*There are as many as 12,000 marijuana-growing operations in Humboldt County, but we are one of the few that has gone through all the available permitting processes to become fully compliant with current state and local law;
*We produce anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds a month and can't seem to meet the demand -- but any end product that does not meet our strict quality guidelines is immediately downgraded.
Humboldt County, California has a reputation. In the 1970s, people steeped in Bay Area counter-culture wandered up to Northern California and started planting cannabis among the old growth forests and fertile river basins that give Humboldt its distinctive character. The favorable climate and expertise of local cultivators soon made Humboldt County synonymous with high-quality cannabis. Humboldt cannabis has long been considered among the world’s best, and Northern Emeralds is a medical cannabis company deeply rooted in that tradition.
Starting a successful company requires passion, and we founded Northern Emeralds because we are passionate believers that responsible cannabis consumption makes a positive contribution to the health of individuals and communities. We are committed to growing our industry using safe, legal, and transparent methods while producing premium quality flowers on an increasingly large scale. We currently distribute to dispensary and delivery services across the state, with a strong presence in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
We are a company in constant pursuit of the perfect cannabis flower. The best way to understand why Northern Emeralds cannabis is quickly becoming a gold standard in the industry is to meet the people who got us to this point.
The superior quality of Northern Emeralds cannabis derives its value from the superior quality of our Head Cultivators, Tyler and Alex. Truth be told, Northern Emeralds wouldn’t exist without these two experts.
Alex, the man behind Titan OG, has perfected his craft over nearly a decade of dedication. After a two-year vetting process, Alex chose to singularly devote himself to Titan. That was six years ago; since that time, Titan’s reputation has played no small role in helping Northern Emeralds become a major player in the California cannabis scene.
How did Alex master this remarkable but notoriously difficult strain? “It’s my style to stick with something, and stay stubborn until it’s right. We can’t grow the same quantity as we could with other strains, but we hear so much great feedback from people who love Titan, and that makes it worth the extra effort. The pride that comes from producing such an elegant and nourishing flower inspires me to keep perfecting my methods.”
Most cannabis companies would be thrilled to have one such master cultivator on payroll, but we have two. Tyler, the mind behind Sapphire Kush, is a staunchly science-based thinker and tireless innovator. His drive to constantly improve our cultivation spaces and growing methodologies is unmatched. Tyler is a master designer of “systems that minimize resource demands while simultaneously creating a product that is truly exceptional.” Those systems have rocketed Northern Emeralds to the cutting edge of our industry.
Even the best cannabis flower needs a top-notch manicurist to bring out its true form. “Our job is to make every single flower look unaltered, like it was plucked from the plant, put in a jar, and presented to the consumer,” says Emma, our exceptionally talented Manicure Team Leader. “The perfectionism that underlies our methods makes invisible the thousands of tiny movements and steps in the process that brought the flower to its final condition.”
Most people only experience our products in their final forms, and rarely imagine the myriad steps our flowers take to find their way to consumers. To streamline this process, we rely on big picture thinkers like Kristyn, our Director of Marketing and Internal Operations. “Striving for perfection means always being careful with decisions and not cutting corners,” Kristyn says. She plays a key role in helping Northern Emeralds “balance our ambitions with the realities of our product and our organization. Collaboration is critical to our success, so it’s a matter of integrating different skill sets in an effective and fruitful way. When we do this, Northern Emeralds is at its best.”
Within every great company, there’s at least one visionary at the heart of the organization––an individual who articulates and embodies the purpose of the whole. Cody, our Founder and Chief of Operations, firmly believes that “in the pursuit of perfection, you have to sweat the small stuff.” His business philosophy encompasses the entire Northern Emeralds process, “from clone cutting all the way to the dispensary door.” This holistic approach guides his every decision. Cody’s expertise doesn’t stop at the production of great cannabis; he brings people together, effortlessly connecting cultivators, industry innovators, and aficionados:
“Our ultimate goal is to deliver a flower that generates a positive stream of feedback from every single person who works with it or consumes it. In fact, sometimes our goal is to get no feedback at all. When someone experiences cannabis in a perfect way, they don’t have a critical reaction. They just lose themselves in pure enjoyment. Our work is all about creating that moment, and it’s from that moment that the rewards of this business flow––experiential, financial, and interpersonal.”
We started Northern Emeralds because we believe perfection is not a goal to be attained, but rather an unattainable wellspring of constant inspiration. Each member of our team plays an indispensable role in creating an exceptional business environment where people and plants thrive together. For Northern Emeralds, there is no distinction between the cultivation of great cannabis and the cultivation of great people.
This blog is where we will share the stories of the people and personalities behind our flowers. We hope you’ll join us for the journey.
We appreciate you taking the time to join us at the new home of Northern Emeralds.
This blog is our medium for telling the Northern Emeralds story. It’s a platform for our experiences, opinions, ambitions, news, photography, and anything else we want to share with you. We want you to know who we are and why we cherish our work. Our relationship with cannabis is an ever-evolving, never-ending process that inspires us to strive for the perfect flower, each and every time.
Drawing from a rich history and deep knowledge, driven by a tireless curiosity and work ethic, Northern Emeralds grows the best cannabis in California.