Best of L.A. Cannabis 2020

As the country remains consumed by the elections (and probably will be for weeks to come), it’s a tense moment in history to say the least. For many, finding ways to relax and elevate the mood is a priority right now. So our annual Best of L.A. Cannabis issue (in print and online) could not have come at a better time. Indeed, according to data via cannabis analytics firm Headset and cannabis ecommerce platform Jane, this week showed a marked increase in sales, with tincture and sublinguals, beverages, capsules and edibles all spiking in popularity, and weed in general enjoying 60% higher online sales throughout election day.

Beyond politics, 2020’s been pretty horrendous for everyone and cannabis’ popularity increase is no surprise. The coronavirus and the challenges that have followed in terms of closures, layoffs, cancellations and restrictions, not to mention lack of contact with others has been tough to say the least. Many have turned to cannabis to make things a little more bearable, and this has led to more acceptance of the plant and its positive effects on well being and the economy.

The industry continues to grow in exciting ways, with more women and people of color not only getting involved, but supporting important causes that make the world a better place beyond the highs they provide. Here, we present our picks for the Best of L.A. Cannabis 2020.

Table of Contents

(Courtesy Jungle Boys)

Best Imports – Jungle Boys TLC & Los Angeles Farmers

We’re going to talk about how elite every Jungle Boys location is without mentioning their weed. Because even if they weren’t growing on their own, their dispensary lineup and the farms coming across the menu on a regular basis show there are zero ego issues over at their East Olympic headquarters or its sister locations. Time and time again when we ask so many of the best cannabis minds in the state where we can get their product, they tell us it really does well at TLC. Don’t sleep on anything on those menus. 3650 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles; (323) 269-2455, JungleBoys.com. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy The Pottery)

Widest Selection of the Hits – The Pottery

Many people believe selection is king when it comes to finding the dispensary for them. With almost 100 flower options on their menu at the moment, it would take those finickiest of smokers a few months before they’d have to smoke the same weed again at The Pottery. But within the massive lineup are some real hitters. I’d currently recommend checking out the Kryptochronic from Alien Labs, Clout King’s signature Peanut Butter Cup, or one of the other names you read here. 5042 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 452-9833, thepottery.la. (Jimi Devine)

Courtesy Sherbinskis

Best Place to Scoop Original Gelato – Sherbinskis

There is a lot of Gelato out there these days but you can still get close to the original thanks to Sherbinskis on Fairfax. Some of the Gelato available to the public came from bag seed for sure, but with Sherbinskis’ work you have the actual selections dating back to the original lineage. Cookies can trace back too, but Sherbinski took his work in another direction creating his own unique flavor profiles. Regardless of clothing collabs and trademarked shades of orange, the weed is great and definitely worth checking out. 345 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, (213) 246-3994, sherbinskisfairfax.com. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy Greenwolf)

Menu for The Ages – Greenwolf

Time and time again since the medical cannabis era, the biggest names in the cannabis scene have found their way to the shelves of Greenwolf. Over the years they helped start the real excitement around higher-end cannabis, when people really began dissecting the way we talk about what constitutes top shelf pot, and they knew Greenwolf would be in the real exotic end of the discussion. Not because they were looking for names, but the actual heat that could bring home trophies. This was again proven as they left Los Angeles to win cannabis cups in NorCal and Denver. greenwolf.la (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy AHHS)

Most Old School Authenticity – AHHS

The team at Alternative Herbal Health Services in West Hollywood, or AHHS WeHo for the cool kids, has been providing Los Angeles area cannabis enthusiasts with the heat since 2004. Regardless of whether you’re a celebrity, someone’s granddad or both, you’ll have access to a spread of fine California cannabis. That’s what comes with the relationships you’re able to build after that many years in business. There is essentially only so much heat to go around, and thanks to their proven track record AHHS always seems to find itself on the list to get some. 7828 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, (323) 654-8792, ahhsweho.com. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy Cookies)

Best Store to Wear Your Comfy Shopping Shoes – Cookies Melrose

The biggest lines I’ve ever seen at a dispensary opening have always been at a Cookies location. They’re one, two and three on the list. Two years since its grand opening, Cookies Melrose is still poppin hard. But with strains like Gary Payton and the first dibs on all Cookies’ exclusive collaborations and genetics, we get why people are willing to wait a bit before they get their goods. Besides their own products, the rest of the menu is also reputable with great names from around the state. But make sure to act chill if you’re going to the neighborhood, not everyone in the area is excited about how popular the shop is! 8360 Melrose Ave #101, Los Angeles, (323) 433-4743, cookiesmelrose.com. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy Kiva)

Best Edible for the Faint of Heart – Kiva Blueberries

The original microdose is still top dog in a world where everything became a microdose. Even before Prop. 64 decimated the edible market with its 100mg cap, Kiva Blueberries were already the hype. There have been many an imitation over the last few years, but the original still holds up as the best thing to put down in the middle of the table for your family after Thanksgiving dinner. When Grandma tells you how wrapped she is off of a hand full, tell her about the time you ate a 500mg edible at work and lost your sense of depth perception. Kivaconfections.com. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy Catalyst)

Best Rebranded Flame – Catalyst

Catalyst recently rebranded to its new identity, but all the positive weed vibes from the Connected years are still there. Additionally, they still have access to all that fire weed that Connected brings south. They certainly love L.A. – after the Dodgers won the World Series they spent a whole day giving everyone 32% off, so you could score $60 eighths for a little over $40 plus tax. But the home team doesn’t need to win a championship for you to save; Catalyst has a daily lineup of specials you can check on their website. 9032 Artesia Blvd Building B, Bellflower. (562) 804-0629. catalystcannabis.co. (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy Kanha)

Best Quick-Hitting Edibles – Kanha Nano Gummies

Whether you like a little dash of science with your recreational drugs or you’re a medical patient that just wants edibles that work quickly to provide relief, Kanha’s Nano Gummies have you covered, fast. They utilize nanomolecular technology to infuse the gummies with weed and your system is able to process it faster. A lot of big gummy fans (the type who consume cannabis 90% of the time in chewable form) swear by Kanha’s tech. You can get them all over town as they’re quickly becoming a dominant force in the market. sunderstorm.com/kanha-gummies/ (Jimi Devine)

(Courtesy High 90s)

Best Pre-Roll Retro Aesthetic – High 90’s

You buy pre-rolls for a couple of reasons: 1) you’re too lazy and inept to roll your own doobies, and 2) the packaging reflects the vibe and experience you seek. High 90s, a newish California brand, is all about the fun, free and fashionable lifestyle most people who smoke (or don’t) desire. Yes, the word “lifestyle” is way overused in the cannabis industry, but there is no denying its value, especially to millennials. High 90s, which is probably named as such to attract the twentysomething crowd (yes, we’d prefer “High 70s” as a Gen-Xer) is nonetheless a universally appealing brand thanks to its variety of fruity flavors (we like Pineapple and Tropical Punch) and cute, colorful packaging. We can see their sassy sampler flight box – which includes ten pre-rolls infused with wax and boasting 30-40% THC – making a lot of hipsters and influencers very happy this Christmas. high90s.com/ (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Wyllow)

Best Brand to Make you Feel like a Natural Woman – Wyllow

The new Los Angeles based female-owned cannabis brand Wyllow has a lot going for it. Debuting with three strains this past summer, they won fans pretty quickly with a sunny Sativa “Mimosa”strain and they’ve been getting attention recently via a union with cannabis supplier Stiiizy on a tasty new Gelato. Founder Camille Roistacher intended the brand to feel infused by femininity and it does (from its nature-styled packaging to its chill but thoughtful high to its promo focused on wellness and self-care), but it’s found a male fanbase as well. The indoor-grown cannabis line is sourced by Voyage Distribution, known for its work with first-generation legacy growers in California and the L.A.-based company’s proprietary strains tout smooth flavors and long-lasting, elevated effects. The brand is also part of The Floret Coalition, an anti-racist group of small business geared toward equity action and funding to serve Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities. shopwyllow.com/ (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Blaqstar)

Best Support of Equality in the Cannabis Industry – Eaze’s Equity Menu

In this era of racial reckoning and fight for equality, brands from all business sectors hopped on the bandwagon in support, but the cannabis industry did more than performative social media posts. At Eaze, the state’s largest legal cannabis marketplace and delivery service, they sought to highlight black-owned businesses in a notable way that can actually benefit people of color – by creating a special, clearly-marked Social Equity Menu featuring new brands and products to give your money to such as L.A. based companies like Blaqstar Farms (pictured) and Dreamt. Available first in the Bay Area, L.A.-based residents had the option for equitable product delivery since this past September. Eaze’s efforts “to encourage conscious consumption” made it easier to identify and purchase from these companies and hopefully even the playing field. Owned by people of color themselves, Eaze also donated $25,000 to the California NAACP and sought to educate consumers about cannabis’ role in the war on drugs and unfair profiling and incarceration of Black people. eaze.com/groups/social-equity-brands (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Netflix)

Best Documentary About Being High – Have a Nice Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (Netflix)

Though it focuses on trippier stuff like acid, ecstasy and mushrooms, this part-animated/part-talking head exploration into what it’s like to get, feel and be high is filled with stellar stoney moments. The 2020 doc is funny and anecdote-filled for sure, but the fact that it’s packed with celebrities talking shamelessly about their experiences also makes it a stigma-buster. From Sting recalling a mind-bending peyote trip to Sarah Silverman and Rosie Perez recalling wild high AF adventures out with friends to A$AP Rocky sharing full-body nirvana (“a rainbow shot out of my dick”), Have A Nice Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is an enlightening romp that anyone fond of mind-expanding consumption or even escapist buzz will enjoy. If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain, Paul Scheer, Carrie Fisher, Ben Stiller, or Deepak Chopra (who also share trippy tales), all the more so. netflix.com/title/80231917 (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Pluto TV)

Best Streaming TV Channel for Stoners – Pluto TV

It’s probably not a stretch to assert that “Netflix & chill” is more often “Netflix and fill… the pipe/bong/rolling papers” these days. But beyond the more popular streaming sites, ever wonder what’s best to screen when you toke? Our money (or lack thereof because it’s free!) is on Pluto TV. The free streaming service offers mindless visually driven fare (channels screening Bob Ross painting instruction, The Addams Family, Dark Shadows, The Johnny Carson and Carol Burnett shows and more, all 24/7) plus a music slate that’ll give you a flurry of flashbacks (an MTV block party dedicated to a different artist every hour, a live music concert channel and a slate of Vevo channels themed to R&B, pop and 70s music – the later is particularly simpatico with smoking out). If that’s not enough, there are niche channels dedicated to dogs, cats, cars, art, sports, gaming, anime, kids stuff, nature, and NASA along with broader themes such a horror, crime, and reality, with a few channels (AFV TV and FailArmy) that edit together the cell phone clips that go viral on our computers into themed packages. And yes, there’s even some pot-themed content: stars and shows from the cannabis-minded network Social Club TV (see below) take over Pluto’s Reality channel (275) every Wednesday at noon with bodacious bud content. pluto.tv (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Hopper Reserve)

Best Movie Star Inspired Brand that isn’t Cheech or Chong – Hopper Reserve

Actor and artist Dennis Hopper was one of a kind so the cannabis brand inspired by him had to be too. Created by Hopper’s daughter Marin Hopper, in partnership with The Hopper Art Trust and “brand incubator” Fiorello, Hopper Reserve is clearly more than a figurehead endeavor. The weed comes in pre-rolls as a nod to Dennis – who was reportedly a big joint guy throughout his life and always had ‘em on hand during his wild parties (attended by the likes of Andy Warhol, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, etc.). Hopper touts responsibly sourced indica, sativa and hybrid flower with cool packaging in collaboration with L.A.-based pop-artist Alia Penner, who provides groovy illustrations inspired by the man who directed Easy Rider and Colors and acted alongside James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause and Giant. A portion of proceeds go to A Future for Veterans Foundation (FVF) aiding vets with education, housing, art therapy and cannabis. hopperreserve.com/ (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Discovery)

Best TV Show about the Weed Biz – Growing Belushi (Discovery)

John’s bro and former star of According To Jim has been a cannabis fan for a very long time, and he’s been growing since 2015, with 48-plant crops that produced brands such Belushi’s Secret Stash and the reported Saturday Night Live cast fave Captain Jack’s Gulzar Afghanica (which some even called “the smell of SNL” back in the ‘70s). When cannabis became legal, Belushi sought to expand his business and document it on Discovery with the show Growing Belushi, and though it’s not currently on the channel’s schedule, you can watch past episodes online. Produced by the guys who do Deadliest Catch, it follows the actor/entrepreneur, his family and his farmers as they work on his 93 acre farm in southern Oregon, and features the cameo we all need: Dan Aykroyd (who’s in the buzz biz himself via his vodka brand Crystalhead) joining jimbo for a Blues Brothers jam. discovery.com/shows/growing-belushi. (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Emjay)

Best Delivery if You’re Unsure about Delivery – Emjay

Remember when cannabis delivery was only a dream? Now that it’s legal, there’s so many options for getting weed straight to your door, it’s hard to know which to go with. Emjay is a good choice if you’re apprehensive about the process. The delivery service offers an easy-to-navigate website and plentiful selection of products as well as free delivery and a very communicative approach via texts that bring you along in real time as your order is filled and arrives. The delivery itself is always quick and uncomplicated (the courier wears Emjay gear so identifying is easy), with multiple payment options and friendly, discreet drop-off. heyemjay.com (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Hello Again)

Best Hormonal High – Hello Again Suppositories

It’s not a subject too many women want to talk about, but menopause happens, and for the most part there’s not a lot that makes it better. Cannabis can, and two local women are out to help their fellow hormone-wrestlers with Hello Again. Carried in dispensaries throughout California, the vaginal suppositories “deliver a dose of THC/CBD punch straight to the source” to combat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, pain, brain fog, dryness and sleep problems. The “vagitories,” as creators Carrie Mapes and Patty Pappas (pictured above) call them, are infused with THC, CBD and all-natural herbal ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, avocado oil, cocoa butter, green tea extract, rosemary extract, vitamin E, lavender and Roman chamomile, all of which are meant to relax, regulate and reduce the rage and changes that come with age. helloagainproducts.com (Lina Lecaro)

(Courtesy Calma)

Most Inviting Shopping Experience – Calma on La Brea

If the pink building covered with green fauna didn’t provide a hint, Calma – the WeHo-adjacent cannabis shop on La Brea Ave. – provides a new approach to retail weed. Unlike most recreational dispensaries, this mega-store isn’t hidden in some dark crevice you can’t see inside of til you get past a security guard or two. Calma is bright, open and inviting, with giant windows that any passerby can look into and ogle. And boy is there a lot to ogle. Giant LCD screens cover an entire wall and feature relaxing imagery like waterfalls and ocean waves, while every other inch of the store is filled with eye-pleasingly stocked cannabis, from pre-rolls to edibles to everything in between. In terms of flower offerings, they’re presented in a candyshop-like set-up, with brands arranged by price point inside clear plastic cylinders with vents. Customers can see and smell before they buy and if they have questions, the budtenders are always nearby to help. Drawing inspiration from its name – which is an Italian feminine noun meaning peacefulness and tranquility – Calma has a notable feminine vibe and the store clearly strives for inclusivity in products and staff. The chill atmosphere and education-minded approach make for a forward-thinking store model minus the stigma of the past. 1155 N. La Brea Ave. calmawesthollywood.com (Lina Lecaro)

Best Girl Boss-Driven Business – Ganja Goddess

As Covid-19 has spiked, so has the need for delivery services. Female entrepreneur Tara Wells – cofounder of Ganja Goddess retail and delivery platform – aims to capitalize, offering consumer packaged goods (CPGs) and what her company touts as a “curated-online cannabis lifestyle experience.” Incorporating wellness via a CBD Goddess line (featuring consumer and pet CBD products branded as Ganja Dogness) and a Ganja Goddess Foods component (offering premium cannabis edibles such as brownies and gingerbread as well as low-dose mints and chocolates), Wells seems to have the market covered. With attention to consumer data and consumption driving the presentation and some fun blog content on the G.G. ordering site, the California woman-owned company is a great example of cannabis’ limitless opportunities, even during tough times. goddessdelivers.com (Lina Lecaro)

Best Purse-Friendly Vape – Leune

This L.A.-based cannabis brand, founded by WOC-CEO Nidhi Lucky Handa, has been making its mark in the cannabis world with potent and purse-friendly products: disposable pre-rolls and vape pens in convenient old school looking tins. We especially dig Leune vapes, which are small and gold-speckled, evoking a mid-century modern feel, with equally old school mintbox style storage. We also like that they promote clean weed and terpene infusion, and that they are dedicated to normalizing and even elevating cannabis use on a cultural level. As the company expands its product line (they also offer PAX pods and just added Live Resin for the hardcore canna crowd), this thoughtful approach should serve Leune well. www.leune.co (Lina Lecaro)

Best All Cannabis All the Time Entertainment – Social Club TV

Beyond its weekly #Smokeout block on Pluto TV (see above), the marijuana-inspired network known as Social Club TV has tons of online and mobile content to inhale. If you are a canna-seur, there is something for you here, as they claim to have the world’s largest exclusive library of dedicated cannabis content. Created in collaboration by Josh Otten (CEO of RONIN) and Gilbert “Berner” Milan Jr. (CEO of Cookies), the network is full of intriguing shows. There’s stuff about biz like Bigger Business and Marijuana Mania; a news program – XYZNews exploring topics such as cannabis legislation; lifestyle shows like Pot Pie (cooking) and B-Real’s The Smokebox (in which the rapper tokes with a guest in one of his classic cars) and Dr. Greenthumb video podcast; plus a diverse array of documentaries, movies and talk shows celebrating weed culture by people who clearly love everything about it. thesocialclub.tv (Lina Lecaro)

More editorial from our Best of L.A. Cannabis 2020 print issue:

Best of L.A. Cannabis 2020: Farms, Local Strains, and Imports

Azure Ray’s Maria Taylor Dives Into CBD Oil

Canned Laughter: Our Nine Tips on Sips To Go

Lemonade Continues the Hunt for Fine Sativas

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