Transbay Challenge IV LA Exotic Pot Contest Winners

America’s next legendary weed strains continued their rise in the pot pantheon from the grimy streets of LA on Saturday at the epic Transbay Challenge IV.

The long road to fame for ganja growers in the $25 billion legal weed game has been through a scorching, graffiti-covered warehouse and backlot off Olympic Avenue and Highway 10E. A short ride from Lyft past Skid Row, the sold-out one-day flagship event hosted dozens of booths and several hundred industry cannerati.

Killer CAM Kush mints for sale.  (David Downs/Leafly)
Killer CAM Kush mints for sale. (David Downs/Leafly)
The Kalya hash team holds court in the smoke tent on Saturday.  (David Downs/Leafly)
The Kalya hash team holds court in the smoke tent on Saturday. (David Downs/Leafly)

The competitive exhibition offers the best place in the world to take the pulse of global cannabis culture. With 9.9 million residents, Los Angeles County is home to the largest legal weed market in the world. Weed celebrities came from all over the state to see the best in boutique, crafts, indoor flowers and hash. Since Instagram knows no borders, smokers everywhere watched from the galleries as we sweated and roasted amid roaring fans, punchy bass and blazing flares.

Main Breeders Compound genetics, Capulatorand masonic smoker sold seeds and clones of Pavé, Glitterbomb, Trans Am, as well as feminized crosses of Wilson.

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The Transbay Challenge IV judges went for 21 blooms, or 10 hashes in a Herculean day.  (David Downs/Leafly)
The Transbay Challenge IV judges went for 21 blooms, or 10 hashes in a Herculean day. (David Downs/Leafly)

A large panel of high-tolerance peers from breeding (Masonic), growing (Alien Labs’ Ted Lidie), and the media (Forbes’ Lindsey Bartlett; Jon Cappetta of High Times) spent the day judging all the entries at once. Behind velvet ropes they squinted and doodled, sometimes waving and smiling from orbit at us Earthlings.

For 12 Hours in Los Angeles, promoters Jimi Devin (THE weekly Leafly columnist and freelancer) and Neil Delacava at Chronic culture helped make weed fun again, really fun. Lord knows we need it after surviving ‘rona and all.

So who won the Transbay Challenge IV?

Two credible players in the cottage industry have turned to new positions to brand their plaques: Fidel, as well as LA Family Farms.

Best Flower—Fidel’s ‘KMZ’

Fidel, 30, grower from Adelanto, California and hashish influencer, accepts her flowers.  (David Downs/Leafly)
Fidel, 30, grower from Adelanto, California and hashish influencer, accepts her flowers. (David Downs/Leafly)

Influential manufacturer of infused products Fidel of Fidel’s hash hole– a mind-blowing joint with a hash worm in it – took on Best Flower as a grower. The 30-year-old beat a world-class field of 21 entries using the KMZ strain, a Kush Mints x Zkittlez cross. Expect to see a lot more of this suddenly obvious genius idea. Zkittlez adds aromatic volume, depth and color to the excellent minty gas of Kush Mints. It’s a clear victory for the white-green grass in the era of the purple pot partisanship. We saw our first KMZ as an Alien Labs Xeno (our favorite of ’21), then had some ‘KMZK’ in Tradecraft, LA a few weeks ago. It’s very strong, with a better taste than Kush Mints alone.

Best Hash—LA Family Farms Rainbow Belts

The award-winning Rainbow Beltz live hash rosin sold out fast.  (David Downs/Leafly)
The award-winning Rainbow Beltz live hash rosin sold out fast. (David Downs/Leafly)

LA Family Farms craft store has changed producer position to win the Best Hash Challenge with Rainbow Belts. “I love what I do,” the LA Family Farms rep said.

This solvent-free, pure, whitish, electrically fruity and gassy hash has never touched butane. The expensive extraction process relies on ice water, cold temperatures, heat and pressure, labor and time.

The CAM excels inside the Sacramento weed hotbed.  (David Downs/Leafly)
The CAM excels inside the Sacramento weed hotbed. (David Downs/Leafly)

Sacramento producer CAM also earned her 1st place plaque for Best Hash Infused Joint, aka Best Hash Hole, at Chronic Culture’s City Ride Smokeout event.

The ‘Z’ + ‘Mints’ era is coming

What does the Transbay Challenge IV portend for global weed cultivation?

Buy these Z crosses, especially in the Mints range. (Or make your own salad and get closer.) We don’t yet know who made the KMZ (aka KMZK, or Xeno, or Zkittlez Mints) – there’s probably more than one. So let us know.

Meanwhile, Rainbow Belts is Zkittlez from Archive Seed Bank in Moonbow. Behind that, Moonbow takes Zkittlez to Leafly Strain of the Year 2021 Dosidos, also from Archive Seed Bank’s Fletcher Watson, TheDocta.

Do you already see all the flying Z genes? Go ahead, and thanks to the Z team of Terp Hogz.

It’s a weed buyer’s market

LA Family Farms flavors for guests. (David Downs/Leafly)

The promoters of Chronic Culture persevered with a private event where you could smoke and dab, but also buy legal weed from exhibitors, via the delivery service Alpaca Club LA. The alpaca crushed him. A QR code on the cabins opened a menu on your phone, you filled your basket, checked out and the bag was waiting for you at the Alpaca table; cash or debit.

Some of California’s best legal cannabis buys dotted the exhibit:

  • 50 grams of LA Family Farms of their cup-winning Rainbow Belts hash rosin. Rosin prices continue to fall thanks to a growing supply of freshly frozen flowers, a boon for the heady wood.
  • Capulator’s LA Made ‘Cap Junky’ flower eighths for $40. And MAC1 Certified Cap for $35. Being able to buy MAC from Cap makes the Peace of Green/LA Made state at 1155 E Pico Blvd, LA one of the best in this universe.
  • Ember Valley Red Runtz (Red Pop x Runtz) eighths were $35.
  • MOCA California State Fair Winner The Wookies (The White x GSC) went for $40. The Wookies tested the highest THC level in the state.

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The state of the terp union? Strong

Oakland's Deep East Farms is calling the shots.  (David Downs/Leafly)
Oakland’s Deep East Farms is calling the shots. (David Downs/Leafly)

High taxes, a thick bureaucracy, monster competition and the resulting fall in prices brutalize Californian producers. The bright side ? The pace of innovation in looks, flavors and effects keeps accelerating. We smelled every pot on every stand to walk away with these release notes:

  • Great East released some of the most anticipated blooms of the year, their Zoap cross – we picked up Opal and Y Squared (The Y bx2). Stay tuned.
  • magic trees had their new RS54 and Sangria.
  • Doja Pack had the new Scratch and Sniff.
that of San Francisco Meaning cannabis Khalifa Mints and crushed Grape Gas. (David Downs/Leafly)
  • Fiore run out of goat’s milk amid intense demand.
  • We need a Sacramento Z farmer by Heisenberg BTY (Better Than Yours) new CereZa and Fresa in our lives.
  • Broken Promises clothing sister jar tag, Your Highnessdebuted a tasty Shady Meringue from their Shady Apples (Kush Mints #11 male x Apple Fritter).
  • They hand-water the soil beds indoors at Fuego de Santa Cruz Family Farms to grow Crazy 8s (another Zkittlez cross). And MOCA at Eureka also gardens in the ground, indoors, smashing Gary PaytonCherry Lime Runtz and terpinolene peach.
  • Keeping Those Terps Fresh – Addison DeMoura Pyramid Pipeline operates one of the first cannabis controlled low-temperature supply chain networks. MOCA also refines a “cold chain” that keeps weed below 60 degrees until you smoke it.

“We are terpene producers. But we are also terpene preservatives.

MOCA Humboldt Aaron Salles

The low-tech alternative if you can’t keep your flower and hash cool is to just smoke it faster, DeMoura joked.

“Two grams of rosin?” Pssh. It’s just four dabs! he chuckled.

Addison 'Terphova' Demoura—hash consultant at Pyramid Pipeline;  left.  (David Downs/Leafly)
Addison ‘Terphova’ Demoura—hash consultant at Pyramid Pipeline; left. (David Downs/Leafly)

Rural and urban farms fight for the ring

California’s interior now goes hand in hand with coastal cities for the best indoor grown trees – from Sacramento CAMWhere Turtle Pie (get their Sidewalk Sundae), at 1,800 Lights Ember Valley from Redding, at TruLeaf (buy the Run TMC) in Modesto, CA.

Winner Fidel now gardens in the Tatooine town of Adelanto, California. No one can deny this desert heat.

“You’re going to see a lot more,” Fidel told the crowd.

Sign us up.

David Downs

David Downs leads news and lifestyle coverage as Leafly.com’s California bureau chief. He has written for WIRED, Rolling Stone and Billboard, and is the former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the author of several cannabis books, including “Marijuana Harvest” by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. He co-hosts The Hash podcast. TW: @davidrdowns | IG @daviddowns

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