If you google ‘how to get a license to grow weed in Canada’ the list of required costs quickly brings you to the conclusion that only the rich play this game. Not surprisingly, most Canadian cannabis companies have no clue what they’re doing. They produce speed-dried, irradiated, THC-only “flower” or distillate not because it’s what the consumer wants but for the same reason they do everything: profits.
There’s this fallacy that because the market is buying up all this THC-centric crap it must be in demand. Cannabis is a relatively new substance to most folks and even the connoisseurs are just now developing the true science behind the plant. In our upcoming Volume 3, to be released this Wednesday, we talked to Rick Moriarty who helps run High North Labs about this new developing science. One of the things we learned from speaking with him and other industry experts is that if you keep drying product then it’s THC count is technically higher. The amount of THC per gram of total weight will go up if the rest of the product shrinks. That’s why most cannabis on the lower end of the price scale in Canada is so dry and flavourless.
Compare that flower with Cody Coulson’s Animal Face Cold Cured Live Rosin. It’s basically the opposite. Made from water-sieved hash, Coulson’s rosin is the most flavourful product on the legal market. To learn more about his hash making and the rosin pressing process check out our piece on Coulson titled “All Natural.” Essentially, the care and quality Coulson puts into his product is a crystallization of all those things the cheap profiteers are missing.
Unfortunately, folks like Coulson are few and far between. Every time a cannabis connoisseur spends $50 on an eighth (before taxes!) they’re essentially gambling. That’s a major reason I started Stash: all of my friends kept asking me what the best weed in Canada was and where they could get it. They wanted to know who had the highest potency edibles, who grew organic, who grew locally. The answers were difficult to find. Almost all “journalistic” coverage of the industry is focused on the C-level executives of public companies or blatant advertainment and influencing. Who could you trust?
When I recommend cannabis to a friend or family I want them to know I’ve done my research. I’m just OCD like that. I’ll always recommend Msiku because their CEO spent more than an hour on the phone taking my questions. I know that even if they fuck something up I can ask them about it. Besides that, they’ve got incredible product that rarely requires irradiation. That means it’s tastier and better for you in a number of ways. They are majority owned by an Indigenous group in Nova Scotia called the Mi’kmaq and honestly that just makes me feel good. Indigenous people have been fucked over by my ancestors for a long time. Guilt-free weed? Who can say no to that?
But what if your store has run out of Msiku? What if it’s not available at your local cannabis dispensary? Obviously, I’d have to expand my search. That search led me to a six-month investigation of a workplace in Calgary that I’m publishing Wednesday in Volume 3. That story, along with many others, will be available for free digitally (so feel free to share) and can be purchased in soft or hard cover format in our shop.
While you wait for that story to come out take a scroll through our list of “Most Rooted” cannabis companies. This is a list of the top 10 best cannabis companies in Canada. To make this list licensed producers must be well-regarded in the industry as pushing forward what a consumer finds acceptable. They innovate, they create genetics, they bring incredible weed to us all at reasonable prices and should be recognized for doing it without temporary labour. If you know of a reason why a company on this list should be removed please reach out to us over email at email@example.com. WE ALWAYS ACCEPT ANONYMOUS TIPS.
Without further ado here are our Most Rooted: the top ten best Canadian cannabis companies (subject to updates).
Canada’s Top 10 Best Cannabis Companies
#1:Msiku is the consumer-facing brand of Atlanticann, a licensed cannabis producer located in Sackville, Nova Scotia. As mentioned earlier, they’re majority owned by the Mi’kmaq, an Indigenous group which once spanned most of the Maritimes. By never using pesticides and forcing their staff to shower every time they enter a grow room Msiku set the standard for cannabis cultivation at a large scale. The phenos they select place an equal focus on both THC and terpenes, flavonoids and other metabolites that influence the cannabis experience. Msiku also listens to their customer base: they recently released concentrates of their popular White Wedding pheno and are always on the hunt for something special. To read more about them check out our in-depth feature from Volume 2.
#2: Carmel Cannabis, located in Oro Medonte, Ontario, is arguably one of the best brands in Canada’s cannabis space. Driven by a team of incredibly dedicated legacy folks, Carmel’s seed bank breeding experience is in many ways one of the few representations of the legacy cannabis culture in today’s legal space. They recently released Dim Mac, their own creation, to wide acclaim putting another feather in their cap after the success of Animal Face. Carmel’s offerings to date have been so good they’re the only Canadian cannabis company to have a rap song made about them.
#3:Reef Organic is another licensed cannabis producer in Nova Scotia that makes our top ten list of the best legal weed growers in Canada. Their price point is higher than most but if you can afford Reef’s cannabis you should treat yourself. Similar to Carmel, these organic farmers put an equal focus on THC and the rest of cannabis plant’s metabolites. On top of all that they have a medical program focused on military veterans and use aquaponics to feed nutrients to their cannabis plants. The koi fish which convert fish food into plant food live for decades and have all been given names. Two of them even had a baby recently and you can help name him!
#4:Simply Bare Organic is based in British Columbia. They consistently produce top quality cannabis, including solventless cannabis concentrates like hash and rosin. Their attention to detail shines through in every aspect of their brand and product, leading to some seriously loyal customers. Their organic approach to growing means that like Reef they’re a little more expensive but when you’re inhaling a product it’s good to make sure it’s as pure as possible. Simply Bare’s brought some great strains to market. It’ll be interesting to see how they continue to differentiate themselves from the crowd going forward.
#5: With a PhD on staff Blkmkt has cranked out some fascinatingly dense buds. Some of the most interesting cultivars, like Alien Sinmint and Macflurry, have come from this cannabis producer. They were also one of the first companies on the legal Canadian weed market to sell a blunt. Which is dope.
#6: Crowd favourite MTL Cannabis did one thing and did it right. Their Sage n’ Sour is a staple in most budtender’s stash because of its incredibly low price point and stunning terpene results. Located in Montreal, these legacy farmers made the switch to legal and I’m very happy they did. Their latest release, Cookies and Creme, recently hit SQDC shelves in Quebec and should be in Ontario soon.
#7:Goodbuds Organic Cannabis located on Saltspring Island on Canada’s west coast is a shining light in a sea of sharks. Growing indoors and outdoors, the folks at Goodbuds won an award for their hash rosin earlier this year. We feature their Mango Taffie in our upcoming release of Volume 3 because of its unique flavour and incredible effects. Living soil really does make a difference.
#8:Jonny Chronic might not have the same brand exposure as Msiku or Carmel but their cannabis flower speaks for itself. Growing in their former elementary school, now converted to produce cannabis for the Canadian market, the people behind Jonny Chronic have an incredible respect for weed. Read more about them on our blog here.
#9: With only a few cultivars on offer FLOWR is focusing much like MTL Cannabis. From British Columbia, FLOWR’s weed can be counted on for a terpene-rich, full spectrum experience unlike most of its competition. Earlier this year they also started a petition to free Canadians from non-violent cannabis convictions. Why more companies aren’t doing this baffles us.
#10: Hailing from Quebec, Lot420′s cannabis is aiming for top spot and taking no prisoners on its way. Their Gelato #33 ripped through Ontario’s market when it showed up earlier this year. I’m excited to see what they bring to market next.
This list is very subjective and will fluctuate wildly from season to season depending on a variety of factors. Regardless, this list showcases some of Canada’s best cannabis producers and that can’t be a bad thing.
Keep your eyes peeled for our free digital release of Volume 3 this Wednesday. In the meantime, why not flip through Volume 1 or Volume 2?