“Permanent Marker,” an Indica-dominant hybrid by Seed Junky Genetics, was named the 2023 Strain of the Year by Leafly. However, there’s growing skepticism regarding Leafly’s Strain of the Year selection process, as patterns of favoritism for strains from larger companies over smaller, unique growers emerge, leading to questions about whether it’s more of a marketing gimmick than a useful award.
In 2023, topping the list of the best cannabis strains recognized by world-class experts from Leafly, is the “Permanent Marker” strain. This indica-dominant hybrid, created by Seed Junky Genetics, debuted in the market in 2022 and quickly gained popularity in the United States.
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Permanent Marker Wins Leafly Award
Leafly, a globally recognized platform for discovering cannabis, announced that “Permanent Marker”, bred in Southern California, has been chosen as the Strain of the Year for 2023. This strain, a cross of three esteemed strains – Biscotti, Jealousy (Leafly’s 2022 Strain of the Year), and Sherbet BX – is known for its impressive genetics.
Leafly data indicates that “Permanent Marker” is gaining increasing recognition among consumers and is becoming more widely available in dispensaries across the United States. Over the year, the number of stores offering this strain increased from ten to 587.
Permanent Marker – What Makes it Special?
“Permanent Marker” is characterized by a high THC level, averaging between 25 to 30 percent. Its effects, typical for high THC indica hybrids, are relaxing, making this strain ideal for evening activities such as watching movies in the comfort of one’s home. Leafly users describe its effects as tingling, stimulating, relaxing, and creativity-boosting. “Permanent Marker” stands out with dense flowers in shades of purple and green, with a floral, fruity-candy aroma.
Previous selections for Leafly’s Strain of the Year include:
- 2022 – Jealousy
- 2021 – Dosidos
- 2020 – Runtz
- 2019 – Wedding Cake
- 2018 – Gelato
In its fifth year, the Leafly Strain of the Year award honors a cannabis strain that, according to Leafly, had a unique impact on the market among over 6000 strains in the Leafly database. In recognition of its significance, “Permanent Marker” has been the most recommended new strain by sellers in cannabis shops across the country.
Leafly experts emphasize that choosing the Strain of the Year is a process that requires thorough analysis of trends and thoughtful selection. Since 2018, when the award was first given, selected strains have had a significant impact on consumer preferences and wholesale sellers’ purchasing decisions.
Leafly, as a leading global online platform dedicated to cannabis, offers information on over 6000 strains, over 3000 shop menus, and attracts millions of readers monthly. Tools available on Leafly help millions of people discover the world of cannabis each year, supporting consumer purchasing decisions and helping cannabis businesses attract and retain loyal customers.
Is the Leafly “Strain of the Year” a Marketing Gimmick?
I wonder if Leafly’s choice of “Strain of the Year” really serves the cannabis community, or is it just a marketing gimmick. Why does Leafly present a new strain as revolutionary every year, when in reality, it might just be a slightly modified version of previous ones? Are these strains genuinely better, or just a clever way to attract attention and consumer spending?
I also question the selection process for “Strain of the Year”. Is it possible that these choices are more dependent on the marketing budgets of large companies than on the actual quality and innovation of the breeds? How does this compare to smaller, artisan growers who may not have the same resources for promotion, but can offer unique and exceptional strains?
Observing these trends, I start to wonder whether it’s really worth following what Leafly considers the best. Perhaps it’s worthwhile to seek alternative sources and growers who can offer something equally good, but at a much lower price. What other strains are out there that might be overlooked due to lack of a large marketing campaign? Are we sometimes too easily misled by marketing and hype, rather than being guided by the real value and quality of the product?
Big Business vs Small Growers
When was the last time a small, artisanal cannabis grower was the “winner” of Leafly’s strain of the year? Have you ever seen Leafly’s staff choose a strain from a seed producer who didn’t pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for advertising? It seems that Leafly is turning into another big Californian company, where big money counts, not the cannabis community. Driving hype around expensive strains branded as “Strain of the Year” will surely increase revenues, which is what investors involved in the project are interested in.
As a company listed on NASDAQ, Leafly must primarily look after the interests of its shareholders, which may influence their actions, including the choice of “Strain of the Year”. Being listed on the stock exchange means that the company is under constant pressure to generate profits and increase value for shareholders. This can lead to decisions that are more focused on marketing and sales than on authentic community values.
In choosing the “Strain of the Year”, Leafly may prefer strains from breeders who have larger marketing budgets and are able to generate larger profits. This can result in promoting more commercial strains at the expense of smaller, independent growers who may offer unique or high-quality products but do not have such large means for promotion.
Ultimately, Leafly’s status as a publicly traded company may influence their approach to choosing the “Strain of the Year”, placing more emphasis on financial and commercial aspects than on pure breeding or community values.
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