With hype levels already high on the elite cannabis they’ve put on Los Angeles Dispensary shelves over the last year, Doja Exclusives premiered their much anticipated in-house lineup of genetics to the market last week.
One of the gripes about the legal marketplace from the headiest of heady folks is the general quality of product. But some names transcend that argument thanks to consistent fire making it to dispensary shelves and reminding consumers time over time why we recognize their work the way we do. Doja Exclusives, more commonly known as Doja.Pak in the world of Instagram hype, exotic Fanta and things of the sort, is now in the mix in this transcendence conversation. Over the last year, they brought their own seat to the table and now they’re telling everyone you ain’t seen nothing yet ahead of the first drop of in-house genetics done in collaboration with Wizard Trees.
“I mean, I’ve had shelf space for about a year now in the legal market space, but this is my first one that’s actually like our genetics we’ve done,” Doja.Pak Founder Ryan Bartholomew told L.A. Weekly on the eve of the big drop. “We did a few white labeling deals. But that was nothing that we created or endorsed as being our flagships. This RS11 is something that’s exclusive to us 100 percent.”
So why all the hype? RS11 is a pairing of OZK with Pink Guava that was then crossed with a Sunset Sherbert backcross phenotype known as Black Sherb for a tendency to get darker than other versions of the strain. That Black Sherb pheno was originally bred by DEO farms, then hit with the pollen from Wizard Tree’s OZK x Pink Guava male. All of those strains have at some point driven their own waves of enthusiasm. According to Bartholomew, last Friday featured cannabis enthusiasts around the country flying in to get their hands on RS11 drop.
Like many cannabis businesses, the official entities around Doja were formed in 2016. June 2016 was the deadline for anyone that wanted to fully vertically integrate their business in the age of legalization to be founded. So you’ll see a lot of people that participated in the medical market for years, like Bartholomew, date the official business birthday to 2016.
“The new current cultivators came on with me three years ago in 2018. It kind of just started out as we wanted a brand to kind of showcase a good product and get recognition for that good product,” Bartholomew noted, “I feel like we have a certain level of expertise.”
In addition to being the branding mind behind Doja, Bartholomew worked in plenty of cultivation facilities, and these days he’s right there in the mix.
“I work side by side with my guys now, but yeah, we have one of the best cultivating teams in the game right now,” said Bartholomew, before noting some big names trying to contract their guys to run one of their spots. “It’s really important to have good cultivators and that’s something that we have on our side.”
With the new batch of genetics, the development cycle started all the way back in 2017. In October of 2018, the first batch of RS11 testers got in the lineup. That’s when Doja and his partners at Wizard Trees selected that keeper of RS11. “We’ve just been slowly getting it into production since it’s fully dialed in,” Bartholomew said. “Now, it’s in large rotation.”
The RS11 winner came from a batch of 100 seeds. The other winner in the pack was the #54, which Doja calls the Studio 54.
“You know it just said RS11 on the cups because it’s a rainbow sherbert project, and we felt like the Rainbow Sherbert name kind of played it down too much. It wasn’t like a really hot name,” Bartholomew explained. But he didn’t want to rename it. “Let’s just call it what’s on the cup,” he told his partners at the time. “Shit’s banging right now. Everybody’s gonna like it, RS11 kind of rolls off the tongue.”
Doja has about 10 varieties total they’re keeping active right now. Others include a Biscotti phenotype and American Pie. Seven varieties are in full production mode, “and another three that we’re rolling out slowly and then we have the next round of all new stuff that I’m not even including in that lineup, you know that we test consistently,” Bartholomew said.
Doja doesn’t always have success with these uber exotic genetics. They recently did a big test run of something that sounded can’t miss. But it didn’t work out.
“And we didn’t find anything out of that whole run that we liked,” Bartholomew said. “There were some unique things but nothing that was special enough to keep. So we’re constantly looking for the new ones, but as of right now we have about seven to 10 varieties that we’re rocking really heavy.”
Doja takes a lot of pride in the work companywide and Bartholomew doesn’t want to put out anything that he’s not super excited about. He also believes in having a variety of flavor profiles. “Not all of our stuff is falling along with that same gelato profile. Every genetic that we run needs to fill a different niche, you know?”
Bartholomew feels many of the genetics and the varieties that people are working with now are similar in character because of the fact that they’re all backcrosses. “They’re all cousins and sisters. To get new terpene profiles is something that’s innovation in our cannabis space.”
Expect Doja Exclusives to keep innovating while expanding to other states in the not-too-distant future. You can follow @Doja.pak on Instagram to stay up to date with their latest drops.