Year in Review

These Five Colorado Marijuana Brands Burned Bright in 2021

Rosin had a hot 2021, but who stood out the most?
Rosin had a hot 2021, but who stood out the most? Jacqueline Collins
Last year gave Colorado marijuana shoppers too many options to choose from, but a handful still managed to stand out. Craft growers and solventless extractors dominated the hype train in 2021, many of them with good reason.

Here are five brands that caught our attention in 2021:

Soiku Bano
Rosin wasn't new in 2021, but it had one helluva year, and few brands exemplified that like Soiku Bano. The new Colorado extraction outfit helped push cold-cured rosin to the forefront of dabbers' minds, creating a strong reputation for the brand despite not having the capacity of the bigger hash makers out there. Soiku Bano's cream-colored rosin, the result of curing at a cooler temperature than the traditional process, is usually rolled into a ball resembling a tiny THC bao bun. And they're just as delicious: Our recent list of Colorado's best rosin labeled Soiku Bano's take on Tropicanna Cookies as "one of the tastiest citrus dabs" in a long time. The boutique firm's profile rose high enough last year that Cheeba Chews enlisted Soiku Bano to provide rosin for the edibles manufacturer's new line of rosin-infused gummies and taffy in Colorado.

Do you have an annoying friend who always criticizes everyone else's weed, and "only smokes the best"? Throw a few Snaxland nugs on the table next time the pot snob pipes up. The first bong rip will taste so good that they'll forget how strong it was, and the second toke will put them down for the count. That's what we call a flawless victory.

Snaxland flower looks straight out of a comic book — vividly striking in every way, and intimidating to the uninitiated. Considering how many dispensaries carried the Colorado cultivator last year, that feat's even more impressive. Snaxland pumped out Denver's best cuts of numerous strains (Apple Fritter and Jealousy, among others) and even partnered with Dadirri Extracts to create some of the best water hash in Colorado. Plenty of growers had big years in 2021, but we're not sure any of them raised their profiles like Snaxland did.
click to enlarge Rosin edibles are on the rise in Colorado, but there are still just a handful of brands to choose from. - COURTESY OF DIALED IN
Rosin edibles are on the rise in Colorado, but there are still just a handful of brands to choose from.
Courtesy of Dialed In
Dialed In
Rosin's big push leaked into the edibles game in 2021, as a handful of new brands (and a few established ones) began offering gummies, chocolates and drinks made with the solventless extract. Yet they were all playing catch-up to Dialed In, and still probably haven't gotten there yet (quite a feat for a company that's just two years old). Dialed In's sous-vide rosin gummies were Colorado's first to successfully embrace cannabis flavors, with each package listing the strains used in production and the popular Colorado growers that grew them. As more rosin competition enters the edibles market, it will be interesting to see what the OG cooks up.

Green Dot Labs
Most growers and extractors stick to their craft, but Green Dot Labs ranked at the top of both last year. The Boulder-based operation is best known for making live resin and rosin, with Green Dot's black and blue label (think Johnny Walker, but better) extractions considered among the best in their respective categories in Colorado. Shit, even the silver label would win a Pepsi challenge against more expensive options out there. What really sets Green Dot apart, though, is the flower following it achieved in 2021. Built on in-house genetics and in relatively short supply, Green Dot's nugs routinely sell out before the day is over. After we tried the grow's Fortissimo and Lemon Butter Rum to close out the year, Green Dot will be one huge blip on our radar in 2022.

This Commerce City dispensary launched just over three years ago, but it's quickly grown into a hydra of sorts, now offering wholesale flower and concentrate under its Cuban Crew and Habana Extracts labels. The family business pumps out some of the most sought-after flower in Colorado, keeping around old favorites like the always-popular Con Leche while testing out new phenotypes for customer feedback. That constant experimentation and customer engagement left pot nerds curious about what's next. Count us among them.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.