The Bay Area breeding team agreed to a growing and licensing deal with Denver wholesale cultivator Veritas Fine Cannabis, which now grows Cookies-bred strains for distribution.
Although the strain was originally grown as "Girl Scout Cookies" before commercial cannabis took off, Jigga and Berner adopted more generic names of baked goods after launching a legal cannabis brand — and the Girl Scouts of America threatened legal action against dispensaries selling the strain. The new names haven't hurt Cookies' popularity, though, with the brand and its founders quickly becoming a well-known entity in both the legal and underground cannabis worlds.
Per the terms of the partnership, Veritas will cultivate classic Cookies strains like Gary Payton (a popular Girl Scout Cookies phenotype) and Georgia Pie, as well as newer varieties such as Pancakes, with Cookies packaging and branding front and center. Lemonade, a branch of Cookies Fam strains more geared toward daytime, will also be grown and sold by Veritas, according to marketing and sales director Jon Spadafora.
"We thought the marriage of our grow style and their genetics would be a pretty unique marriage," he says. "We've got the right to grow Cookies genetics for a few years. As we're speaking, trucks are being sent to market."
Spadafora believes that the noses of cannabis connoisseurs will fall in love with the strains, and notes that the new batches of Cookies and Lemonade could have some of the highest levels of terpenes yet.
Terpenes — the plant compounds responsible for the smell of cannabis, hops, lavender and many other plants — have been linked to the differing effects of cannabis strains. For example, limonene (a terpene common in citrus fruits and weed strains) has shown potential uplifting and energetic qualities for some cannabis users, while pinene (a terpene common in pine trees) has been found to help focus.
Veritas's own strains typically test at about 5 to 8 milligrams of terpenes for every gram of cannabis flower, Spadafora says. "That's about double the market average right now," he explains.
Cookies strains, however, have been testing at around 11 to 17 milligrams of terpenes per gram of flower. "Those high levels of terps result in some of the most consistent effects in cannabis," he points out.
Although Jigga and Berner are widely regarded as the fathers of Girl Scout Cookies and several other strains on the same family tree, Spadafora says that the company won't take legal action against other Colorado cannabis businesses profiting off weed with the same name, including Veritas. (The plant is federally illegal, so breeders can't currently trademark cannabis strains, anyway.)
"These guys are such phenomenal breeders, their strains are everywhere already. Growers around the state have been growing Girl Scout Cookies for years already, and there are so many strains out there that are Cookies-based," Spadafora says. "Growers in the state will continue to be able to do that."
Dispensaries around Colorado are expected to start selling Cookies and Lemonade strains by Friday, May 8.