For the first time in my life, I actually care about filling out a Sweet Sixteen bracket in March -- and it has nothing to do with basketball. Sixteen strains of medical marijuana were chosen for the March Reefer Madness tournament, all from the gardens of the Releaf Center.
Much like the NCAA brackets, strains face off against each other until two are left in the championship round.
The shop put together one-hundred "bracket bags" containing all sixteen strains for $80 for patients to take home and use for judging. There is also an online contest, linked abovem that anyone -- patients or not -- can enter. Photos of the strains are posted on StickyGuide.com and also appear below. Owner Zach Maas said the winning strains in the online contest will be based on THC percentages from Full Spectrum Labs results. As for the in-store strains, they'll be evaluated via user experience, with a victor decided by group votes online at the Releaf Center Facebook page.
The Releaf Center is offering a $.01 eighth every month to the best patient bracket -- and the winner of the online contest gets a 16 gig Apple iPad.
Maas said the bracket was a fun way for the shop to figure out which strains patients prefer as a way of whittling down the sixty or so strains they currently grow. He adds that the Releaf Center will donate 5 percent of the proceeds from "bracket bags" sales to SAFER. "This is medicine," he said. "But we are here to have a good time, too."
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And let me assure you, pouring over sixteen strains of herb is a good time. I spent last night going over half my bracket, and I already can see a few upsets coming down the pike. For starters, the White Widow was an amazing specimen, but Jack Flash took the game with a buzzer-beating three-point flavor shot. Other strains should be happy they made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the first place. Much like the University of Northern Colorado, the LSD strain seemed to be gifted into the bracket and got taken out handily by a very fragrant Banana Kush. The rest of my bracket will have to be kept secret until Sunday, when all entries for the contest are due.
Maas said there are about fifty patient bags left at the shop, and entries will be accepted through Sunday. Winners in both categories will be announced March 31.
In the meantime, look below and page down to see photos of the competitors:
More from our Marijuana archive: "William Breathes's ten favorite products at KushCon II."