Runtz strains genetics began to circulate widely in the California grower community beginning in 2018—either as bagseed or cuttings—creating an entire world of official and knockoff white Runtz , Pink Runtz and Obama runtz products.
Officially, Cookies sells White Runtz and Pink Runtz, and they’re doing a White Runtz feminized seed line of crosses with Compound Genetics in Oregon that includes Zruntz (Zkittlez 2.0 X White Runtz) and Rose Gold Runtz (Apples & Bananas X White Runtz).
Unofficially, 2020 became the year of Obama Runtz—an illicit market branding effort that went viral, complete with colorful packaging symbolizing hope and change. Outside of licensed stores, there’s no regulatory body arbitrating authenticity claims. While some think Obama Runtz is more likely a strain closer to Obama OG, the internet craze around Obama Runtz amused millions in 2020.
“The strain game is kind of the name game,” says Ridgeline’s Gellman. “Everybody switches names and puts names on different things that are the same things.”
For example, White Runtz and Pink Runtz don’t appear all that different.
“This year I had White Runtz and Pink Runtz side by side in the same greenhouse and honestly I could not tell the difference. Not at all. It was kind of a bummer,” says Gellman, who grew this year for Cookies.
Also, Runtz flowers ceded shelf space to manufactured products—vape carts and so-called diamond extracts of Runtz.
And next up is Azul Runtz, says Gellman—a reported cross with Blueberry Muffin that adds weight.
Expect to see more varieties of more legal Runtz in more legal states nationwide, Berner tells Leafly. “I think the next move for Runtz is major menu expansion.”
“It’s really amazing to see what people are coming up with right now. It blows my mind being in this evolution of weed,” says Gellman.
What makes a Leafly Strain of the Year?
While picking Leafly Strain of the Year did require us to put our heads together, there’s definitely more science behind the madness.
Leafly uses a combination of data and editorial expertise to narrow down the finalists: from what’s popular in individual stores, to what’s popular in different regions of the country at the same time. We look back on a strain’s performance for a calendar year or more, and analyze its trajectory in comparison to other flower trends.
‘Our independent review excluded any input or influence from outside parties, or the Leafly sales team.’
Our independent review excluded any input or influence from outside parties, or the Leafly sales team. We contacted zero live sources for this article until after we chose the 2020 Leafly Strain of the Year.
It’s all part of how we’re helping consumers master their cannabis experience. What will be the strain of 2021? It’s already out there, building followers and clout.