The Grow-Off is a science-based cannabis growing competition based in Colorado, but also hosted in California and Oregon. The event takes clones from huge mother plants grown in each state, gives them to a cast of different growers, and tells them to go grow the best weed possible. It was started in 2016 by former seed company owner Samantha Taylor and former Denver Post pot critic Jake Browne as a response to the dire need for merit-based — not pay-to-play — cannabis competitions.
On how The Grow-Off works, Taylor told me, “Lab testing has really grown a lot since this started and we decided to create a completely science-based competition in that our control variable is everyone gets the same genetics, so it’s not like who had the best seed or whatever. Then they submit to the same lab and the lab is essentially judge and jury. Our awarding categories are [based on] who grows the most cannabinoids and who grows the most terpenes.”
And how does it benefit growers? Taylor said, “Often, growers will get sponsored by products. We do a homegrow and a commercial competition, so a lot of our home growers will use this as a resume piece to move up in the industry and get a job.” Commercially, she continued, “We spend the four months of the competition posting and promoting all the teams that are in it. We encourage them to charge more for it — you spent extra time on this; and we hear that The Grow-Off strain really flies off of the shelves. Consumers are watching the process of little clone to final flower and they’re excited to try the winner. The engagement has been fun to watch.”