Once a California rarity, now a widely found and commonly counterfeited commodity, the Runtz strain is a staple of the hip-hop and cannabis crossover world and a model for the success that can come from crossing the two. The strain wasn’t just popularized by the culture but also originated right in the heart of it in Los Angeles.
Who Created the Runtz Strain?
Behind many of the greatest cannabis strains and brands are West Coast rappers— the Runtz strain included. Crossing Gelato and Zkittlez, Long Beach rapper Yung LB developed the strain alongside Runtz crew members Nick and Ray. The three are also collectively known as the “Cookie Boyz” for always hyping up the Cookies brand.
Yung LB first introduced Runtz in December 2017 at the influential Emerald Cup in Santa Rosa, California. They created hype around the strain using the same recipe and music marketing tactics that fellow rapper Berner used to build the Cookies brand. This especially worked because of their connection with Berner, which built credibility for the Runtz brand.
By the time California’s adult-use cannabis sales started in January 2018, Runtz had a strong reputation and buzz. Dozen of rap songs fit the Runtz name into their rhymes, even further building the hype and demand for the physical product. Simultaneously and still to this day, the Runtz name is also found widely on the illicit market on counterfeit packaging.
“It’s not different than Alexander Wang droppin’ a shirt. Or Supreme. We’re like that of the weed. If you want cheap weed, you can go get you a $5 Footlong, you can go smoke some Blue Dream, some Green Crack. If you want to eat Ruth’s Chris [Steak House], you can go get some Cookies, Gelato, Lemoncello, and Runtz; things of that flavor. There’s levels of it. And we do not discriminate, it’s just setting the tone. It’s just like going shopping for clothes.”
– Yung LB
By mid-2018, the strain’s boutique Northern California growers couldn’t keep up with the demand. That’s when Cookies stepped in and added the strain to their roster. They also created new Runtz cultivars like the award-winning White Runtz.
Cookies expanded the Runtz brand to other legal markets and continue to put efforts towards making authentic products more accessible. The Runtz crew put in the work, but Cookies is to thank for the scale that it has grown to.
In 2020, Runtz was named Leafly’s Strain of The Year. This coveted title is based on many things like search trends, expert analysis, product availability, and other awards. This is no easy feat but doesn’t come as a surprise with two-award-winning parents and years’ worth of hype behind it.
Even years later, Runtz continues to grow in popularity and expand to new markets. As of today, the word “Runtz” can be heard in over 100 rap songs, according to Genius. Additionally, the Runtz strain and its many offsprings can be found across the country in states like Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Massachusetts, Washington, and more. In addition to Cookies’ Runtz lineup, many other breeders have also tried their take on the strain that can be found on legal markets.
Where to Find Runtz
If you’re in a state without legal cannabis, you may be able to find “Runtz” near you but unfortunately, it’s likely a counterfeit product. Fake packaging is extremely easy to find and buy online nowadays so many people take advantage of this and sell false Runtz products.
If you’re located near Everett, you can find a variety of Runtz products at Kushmart South. Some of the Runtz strains you’ll find at our Everett dispensary include Pink Runtz, White Runtz, Banana Runtz, Designer Runtz, and Gorilla Runtz. You can find Runtz as flower, pre-rolls, or distillate from various brands at Kushmart South.
To browse our full selection, visit our online menu or come straight to our Everett weed shop to see what we have in stock. Our knowledgeable budtenders can point you in the right direction when choosing what Runtz products to buy in Washington State.