“Everybody loves good weed, but not everybody knows what good weed is,” says Marcos, founder of CGO Lyfestyle. Those letters in the brand name stand for Connoisseur Grade Only, and its reputation has been built on providing the truest high-quality products to consumers. The company deals directly with cultivators and hashmakers, establishing a valued pipeline of premium goods to those who understand genuinely grade-A cannabis. Whether flower, edibles, or particularly hash and rosin – Marcos’s personal passion – those with curated cannabinoid palates can find the best of the best through CGO.

Watch CGO Lyfestyle founder Marcos's full interview with Honeysuckle founder Ronit Pinto and Creative Director Sam C. Long, including his tips for how to roll the perfect joint:

CGO Lyfestyle: The Best Of Cannabis And Hash For Connoisseurs

Based out of Sacramento, California, Marcos has been in the cannabis space for decades. Developing his tastes and talents in what he calls the state’s “pickiest market,” the home of globally recognized brands like Runtz, he grew from a young eager consumer to an expert roller and terpene gourmand, able to identify specific effects and healing properties from terpenes in particular strains at the drop of a hat. He studied under respected cultivators and ganjiers for years, but only created the CGO Lyfestyle brand as it is today in late 2020, feeling the time had come to introduce consumers to top-shelf cannabinoids in every category from a trusted source.

“It’s for the niche community,” Marcos mentions of his company. “Not everybody has the same qualities they’re looking for in marijuana. But whatever it is we’re looking for, we are just always looking for the best. We try to hold ourselves to a little higher standard than most.”

Most recently, CGO has emerged into greater public consciousness with events geared toward epicurean taste-testing, such as the Hash Hole Bash gatherings. These celebrations on the East and West Coasts bring together key cultivators, product innovators and brands, putting a focus on what’s new in hash and rosin, and opening a world of gourmet experiences and communion with the plant.

Which Events Will CGO Lyfestyle Host For Summer 2023?

Dab Day In The Bay For 710

This summer, CGO Lyfestyle hosts its wildest array of events yet: Monday, July 3rd is a Sacramento sesh honoring Marcos’s birthday, featuring terpenes, music, and more terpenes (for more info, hit up the brand’s Instagram @cgo_lyfestyle). Dab Day in the Bay happens a week later on Monday, July 10th – 710 being a sacred cannabis holiday, or “Oil Day,” which is dedicated to the power of cannabis concentrates. Pairing over a dozen expert hashmakers with performers, vendors, and special guests at an undisclosed location in California’s Bay Area, the event promises to be a connoisseur’s holiday par excellence. (Get your tickets on Eventbrite now.)

Hash Hole Island

But surely the prize spot on the CGO Lyfestyle calendar goes to Hash Hole Island on Tuesday, August 15th. A serene island paradise house hosts this deluxe party where hash lovers come to play. Attendees will enjoy the best in hash holes, plus incredible swag bags, food, music and entertainment with various activities such as volleyball, cornhole, and ladderball. Over 30 premier vendors showcase their most high-caliber products. (Book your tickets on Eventbrite now.)

“The reason we’re doing this is we’re spreading light to the hash holes,” Marcos explains. “People know about pre-rolls; they know about the cannabis industry. But they don’t know about hash holes too much. My purpose is to bring people from all over the nation, all over the world [together for] its blessings… Everybody deserves access and that’s what we’re doing [with these events]. Bringing access to the people, bringing access to the brands and the consumer.”

Who's Sponsoring Hash Hole Island?

Honeysuckle is proud to be a media partner for Hash Hole Island, joining sponsors Weed Between the Wines, California Leaf Magazine, OCB Natural Rolling Papers, and partners including VIBES Papers, OrganitipS, GreenGold Collective, PURO, Delta Boyz, Casa Flor, Brothers Broadleaf, Cozy Cubes, Dubz Garden and Cozmo, Staack, Zatix, The Prodigal Company, Phil Emerson, and Green Queen Eyelene.

How To Roll A Perfect Joint: CGO Lyfestyle's Marcos Shares His Techniques

Lest one think CGO has gotten too caught up with events, Marcos demonstrates that he’s still all about the education. In his interview with Honeysuckle’s founder Ronit Pinto and Creative Director Sam C. Long, he demonstrates his proficiency by rolling a 2-gram spliff with the adept mix of swiftness and care that marks an artisan. In what seems like mere moments, the craftsman produces a perfect roll that includes a tip from OrganitipS, VIBES Papers, and flower cultivated by the Santa Cruz-based SurfsUp Exotics produced in collaboration with CGO.

What Are Marcos's Rolling Tips And Tricks?

As he creates the joint, he lovingly describes the process.

First, pamper your flower. “Most people, when they roll their weed, they’re more or less using pressure to roll it. You don’t actually want to roll it. You want to massage the weed. You want to let it form itself.”

Next, use just the tip. Insert preferred innuendos here, but it’s absolutely true that selecting the right tip for your roll informs your overall experience with it. According to Marcos, “We have a tip in there to block out any unwanted little giblets. I only use a third of the tip when I’m rolling… I’m not forcing it.”

Then hydrate – grab water for your paper to seal the roll. “Today we are using the VIBES Papers Fatty. Shout-out to Big Berner… Finally we have the papers we’ve all been wanting.”

Pack it in with a proper tamper. “This works for two purposes. It works as a packer and actually as a joint roller. So if you want to roll yourself a pre-roll, for those who don’t use my practices, this helps you roll a quick bone. Then you put a little tip [at the end] and you’re good to go.”

“It’s definitely an art and a craft,” Marcos notes. “There are some techniques and certain things I do to make my rules a bit different from everybody else’s.” (For those looking to learn more from CGO Lyfestyle, stay tuned for the brand’s first academy-style rolling class on August 1st!)

“I’m always trying to further my own education with the plant as well,” the entrepreneur continues. “I took the time to learn about the terps and healing properties… so I’m able to be a better curator for flowers and hash holes and whatever it is that we’re coming with… Everybody has a different chemical reaction [to terpenes]. For some people, the way that some medicines make them tired, makes others energized. Some people medicate just to get high, some medicate for certain [needs]. I feel we all medicate in our own ways.”

CGO Lyfestyle's Collabs And Quality: Marcos On Champelli, Verzace, Blue Zushi, And Sacramento Culture

CGO’s notable collaborations will soon include product drops with legendary cultivator Champelli, which will feature a variety of tips from glass to organic, and a project still in development with hash hole pioneer Fidel. As Marcos reveals, getting a designer roll from conception to manifestation is quite the journey, and all depends on personal preference.

Of course, one begins by considering the tips: “Some people do not like wood tips. Some people feel it gives it an aftertaste. Some people only want glass; now, there's different types of glass blowers that we go through for different styles. We got rip tips, we got rec tips, we got [organic wood], and we got the Rotini tips… So if I'm doing a super exclusive type of collaboration – [for example] I’m going to be doing a Verzace cross with the Verzace Bay Area flavors. Usually we come with the organic tip, but this is the Verzace. They just won second place at the Zalympix. I feel we should go a little higher [grade], which is the rec tip. It’s more expensive, $7 per tip compared to a 50-cent tip. That just upped the price substantially, especially when you’re using rosing that’s $60, $70 a gram and you’re putting half a gram in there.”

But that quality matters, and in the CGO ethos, quality outweighs the cost every time. Marcos emphasizes that he does care about accessibility as well and will in some instances source rosin at more affordable prices that he can offer to budget-conscious consumers, but his primary concern will always be to provide that premium luxury experience. He considers that growing up in Sacramento surrounded by OGs such his cousins Sac OGD and Money 916 had something to do with this. Even when asked to imagine a scenario in which budgets are limitless, he still admits that his first choices of flower would always be those supplied by longtime California specialists including Lion Boldt Farms and Caja Verde. These tastes are also evident in his preferences from the latest Zalympix, where he adored the Balenciaga strain and The TENCo’s Blue Zushi. He additionally applauds cultivators who use living soil in their practices, with special respect for Deep East and Flora & Flame.

“Every client is different,” he concludes. “So we just come up with whatever we can for them. We want to be unique. We’re always thinking about how we can get out of the box and make it different.”

With upcoming collabs set to take CGO Lyfestyle around the globe, Marcos anticipates big events coming soon to New York, Miami, Atlanta, and other major cities. He’s excited to further education wherever he goes, so that eventually more and more people will understand the plant on a connoisseur level.

“That’s why we’re doing this work,” he reiterates. “We’re able to curate these events, but they’re also times for us to network and bring each other together in unity. Because without unity, there’s no community.”

Join the CGO Lyfestyle community all summer! Dab Day in the Bay takes place on Monday July 10, 2023 – click here to get tickets on Eventbrite. Hash Hole Island takes place on Tuesday August 15, 2023 – click here to get tickets on Eventbrite. For more information, visit cgolyfestyle.com or follow @cgo_lyfestyle on Instagram.

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Featured image: Marcos, founder of CGO Lyfestyle (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture