Clade9 is known for their incredible flower, found in approximately 200 stores in the Los Angeles area. They’re also known for their proprietary genetics, growing popular strains such as the Fig Bar, the Diamond Bar, and the Diamond Dust — which won first place at the Cannabis Cup of 2021. 

What Is Clade9? The California Cannabis Brand With Genetic Precision

The name Clade9 carries significant meaning in itself, translating to an ancestral group that has a common ancestry. In cannabis, it's a genetic ancestry. This means all the flowers that are related and all the strains that are related could be technically a clade. The clade can be used in many ways, while the 9 stands for the variables that they control in the grow room to make the precise genetic version to its best self. 

Clade9's Tastemakers Event In Downtown Los Angeles

Founded by Dave Holmes, who’s been growing cannabis since the late 90s, Clade9 sees flower as their specialty. On a beautiful Thursday evening, Clade9 hosted their highly-anticipated Tastemakers event at a private location in downtown Los Angeles, bringing the cannabis community together to test their new strains and give feedback on their favorites.

Holmes stated of the event, “Tonight, this is real special since we developed new flavors. We found out many years ago, it's really hard to smoke 40 strains in a night. We invite all of our stoner friends and family and we test the flower. We do surveys, we compare notes. I need these lungs to help me figure out what we need to keep growing. [laughs] Because my opinion is not always the best opinion, so I bring everyone in to give their opinion.”

Clade9 Founder Dave Holmes Explains Tastemakers Events Strain-Sampling Process

Clade9 has been hosting these types of events since 2009. Fourteen years strong, they continue to host these taste test gatherings to give back to the consumers that show love to them. Attendees include friends and family, budtenders, clients, and cannabis lovers from all walks of life. For this event particularly, they offered three strains anonymously, labeled Strain #1, Strain #2, Strain #3. 

“Because the name will make it biased,” Holmes explained. “Someone hears a name that they like, they might like it just because of the name. We take that away by doing Strain #1, #2, #3. We’re scientists over here.”

The best part is, Holmes reads over all the feedback himself personally.

He continued, “I'm a nerd. At the end of the night, I take all the surveys and put them into Excel. I'm reading the notes and shit. Since I'm a breeder, I want to read the notes. That to me is important, and the notes are really good. People really get into it. They’re like, ‘This flower was too dry,’ ‘It was wet,” or ‘The terps are on point.’ I get great feedback. I could ask someone to punch in data, but as a breeder, you want to read it. It really impacts you a lot more.”

What Experiences Did Clade9's Tastemakers Event Offer?

The turnout for this event was incredible, with guests enjoying the free weed, tacos, desserts, and open bar. Taking over a rooftop penthouse, this was the perfect example of the cannabis community coming together with one common interest: love for the flower.

When asked how important events like this are for the community, Holmes answered, “This is really important. This is super important. We're all here because we love flower. Everyone's here to enjoy a good time. We always realize combining weed with food and music is the trio that makes it all work. [laughs]”

The beauty lies in the fact that you can sample flower and trade feedback with other connoisseurs. And for those on the East Coast, Clade9 recently launched in New Jersey after getting approved for a state cultivation license this spring! Wherever you are in the country, if you’re after Clade9 products, it’s all relative.

For more about Clade9, visit


Written By:

Shirley Ju is a journalist, media host, and seasoned music industry professional. She is the founder of Shirley's Temple, a podcast series with a focus on mental health, where her guests include Trippie Redd, Chanel West Coast, Ricky Williams, Blac Chyna, and more. Shirley's work has been featured in publications such as Variety, Complex, Nylon, Flaunt, and REVOLT; she can also be seen doing exclusive interviews for leading urban news source VLADTV, featuring a platform with 5 million subscribers. Find out more about Shirley at @shirju on Instagram and Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

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Featured image: Clade9's Tastemakers event in downtown Los Angeles (C) Clade9