When it comes to strains, few can argue with the staying power of Zkittlez as developed by TerpHogZ. But the OG brand’s co-owner and Managing Director Jondo insists that the best thing about cannabis is discovering what’s new. That’s partly why Jondo joined with leading West Coast cultivator Cannabiz Chris of SF Canna to create Litty in the City, the most curated sesh for connoisseurs who know premium flower and terpenes.

How Did Jondo And Cannabiz Chris Develop Litty In The City?

These elder statesmen developed Litty in the City in February 2023, and have hosted five events under that banner, before making a splash at MJBizCon in Las Vegas with their sixth. The gatherings draw upon the creators’ cumulative 40-plus years in cannabis, marking them as the place to be for the smoker’s smoker. They got the idea after a fortuitous pheno flight last year, where they realized they could build the plant-driven sesh of their dreams. As Jondo says, “It’s the sesh first.”

*Editor's Note: Get the full story of Litty in the City's history here.

Jondo And Cannabiz Chris Talk Genetics And Strain Evolution

dead prez's Umi and M1 with Cannabiz Chris and TerpHogZ founders Green R Fieldz, Jondo, and Tony Mendo at TerpBasel's Za Basel celebration in Miami (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Beyond Litty, the highlight of getting these two icons in the same room is their shared cannabis history. Both based in California, Jondo in Mendocino and Chris in San Francisco, they met when Chris started doing musical collaborations with TerpHogZ co-founder Green R Fieldz. The chemistry was natural; there are few guys who can wax so lyrically, yet authoritatively about the evolution of flower and genetics.

“Flower and products from ten or twenty years ago are nothing like the products you’re seeing on tables today,” Chris observes. “[You’ve got] a lot more brands… Everybody’s pushing their shit. So who’s going to be around in the next ten years? That’s a good question.”

Tony Mendo is interviewed by renowned DJ / COI Digital founder Cat Ouellette at TerpBasel (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Jondo expresses frustration with what he sees as “fear when it comes to breeding and genetics.” He explains that cultivators can get locked into trends where they’re too scared to try something different from what’s currently popular, recalling the fads of the Purple and Kush eras. His advice for avoiding the “Lemon Cherry Gelato” rut? “Take some chances out there, put some new terps in your bag, and just see what happens.”

It’s a major statement for the Zkittlez master to make, but he wants to encourage breeders to break out of their routines. Instead of relying on Z for a cross, Jondo wishes to see cultivators separate the markets so that a space could be created only for emerging strains - an R&D department for experimentation and innovation. However, he’s aware that this concept is more for connoisseurs, and that the casual consumer still keeps to their favorites, so that dream may be projecting into the future. 

Cannabiz Chris at Litty in the City Los Angeles 2023 (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture

Chris agrees wholeheartedly with his colleague’s vision. That’s part of why they view Litty as so important; it allows the most groundbreaking growers to share their experiments with an appreciative audience. 

Jondo interviewed by Honeysuckle ahead of Litty in the City Los Angeles 2023 (C) Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @honeymagstudios

Which Cultivators Do Jondo And Cannabiz Chris Think Are Pioneering The Cannabis Space Today?

When asked which breeders are doing pioneering work today, Chris immediately mentions Duke of Erb and Planta. Jondo shouts out Deep East, Super Dope, Zatix, and Turtle Pie as some of the most impressive genetics on the modern market. One element they definitely want to avoid, however, is anything that smacks of “mainstream.” This playing field is for serious gourmands only. 

Describing himself as somewhat “anti-society,” Jondo recoils at the idea of “mainstream cannabis”: “That sounds terrible. That’s like Walmart and Taylor Swift drop a preroll.” 

In Chris’s view, even as the plant becomes more widely accepted, the true cannabis culture will always be led by those committed to its authenticity. “The culture is all of us. The culture is everybody who shows up to these events, who puts their energy into pushing a positive movement with cannabis and anything that goes with it. Whether it be music, cannabis, art - I think the culture really is more of an underground movement where you see a lot of these motherfuckers at our events… We’re all pushing something to create and keep the culture alive.”

With Litty in the City set to expand across the country in 2024, it seems the pathways paved by these giants and their contemporaries will keep the culture alive and lit for a long time. And who knows? Someday, if we can shake off fear of the unknown, we could be celebrating the plant’s very own Eras Tour.

For more about Jondo and TerpHogZ, follow @terphogz_jondo and @_theoriginalz_ on Instagram. For more about Chris and SF Canna, visit sfcanna415.com or follow @cannabizchris415 and @sfcanna_415. For Litty in the City, follow @littyinthecity_sesh.

*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide or click here to order!

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Featured image: Cannabiz Chris and Jondo in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture