Few strains get cannabis connoisseurs — especially in California — excited quite like Gelato.
This past summer, the cultivators at Connected Cannabis Co. took the strain to new levels with a giant breeding program based around award-winner Gelato #41.
Connected Cannabis Co recently invited us to their Northern California farm to see the full lineup of fall cuts as they entered the home stretch of the harvest season. Caleb Counts, the company’s founder, sat down with us to give us the complete tale on their history and elite genetics.
According to Counts, he first got his hands on four different Gelato cuts in 2010. Over the years, Counts and his cultivating partners would reverse the #41 to gain access to the pollen they needed in order to cross it with other elite cultivars.
“That’s how the Gushers was made and the Biscotti,” Counts told Cannabis Now. “Those were the first to strains we made with [the Gelato #41], and then did our most recent breeding projects.”
Even though Counts has now been working with the genetics since the beginning of the decade, Connected as an entity has only existed for about a year and a half. This year marks their second year growing under the sun, as they had cultivated indoors exclusively prior. So, while they carved their place out in the market, they were also dialing in their big new outdoor farm at the same time.
“It was pretty easy because we had been growing all the same stains and branding them under the Cookies brand through our licensing agreement with Berner,” said Counts.
“So,” he said, “we decided it was time to start taking credit for our cultivating under our own label. Everyone knows they’re Cookie Fam genetics.”
Connected started to bring their new crosses to market last year. In addition to giving themselves credit, it was also time to build a brand tailored around what was to come in California’s legal market. But one thing they had playing in their favor was that consumers already had become accustomed to the quality of cannabis they were cultivating.
“I think we paid plenty of homages and gave credit to the original genetics, and where they came from,” said Counts. “Now that we had developed some genetics from those originals, it was time to show the work we had been doing. Such significant investment, time and effort go into these cultivation facilities and that’s why we developed Connected.”
This year started with a bang. Connected entered some of its early-season, light-dep Gelato #41 into the Cannabis Cup Central Valley — and it took home first place for outdoor.
“The deps and outdoors are an underrated High Times category and not really thought about,” said Counts. “So we entered it knowing we had a bunch of good stuff. The win didn’t come as a surprise because the quality was there, it’s just our focus hadn’t been on outdoor so much. It was a nice reassurance we were doing everything well across every category.”
Other strains under the brand’s umbrella won a slew of other awards.
Focusing On Breeding
This summer’s major breeding project began a year and a half ago. Over the years, Connected has built up a stockpile of seeds, but they were never ready to dedicate space indoors to them because the buds they were producing in those spaces was already in such high demand. They weren’t able to dedicate much space to pheno-hunting until that space came together. Ultimately, Counts decided the moms and clones needed to be an entirely separate aspect of the business. The breeding project was isolated from everything else as to not force the main production team to spend their time working on anything other than producing the top shelf flower they had dialed in.
“If you’re trying to produce the top flower on the market, having the same guys pheno-hunting and production through flower means that one or the other is going to become a distraction,” said Counts. “It’s harder to determine what to focus on and ultimately you don’t focus enough on something. It’s just one of those things.”
The very early going of the propagation process is very manual at Connected. From the earliest going, cultivators meticulously take notes on the traits of the plants to pick out the winners in the pack. These notes are then used to pick the first batch of what makes it to the field. This summer, over 2,000 seeds were popped.
The results so far have been out of this world. We won’t cover all of the nearly 30 Gelato #41 crosses that were popped this year, but here is a sampling of the spectacle.
Area 41 — Lemon Fuel OG x Gelato #41
This cross of two classics is poised to take off. Lemon Fuel is ranked among the top versions OG Kush with cannabis enthusiasts all over The Golden State. This collaboration with Alien Labs brings trophies from all angles, and it’s a safe bet this one might bring home some hardware in the not-too-distant future.
Gelato #33 x Gelato #41
In the largest effort of the summer, Connected popped 150 seeds of this pairing of two famed versions of Gelato. The #33 might be expected to bring a bit more kushiness, as many find it to be the gassiest pheno of Gelato. Mix that with the #41’s proven credentials and you can expect a real winner, especially given how many options they have to choose from. This strain earned a slot on our Harvest Hype Strains List of 2018.
Gelonade — Lemon Tree x Gelato #41
Few strains have seen as much hype as Gelato did, but Lemon Tree has done well in carving its place. Not many strains with Lemon Tree’s kind of limonene aroma have hit the market since Super Lemon Haze, which has stood the test of time well. Pairing this strain with Gelato will bring a new twist to an upbeat high. Counts says it has the flavor of lemons on the way in and that famed Gelato creaminess on the way out.
Archive Seeds Dosido x Gelato #41
The lab results are already in on this exciting blend. According to the results, this cross is hitting a very respectable 27 percent THC. New Dosido crosses in their own right are always worth checking out, but get the Gelato #41 in the mix and you have a situation that requires immediate investigation! Once it’s done curing, obviously.
TELL US, have you tried Gelato?