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Leaf Picks


Nino Brown

from Ball Family Farms

Functional and relaxing daytime weed with great flavor.

This edition of the Strain of the Month is named for the protagonist in the best Wesley Snipes movie without vampires, New Jack City. 

Nino Brown is cultivated by former football player Chris Ball and his Los Angeles-based team at Ball Family Farms (BFF). BFF also has the distinction of being the first social equity farm in LA, but as Ball himself is the first to say, it shouldn’t take the resources of a former professional athlete to get the doors open – so he’s pulling for everyone stuck in permit limbo. 

The reason Ball’s a survivor is not his past profession, though – it’s the quality of his weed. Nino Brown is another example of BFF committing to finding solid genetics nobody else has. While Ball keeps his cards close to his chest when it comes to genetics, he went into the 150-seed pheno hunt with certain expectations since Z terps and Gelatos still have a healthy footing in the market. He figured whatever came from the hunt would be different from and complement the rest of his lineup (not to mention he’s sitting on 10 males, to help provide a little more context to the depth of the breeding program).

From the original 150, they found eight winners that made it into the next round. Those eight would eventually be narrowed down to just two, of which Nino Brown is actually the second best. Unfortunately, the best one picked up on some of Zkittlez’s butterface traits – where while it’s well-done, rockstar weed … it can still look a bit scruffy. Despite the terps being insane, they had to go with the commercial viability of Nino Brown.

“We just wanted to stay consistent and competitive,” Ball told Leaf. “We had to look for color … everybody still wants purple. We had to make sure that the taste on it had enough za, there was enough Z terp on it, and still be able to grab the Gelato nose. But we wanted to make sure that we located something that the nose was just a little bit off from Gelato. So the Nino kind of veers towards more of the Zkittelz nose, but you still get Gelato at the end if that makes sense.”

Saying goodbye to heaters is one of Ball’s least favorite parts of the job. “Do you want to put out something that’s going to help your bottom line, or do you want to put out the best product for the culture?” asked Ball.

Even though he couldn’t run with first place, he still thinks the effort they’ve put into dialing in Nino Brown from 150 seeds to one killer pheno was definitely for the culture. 

Essentially, the aroma starts with the candied Z terps. As you inhale, you start to pick up on the dessert terp notes, too. Z and candy terps don’t have the highest impact like some all-gas OGs, but they are absolutely super special in flower or extract form. Expect the high from Nino Brown to be indica-light. That means functional and relaxing daytime weed with great flavor – the pairing that is one of the greatest Z traits of all. 

This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue of California Leaf.

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