It’s midday on a Saturday, and Ryan Bartholomew is standing over a box of clones for his next project.
“It’s a delicate process,” he muses, referring to the quest for new genetics. He pauses to hit a joint, and continues. “Our brand has built years of quality and innovation in the space. I’m going for stuff that’s new, that no one has. So many people have the same gear.”
That brand is Bartholomew’s now legendary Doja Exclusive, which has spent the past few years earning a reputation for hunting and releasing some of the most hyped, exotic strains on the Prop 64 legal market.
The joint he’s smoking on is the greasy, sticky sweet, Studio 54 – one of Doja’s hyper-limited releases. Doja made serious noise on the legal market a couple of years back with the release of Studio 54’s insanely crispy sister, RS11. That strain is said to inspire people to flock from all over the world to get their hands on the drop before it sells out.
Both strains are phenotypes from the same genotype, meaning they have the same genetic lineage, but exhibit unique aromas and flavors.
Bartholomew will be the first to tell you that he’s not the cultivator behind his strains – he’s a curator, selecting the best partners to help him achieve excellence in flower form. To bring his magic to the market, Doja linked up with Deep East Oakland, aka DEO Farms, who crossed the Pink Guava version of OZ Kush with Sunset Sherbert. The RS11 came from Sunset Sherbert #11, and the Studio 54 came from Sunset Sherbert #54.
Doja then took those seeds and passed them to Wizard Trees in Los Angeles, who ran a massive pheno hunt. Doja and Wizard Trees qualified every flower from that hunt, judging them based on looks, nose and taste. “The Doja brand chooses to differentiate through the innovative genetics we select,” Bartholomew says.
Out of that entire hunt, only two plants won the rights to wear the Doja label.
Bartholomew then passed the genetics to some master indoor gardeners he knew from way back, Sacramento’s own Green Dawg Cultivators. The resulting flower displays the art and expertise of those involved, and proves Doja’s reputation as a master curator with a platinum palate.
The RS11 leans on the floral and gas side of the OZK x Sunset Sherb combo, with only a hint of sweet fruit. The Studio 54, on the other hand, cuts in a different direction – laying off the gas a little, highlighting delectable notes of guava, passion fruit, kiwi, pastry dough and cheesy funk. A Studio 54 party is a buoyant, hazy affair – rounding off the edges and leaving you feeling nothing short of comfortably delicious.
As we wrapped up our talk, Bartholomew teased future strains and projects with the DEO/Wizard Trees/Green Dawg triumvirate, as well as new projects with other masters around the state. Only time will reveal what he has in store, but one thing is clear: Whatever Doja has in the pipeline is bound to live up to the hype.
Cultivated by Doja Exclusive | Bred by Deep East Oakland Farms | Pheno-hunted by Green Dawg Cultivators