A month after sweeping the podium in the world’s most competitive solventless hash competition at The Emerald Cup, Kalya Extracts now gives Oakland, California a solid claim to producing the best hash on the planet.
Kalya Extracts’ big winners this year in the solventless rosin category at Northern California’s prestigious Emerald Cup were a first-place Fruit Stripe rosin collaboration with Sours, a Banana Cream rosin collaboration with Monterey Kush Co. that came in second, and a Garlic Juice rosin with Dancing Dog Ranch that rounded off the podium. They also took 7th place with a Runtz collaboration with Sky High Humboldt. That means that, in addition to sweeping the podium, Kalya won four of the top 10 spots for solventless hash. Kalya also had two spots in the top five of the ice water hash category.
A month after their impressive showing at the Cup, I headed down to Kalya’s production facility in Oakland for the grand tour. While the company has only called Oakland home for a year, it has deep roots in Northern California’s exotic extract scene that thrived in the medical marketplace up until California’s legal market launched in January 2018 and regulations made boutique extract production more challenging.
“I used to be up north,” Kalya Extracts Co-Founder Marc Hammond said. “I ran a company called Medicine Man Extracts, along with running Ahti Hash.”
Ahti Hash famously battled 3rd Gen Family’s concentrate arm Moonshine Melts at the 2017 Emerald Cup, dethroning the reigning champions in the solventless world, and taking home three more spots in the top 10 in the process. Ahti Hash won with a Pink Lemonade collaboration with Tar Hill Cannabis, which also found its way to a third-place spot on the separate rosin podium.
“Funny thing, not a lot of people know about that batch [of Pink Lemonade],” Hammond said. “We were so hyped on it we called it Rainbow Sherbert at first.”
He added that one of his partners didn’t even want to buy the Pink Lemonade flower at first.
“I was like, I’ll buy these packs, these smell f*cking insane,” Hammond said. “I washed it, and we saved some of the water. I took pictures of the water. We were like, ‘Bro, this is going to beat Brandon [of 3rd Gen Family].’”
For so many years, Hammond and his team had watched 3rd Gen Fam absolutely own the top of the solventless mountain. “I was like, ‘This is going to beat it, oh sh*t!’”
Hammond said that, as he was founding Kalya Extracts, he wanted to make sure that it was connected to Ahti Hash. He and his partner named Ahti Hash after the Sanskrit word for “transcendence” in Sanskrit.
“So my little homage to that is Kalya is Sanskrit for perfection,” Hammond says. “Because we’re always chasing the perfect hash or whatever.”
In the end, that quest for perfection can prove daunting at times, but with the trophy shelf now stacked, Hammond says his process has been vindicated again.
“I never want to sacrifice quality,” Hammond said. “I have a lot of pride in every gram that goes on the shelf and such. I love seeing somebody’s face when they’re like, ‘This is some fucking heat.’”
Hammond said that, in order to make sure Kalya’s offerings are up to the standards he’s set, they’ve had to limit Kalya’s releases.
“That’s why there aren’t too many flavors right now,” he said. “We’ve looked at batches and been like, this isn’t making the cut. The scope of material that is good for solventless hash is so small. That’s what’s hard.”
He noted that in the end, that’s one of the reasons you see the elite solventless producers trending towards certain proven strains with a great nose and yield. “That’s why you see so much GMO on the market,” Hammond said. “It dunks.”
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