Published on May 11th, 2021 | by Dr. Jerry Doby


California Cannabis Co. Reimagines Iconic “Pepsi Challenge”

“The #Sungrownchallenge is a creative way we hope to inspire cannabis consumers to start voting with their dollar. Since our inception, we’ve been on a mission to challenge the misguided assumption that indoor cannabis is superior in potency and flavor.  Not only is this assumption scientifically untrue but it also aids in the proliferation of indoor grows which poses a major threat to our environment as well as the livelihoods of California’s independent, sungrown cannabis farmers.”

– Mikey Steinmetz, Flow Cannabis Co. CEO and Co-founder of Flow Kana

Every share of this video triggers a $5 donation to Planting Justice, a California nonprofit that grows edible community gardens and creates jobs for people transitioning from prison.


California sungrown flower brand, Flow Kana, is on a mission to educate consumers about the power of choosing sungrown craft cannabis, which not only has a carbon footprint of virtually zero – when sustainably and regeneratively cultivated – but can also produce superior taste, smell, and effects than its indoor counterpart.

Inspired by the famed Pepsi Challenge first launched in the 1970s as well as Stephen Spurrier’s 1976 Judgement of Paris (one of the best-known accomplishments in the wine world during which he challenged French wine critics in Paris to a blind tasting of the best of French wines against the best of the then-emerging California wines; to the wine world’s surprise, the California wines won, effectively putting the Napa Valley wine region on the global map), a who’s-who cadre of 28 cannabis journalists, critics, social media influencers, and industry leaders convened in Los Angeles this April to take a blindfolded #SungrownChallenge taste test in which they sampled California’s top-selling sungrown and indoor flower brands to see which one they preferred.

Sungrown won the day with 68% of votes cast in its favor.



A byproduct of Prohibition and subsequently marketed to appear more desirable than outdoor-raised flower, indoor-grown cannabis is the most energy intensive and environmentally harmful agricultural product in the U.S. today.  According to New Frontier Data, indoor cannabis cultivation labs produce 25 times more carbon than do outdoor grows and are 70 times more energy intensive than commercial office buildings. A new study from Colorado State University recently published in the journal Nature Sustainability estimates that growing a mere ounce of cannabis indoors can have the same environmental impact as burning seven to 16 gallons of gas. Simply put, indoor cannabis farming is an environmentally unaffordable luxury, and it’s time for U.S. cannabis consumers to become conscious and informed consumers.


Historically, sungrown cannabis has been undervalued by the market, which values THC and visual attributes that can be perfected in a controlled indoor setting over the full spectrum of minor cannabinoids and terpenes that leads to the Entourage Effect (whereby cannabis compounds other than tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) act synergistically with THC to enhance and increase the overall psychoactive effects of the plant).

Annie Davis, Flow Cannabis Co.’s VP of Marketing explains:  “Nature has been working on this plant much longer than this industry, and that comes across in the blindfolded #sungrownchallenge.  Like the Judgement of Paris, we’re seeking to challenge the industry’s misguided obsession with THC as the ultimate arbiter of potency, quality, and consequently price point.  Emerald Triangle sungrown craft cannabis is just as good and potent as indoor.  In fact, 68% of our #sungrownchallenge experts prefered it.”


Adds Annie Davis, Flow Cannabis Co.’s VP of Marketing:  “We took two best-selling flower brands that are beloved by consumers, identified two flower strains within those with very similar terpene and cannabinoid profiles, and then invited third party budtenders, unaffiliated with our brand, to break the freshness seals on both jars, roll the joints, and distribute them to our blindfolded participants.  We did everything we could not to influence the outcome but to rather trust that the quality of the product would prevail. The #sungrownchallenge was immensely validating.”


  • Bobby Black, Columnist for Leaf Magazine
  • Jon Cappetta, VP Content for High Times
  • Benjamin Adams, Writer for High Times
  • Jackie Bryant, Cannabis Journalist (Sierra Magazine, Forbes)
  • Lindsay MaHarry, Cannabis Journalist, Weedmaps
  • Mary Carreon, Cannabis Journalist, Merry Jane
  • MaryJane Gibson, Cannabis Journalist and Co-Host of Weed and Grub Podcast
  • Mike Glazer, Co-Host of Weed and Grub Podcast
  • Willie Mack, Co-founder of Think BIG and Frank White
  • Kimberly Dillon, Former CMO of Papa & Barkley, Founder of Frigg
  • Lizzy Jeff, Cannabis Social Influencer
  • Stona Mane, Compton Cowboy
  • Laganja Estranja, Cannabis Personality and Influencer
  • Liz Rogen, Executive Director of American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine
  • Ngaio Bealum, Comedian, Journalist, Co-Host of Cooking on High
  • Jason Pinsky, Producer of Bong Appetit (VICE)
  • Adam Ill, Cannabis Social Influencer
  • Kiana Anvaripour, CMO Sweet Flower
  • Michelle Mendoza, Senior Buyer, Sweet Flower
  • Sister Sophia, Sisters of the Valley
  • Sister Kate, Sisters of the Valley
  • Eric Hiss Loreda, Cannabis Journalist
  • Michelle Lhooq, Cannabis Journalist (VICE)
  • Rachel Burkons, Cannabis Social Influencer
  • Christine Forbrich, Cannabis Social Influencer
  • Jessica Gonzalez, Cannabis Social Influencer
  • Holly Aubry, Cannabis Publicist, HUMAN NATURE PR
  • Amanda Doolittle, Cannabis Publicist, HUMAN NATURE PR

Look for the #sungrownchallenge video across social media platforms soon and help to support Planting Justice, an Oakland, CA, nonprofit dedicated to food justice and community healing through planting, growing, and harvesting healthy food. For every share of the #sungrownchallenge video, Farmer’s Reserve by Flow Kana will donate $5 to Planting Justice up to $10,000.

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, Media and SEO Consultant, Journalist, Ph.D. and retired combat vet. 2023 recipient of The President's Lifetime Achievement Award. Partner at THM Media Group. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, the United States Press Agency and ForbesBLK.

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