For being one of the biggest brands in LA today, the Backpack Boyz retain the spirit of the traditional market street culture that they formed out of.
During the days of medical marijuana, Juan Quesada had already established himself as the go-to delivery service for the best weed in the state. He partnered with musician Bully Wiz to form the Backpack Boyz around 2015.
Before long, the Backpack Boyz were offering its own branded strains that were leading the trends of the day. They hype that they generated around themselves over the years has propelled them to being an internationally recognized brand that regularly partners with top musicians, artists, and athletes, always on the cutting edge of culture.
Juan says that the cultural impact the brand has had is what sets them apart from corporate brands. They packaged top shelf, candy dominant exotics into bright, fun, graffiti inspired mylar bags that their team could load into their backpacks. They’ve also excelled at dropping custom merch and bags that fans, followers, and weed insiders alike can be seen wearing. They’ve also dabbled in music, producing videos for artists that are part of their team.
The Backpack Boyz made a name for themselves by offering the best in California weed, (especially from the Bay area but, these days, from all over the state). Last year, they opened several dispensaries in the state. They’re set to open a new one soon at a premium location on the Sunset Strip.
They’re also looking to expand nationally, possibly partnering with grows and opening dispensaries in places like New Jersey, Michigan, and Florida.
For Juan, the weed always comes first.
“We’re doing a bunch of different things with different breeders. That’s kind of a big focus, obviously,” Juan says.
He’s always adding strains to the Backpack Boyz menu, and he’s now getting into genetics, but the bigger question is what’s coming next in the strain game.
“I’m saying, like, what’s new? Because obviously, it’s a candy wave right now, that’s what everybody is on right now. But it’s only a matter of time,” Juan said. “The window’s open right now. It’s only a matter of time, obviously, before there’s something else. I still think it is going to be ending in two or three years as far as I can see,” he said.
While candy terps will dominate for the next few years, Juan’s already considering what comes next.
“I still see it being like that. But we’re trying to see that. We’re trying to see if maybe we can be the ones that are making the next best thing. I’m definitely going to try,” Juan said.
“We’ve got seed drops, we’re working with Tiki Madman, we’re working with Fiya Farmer. We’re in the process of maybe doing some deals with Compound Genetics. I’m just trying to work with a lot of different breeders, that’s a big thing what I want to do,” Juan said.
Backpack Boyz are known for their collabs with high-profile artists like Snoop Dogg and athletes like Scottie Pippen. Currently they’re doing a second collab strain with artist Lou Gramm called Gear Shifter.
“What I like about it is, at the end of the day, if you do a collab with somebody, and you guys do it right, and you guys are kind of opening your networks to each other,” Juan said.
Despite being open to collabs with the right people, Juan says it only happens when it’s organic.
“Usually, everything is pretty organic, so it’s not like I just wake up in the morning and be like, let’s find someone to collaborate with today. We don’t do it like that, it just happens. Certain people, they’ll throw it out on the table and be like, ‘Yo, what do you think about this?’ Aw, hell yeah! I like to keep it organic,” he said.
Next up is a series of collabs with one of California’s other hottest brands, Doja Exclusive. The two brands have started by dropping a limited edition series of bags and tshirts, but Juan says that’s just the beginning.
“Me and Ryan have been talking about working with each other. We’ve been talking about doing some shit together. It’s not about if we do, it’s when to do it,” Juan said. “The backpacks and duffle bags was something we thought would be dope to do together. So, how are we not going to do a weed collab, right?” he said.
It’s the first of many collabs that the two brands are planning.
“We’re going to do a bunch of stuff together, Doja and I.”
Their process comes down to putting two heads together to find what works.
“I know he has stuff that he’s been doing. We got stuff we’ve been doing. We’re going to share some of his, and we are going to share some of ours, and see what we like together,” Juan said.
Apart from new collabs, new dispensaries, and expanding in the US, you can also expect to see more of the Backpack Boyz in Europe, with a focus on Spain, London, and Amsterdam.