This Is Why Everybody Loves Leftovers

How Portlanders’ love for a modern hybrid saved one of the city’s most influential old-school farms.

In Portland’s advanced cultivation scene, everyone’s a connoisseur. The innovative techniques and unparalleled quality of our local growers and plant breeders are renowned throughout the country, and the saturation of power players means we get to enjoy the fruits of their labors at some of the most affordable prices anywhere.

That means that Portland flower shoppers are so spoiled with a never-ending supply of stoney, high-THC strains like GMO and Gorilla Glue, that novel strains with less name recognition can take a while to catch on. Some don’t at all, as the growers at the indoor cultivation company LUVLI learned the hard way.

“The different things we tried did not resonate with customers at all,” recalls LUVLI co-owner Tim Zimmerman. “I was always pheno hunting [seeking out new cannabis seeds with novel genetic lineages], and when I found a cross of GMO and Biscotti Sundae, it caught my attention.”

That cross went by the name Leftovers, and, as Zimmerman puts it, “Leftovers kind of saved our company.”

Although the competitive cannabis space is no cakewalk for anyone right now, Zimmerman’s exaggerating a bit here. LUVLI took home second place at last year’s Oregon Growers Cup, and it’s earned a customer base of a decent size through sheer longevity.

“We weren’t necessarily failing as a company, but it reinvigorated us in a big way,” says Zimmerman. “I’d gotten so frustrated by watching great, interesting genetics flop on the market, it really bummed me out. It made me question if I was totally out of touch.”

When he first found some Leftovers seeds, it was a total gamble. Six of them were female, which meant six shots at something great. Pretty much as soon as the plants began to flower, two of those seeds stood out.

“I know #11 was something special, it just smelled so amazing, and then #2 had this old-school quality—super-dank, gassy aroma—that I knew would test well,” recalls Zimmerman. “Then we got it tested, and we couldn’t believe it. Forty percent THC.”

Zimmerman acknowledged the skeptical look on my face at this point in the interview, and clarified that he’s typically the first person to complain about lab accuracy.

“I honestly don’t believe the 40% either, but the reality is that testing is really random,” he adds. “They’re grabbing select buds off a plant, and the cannabinoids really vary depending on the part of the plant and which bud on which branch.”

High test results are the best kind of advertising to the average dispensary shopper, but the night-and-day difference in how fast these Leftovers drops were repeatedly selling out validated everything LUVLI was doing. It also got Zimmerman excited to experiment again, which resulted in Pressure, the strain that propelled the company to victory at the Oregon Growers Cup.

Since first introducing Leftovers #2 and #11 to the market in 2019, LUVLI saw a spike in demand, but it chose not to meet it with a bigger supply. That’s the true gift of Leftovers: It’s helping LUVLI keep doing its thing, its way.

“I don’t want to grow more weed, I want to keep being able to drop my kid off at school every morning,” he says. “I’m happy.”

GET IT: Find LUVLI flower at Archive, Oregon Grown, Refinery, Kaleafa and other dispensaries in Portland and beyond.

See more of Willamette Week’s 2022 4/20 Issue Here!