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Squintz and Westside Gunn Come Together to Create The Liz

Chauncey Leopardi, owner of the cannabis and lifestyle brand Squintz and the man who played Squints in The Sandlot, talks about the new strain and working with Westside Gunn.

BOOM BOOM BOOM is exactly how The Liz hits your body on the wake up. 

The Liz is a sweet and earthy cannabis strain that puts you in the perfect state of mind for listening to Armani Caesar’s new The Liz 2 album. California cannabis and lifestyle brand Squintz grew, packaged, and sold the strain as a celebration of both the album’s Oct. 21 release and a collaboration with Westside Gunn. The album is available on all DSPs now.

Caesar’s The Liz 2 is a 17-track star-studded album featuring big names like Westside Gunn, Kodak Black, and Benny The Butcher. Tracks like Diana and Hunnit Dolla Hiccup will bounce off your ear drums as you smoke some of the best weed that California can offer. With its bold flavors and potent effects, the Liz strain is absolutely worth the hype.

Recently, I was able to talk with Chauncey Leopardi, owner of Squintz, about his history in weed, connecting with Westside Gunn, them working together on the Liz and future projects, and what’s next for the Squintz brand. And if you were wondering, yes, Leopardi is Squints from The Sandlot. 

Courtesy of Squintz

Strains of the Sandlot

“I definitely didn’t want to combine cannabis and The Sandlot,” Leopardi said. “I felt like they were two separate worlds. As the Sandlot demographic got older, it embraced both aspects of my life. It’s easy to play off Squints and Wendy, and gives us a lot of creative room to delve into other products. From a business standpoint, it’s a no brainer.”

Leopardi has been growing cannabis since 2001, when he first obtained his California medical cannabis prescription. Two decades later, in May 2021, he and Foreign Genetics did his first legal cannabis drop with Squintz at Cookies La Mesa. Now, they’re available in over 60 cannabis dispensaries across California.

One of the strains that Squintz is known for, The Wendy, eventually reached Westside Gunn. That’s what ultimately brought Leopardi and the Griselda Records co-founder together. The Wendy was born from some seeds that Leopardi scooped at California’s famous Emerald Cup award show and competition in December 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic shut our world down.

Courtesy of Squintz

Sir, this is The Wendy

Westside received the Wendy from a mutual friend of Leopardi and Chace Infinite, Gunn’s manager in 2021. Immediately, the all-day-everyday smoker loved it.

“Once [Westside Gunn] got the Wendy, he just loved it,” Leopardi said. “First and foremost, he thought it was fire ass weed. He’s a real smoker and he fucked with it.”

Immediately the seed of future collaboration was planted between the two. Now, in 2022, that seed has been grown, harvested, cured, and packaged as a weed strain called The Liz. The Liz album series, and the weed’s packaging, are created in honor of actress Elizabeth Taylor. The art was created by painter Isaac Pelayo.

“This was a collaborative effort to give them something of their own,” Leopardi said. “We appreciate him pushing the Wendy, and the media he could provide us with based on his love for it. We wanted to put together something for him that he could have and represent.”

Courtesy of Squintz

With The Liz’s drop, the gateways for future collabs between Squintz and Griselda are wide open. Asked what may come next from the relationship with Westside Gunn, Leopardi says he hopes to be able to breed something unique for the Buffalo-born rapper.

“Going into it we talked about how we could keep the ball rolling,” he said. “I wanted to breed something specifically for him, and let him go through the hunt, and the whole process. Next time we go in, it’ll be something off the wall and different that he really enjoys.”

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For the Squintz brand itself, the next goal is to hone in on its menu by solidifying its product offerings and brand representation. There’s also the Wendy 2.0 cannabis strain and some merch drops that he can’t tell you much about just yet.

“I’m going to be doing a lot of merch this year,” he teased. “It’s the one thing I’ve left off the table for so long. I was talking to [Isaac Pelayo]  and he does these merch collabs. Not everyone can afford a Pelayo original but through the merch, everyone can afford a t-shirt or a sweatshirt and be part of the movement.”

With Squintz’ expansion into clothes and accessories as a lifestyle brand, Leopardi is also able to reach people who don’t even smoke, but still rock with the man himself.

“There’s a lot of my actual fanbase personally that don’t indulge in cannabis and can’t appreciate it,” he said. “There’s a lot of fans out there that want to support us, that don’t smoke, but want to represent a different way. Through merch, you allow people to be part of your movement and the agenda. I want to focus on that so there’s some stuff for the people.”

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