Selector G here, from your future!
Today I will share with you some of my experiences at the Emerald Cup competition at the Santa Rosa, California, exhibition hall in December 2018.
The Emerald Cup competition judges various categories of organic, open cannabis cultivation, including flowers, spirits, edibles and themes. This is the opening year of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Willie himself on Sunday. If that gives you an idea of how far we’ve come from the 12 people who sat in Tim Blake’s living room in Area101 15 years ago, then you’ll have a glimpse of your own potential future.
The reasons for the success of this year’s Emerald Cup were the smoothness of the operation, its easy accessibility and its large size. There were three large circus awnings connected to each other under which farmers, distributors and retailers were housed; there was also the Pavilion Pacex, which was twice the size of the three tents. In addition, there was the flower hall, which held responsibility for all the support services of the cannabis industry, such as greenhouse companies, consultants, insurance companies, tax agencies, banks, earthworks, fertilizer companies, trimming machines, lawyers and almost anything else you need to conduct legitimate businesses in the cannabis industry. Food stalls were everywhere, ready to satisfy even the most demanding tastes. Finally, there was Pavilion Grace, a giant warehouse that hosted live music, with artists such as Protegé, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Gogol Bordello, Margo Price and many others. About 50,000 people are estimated to have attended this two-day event.
As soon as I passed by the checkpoint where they checked the bags for guns and drinks (but not grass), I walked towards the middle of the three tents. Seeing these three bright white scenes connected, I automatically felt a celebratory feeling. As soon as I crossed the entrance I found myself in the cannabis market and suddenly I was transferred to the circus of my dreams. For a guy from Chicago, where he could spend seven years in prison for possessing a marijuana cigarette, this was an unimaginable experience. The first thing I noticed was how much smoke there was in the air! The scene was literally drowned in a cloud of smoke. Essentially, the largest cannabis smoker session in the world! The first booth I met had all the brilliance and glamour of a Gucci living room in their black and gold color and young employees dressed as ladies in tight uniforms. As I ran deeper into the stage, I felt like I was swimming in a sea of smoke. Each booth was specifically designed to highlight the brand it represented. Many reflected their rural roots while others preferred an elegant living room. There were individual farmers, some with branded clothing lines, and many distributors and collective bodies representing many farmers. Everyone had their flowers and extracts to see, smell them and buy them. Some even circulated and joints, so you can try the product. The most common sale was the supply of a gram of prepared cigarette, which cost an average of $5 to $7 and went up to $20 for what the farmer thought was the best iny. Spirits ranged from $60 to $120/gram. The winners of the competition were announced in the afternoon of Sunday at 4:00, so there was the challenge of trying to guess who would be the winners of the contest and buy their product before their price rises.
A typical feature of the Emerald Cup is the group discussions that are composed each year of experts specialized in their field. This year the topics included copyright law, genetic selection and reproductive – innovative farming practices. Many of the speakers were people I’ve grown up with. The culture at the Emerald Triangle, with which I am associated, tends to be very generous with the knowledge and devotion to the plant, which is treated with respect, love, dignity as well as the belief that the Earth should be treated the same when it is cultivated.
One of the My favorite moments were sitting in a comfortable chair next to the Nikki Lastreto and him Swami’s Swami Select while the Frenchy Cannoli was putting on top of the hookah a huge piece of his legendary hashish, sharing this amazing gift along with all these amazing people. I can say without a doubt that this was the most relaxing and transcendent hookah of my life. I climbed so high that I forgot to wait for Swami to finish one of his epic doobies and drifted away into the rest of my adventure.
♡ Selectah G ♡
The Green Greeks Magazine