Selectah G here checking in from your future!
Today I’m going to share with you some of my experiences at the Emerald Cup competition at the fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California this past December, 2018. The Emerald Cup competition judges several categories of Organic, Sungrown Cannabis including Flowers, Extract, Edibles and Topicals. This is the inaugural year of the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award which was granted to Willie himself on Sunday. If this gives you an idea of how far we have come from the 12 people sitting in Tim Blake’s living room at Area101 15 years ago, then you get a glimpse of your future as Green Greeks.
The most astonishing aspect of the Emerald Cup event this year was the smootheness of operation, accessability and the sheer size of it. There were three large circus tents attached to each other which housed Farmers, Distributors and
Retailers. There was also the Pacex Pavilion which was twice the size of the three tents put together. In addition, there was the Hall of Flowers which held court for all the support services in the Cannabis industry such as Greenhouse companies, Consultants, Insurance, Tax Services, Banking, Soil, Nutrients, Trim Machines, Lawyers and just about anything else you could think of that you would need to conduct business in the legal cannabis industry. The food booths were everywhere to satisfy the munchies. Finally, there was the Grace Pavilion which is a giant warehouse that hosted the live music with such acts as Protegé, Sound Tribe Sector 9, Gogol Bordello, Margo Price and many others. Close to 50,000 people were estimated to attend this two-day event.
Once I went through the checkpoint where they checked my bags for weapons and drinks, not weed, I made my way to the middle of the three circus tents. Seeing these three shining white tents attached together automatically gave me a carnival-like feeling. Once I entered the door into the Cannabis Marketplace I was transported to the circus of my dreams. For a guy from Chicago who moved away 25 years ago when you could get seven years in prison for possessing a single joint, this was a mind-blowing experience. The first thing I noticed was how much smoke was in the air! The tent was literally a cloud of pot smoke. Essentially, the world’s largest hotbox session! The first booth I encountered had all the glitz and glamour of a Gucci salon with black and gold as their colors and attendant young ladies dressed in skin tight uniforms. As I ventured deeper into the tent, I felt like I was swimming through a sea of smoke. Every booth was expertly designed to highlight the brand being represented. Many reflected their farming roots whike ithers went formore of a chic salon feel. There were individual Farmers, some with branded clothing lines, and many Distributors and Collectives that represent multiple farmers. They all had their bud and extracts on display for you to look at, smell and purchase. Some even lit up joints to pass around so that you could taste the product as well. The most common sale was the one gram pre-roll which averaged $5 to $7 each with some costing as much as $20 for what that farmer thought was apparently the gold standard. Eighth ounces(3.6 gr) were averaging $15, quarters(7.1 gr) for $30 with 1/2 ounces(227 gr) at $80 and full ounces(454gr) at $140. Extracts ranged from $60 -$120 /gram. The competition winners were announced Sunday afternoon at 4:00 so the fun part of shopping Saturday and Sunday was trying to guess for yourself who the winners would be and buying their product before the price went up after the contest.
A regular feature at the Emerald Cup are the panel discussions which feature experts in their field every year. This year the subjects included intellectual property law, genetic selection for breeding and regenerative farming practices. Very often the speakers are people that I’ve grown up with in this business. The culture in the Emerald Triangle that I associate with tends to be very generous with their knowledge and devoted to the plant being treated with respect, love and dignity and that the Earth be treated the same while we cultivate.
One of my favorite moments was sitting in a comfy chair next to Nikki Lastreto and Swami of Swami select while Frenchy Cannoli torched a huge cube of his legendary, world-class hash on top of the hookah and sharing this amazing gift with these amazing people. I can say without a doubt that that was the most relaxing and transcendent hookah hit of my life. I got so high, that I forgot to wait for Swami to finish rolling one of his epic doobies and wandered away, on to the rest of my adventure.
♡ Selectah G ♡
The Green Greeks Magazine