Featured photo by Sly Vegas Photography
Photos from Emerald Cup Facebook page
Written by Saxe Coulson
With everyone delving into the Cannabis market and industry, there are a growing amount of events, festivals, and competitions entering into the field but The Emerald Cup is one of the longest standing and running events attributed to Cannabis. With over 700 vendors this year and a musical line-up that included The Roots, Heiroglyphics, and Gramatik as well as a separate area hosted by Northern Nights Festival, The Emerald Cup is still one of the premiere Cannabis Cups and festivals in the world.
What’s the deal with herb?
Although consuming and growing Cannabis was officially legalized in November of 2016 under Proposition 64 (also referred to as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act), many dispensaries are not licensed and able to sell or distribute Marijuana until January of 2018. Because of these rules and regulations, The Emerald Cup was forced to separate the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in two parts: one referred to as Area 215 and the other areas that included education, merchandise, a marketplace, and the concert hall and outdoor bazaar.
The 215 area featured The Solvent Experience, Demo Row, The Sungrown Experience, FlavRX Pavillion, and Cannacraft Village. There were so many vendors this year, it made it nearly impossible to visit them all in two days and catch the musical acts as well. There was everything from security agencies to Cannabis TV to clothing made of hemp to Cannabis refrigeration to stress and anxiety relief pills that helps you focus as well.
Although there are numerous vendors and brands that carry CBD oils, extracts, rosin, edibles, tinctures, vape pens, as well as other items marketed towards the average consumer. The bulk of The Emerald Cup is catered to growers and farmers with numerous booths for seeds and soil as well as growers looking to display and sell their menu of flower and extracts. Although many in the industry tend to refer to the different grades of cannabis as indoor and outdoor, many of the growers at The Emerald Cup utilize regenerative growing techniques and completely organic methods. The Emerald Cup even goes so far as to disqualify any grower who tests for chemicals or pesticides from the competition.
Unlike many other festivals and events where the vast majority are looking to either dance and mingle or socialize and just plain out have fun, at The Emerald Cup the vast majority are looking to network, market out their product, and seek out new and innovative ways and techniques that can help them. Majority of those in attendance at The Emerald Cup are somehow connected or involved in the cannabis industry and many aren’t simply just looking to party and get high and listen to great music.
And the award goes to…
- Flowers— The award winners were announced in the concert hall on Sunday and Molecular Farms won the main flower competition with Lemon Crush as well as for CBD flowers with Guava Jam. Roze by 3rd Gen Family x Dying Breed Seeds and OG Private Reserve by Malcolm Hunter came in 2nd and 3rd place. CBDiamonds, CBD Mango, CBD Pain Cream, and Treatwell’s Balance won in the CBD category for concentrates, edibles, topicals, and tinctures. For Solventless Concentrates, Rosin, C02, and Distillate we saw Pink Lemonade by Ahti Hash and Tarhill Cannabis, Muffinz by Moonshine Melts and 3rd Gen Family and Dying Breed Seeds, Cryo Sauce by Lassen Cannabis Co and Serenity, and Island Girl by Gold Drop and Blue River.
- Edibles— The Peanut Butter Macaroons by Utopia Farms won best edibles category, the 1:1 Tincture by The Squishery won best tincture, and the Deep Skin Penetrating Topical Oil by Newell’s Botanicals won best topical. As for the Regenerative Farming Award, Flower Daze, Briceland Forest, and Lionpaw Organics won and for the newest award category, Innovative Product, Sunnabis won for Festival Throat Spray CBD Formula.
- Tarpenes— There was also an entire category based on Terpenes with most unique, highest total content for flower, distillate, vape pen, and non solvent concentrates and a category for cannabinoids that included THCA, THC, THCV, and CBDA and CBD. For most unique profile, it was a tie between Abatin Farms with Hawaiian Sunrise and Greenshock Farms with Hawaiian Sleigh Ride. Greenshock Farms also won for highest total terpene content with Tropical Sleigh Ride and GoldDrop won highest terpene content in the distillate category for Gelato. Pure Organic Oil won the highest terpene content for vape pens with Poo-e-labs and pakaloto stix. Terp Hogz along with Green Fieldz and cold water concoctions won the highest terpene category in non solvent concentrates with Zmoothie.
- Cannaboids— The cannabinoid awards went to Gorilla Breath with Higher Flower containing 30% THCA and 33% total cannabinoids. King Table took the highest THC award with Ancient Remedy in the distillate category with 88% THC content. The highest THCV award went to CA Cannabinoids Dougs – varin and Dougie’s Farm with a 3:1 THC:THCV ratio (~13.5% THCV). The highest CBDA award went to Green Goddess Organics with Suzy Q flower and the highest CBD went to GoldDrop and Blue River with Star Crystals concentrates and 92% CBD.
The first act on Saturday was a band that we were formerly unfamiliar with by the name of Thrive. They played some great funky reggae ahead of Heiroglyphics and The Roots who both played great sets. Some of the songs were quite familiar and others were a not with a collection of both old school tracks and some newer ones as well. On Sunday, we then checked out Bob Moses who played ‘Tearing Me Up’ and ‘Far From The Tree’ while mixing a bit of house and techno, as well. They also brought along their drummer to accompany them.
Cannabis on the rise
Although many still tend to view the world of Cannabis and Cannabis cups and events as a haven for stoners and those that simply want to get high, The Emerald Cup shows us that it is so much more than that. There are brand reps and ambassadors and highly qualified marketers, highly skilled farmers with very technical farm equipment, and massive extraction machines used to produce numerous products. Although the general public maybe aware of hemp, they might not be aware that it can produce fashionable and very comfortable clothing. Many also are aware of THC but very few are aware of the numerous benefits and effects of CBD that actually doesn’t get you high at all. There is also new research going into THC-V which suppresses appetite and can help with obesity and have the opposite effect of THC.
Once new regulatory measures are in effect and the numerous brands and companies involved in the industry start adapting and figuring out ways to get these products to the masses, we will soon see many of these brands and products at music and art festivals in addition to the various cups and cannabis focused events. Although Marijuana is already fully legalized in Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Colorado, the population of these states combined doesn’t even equal half of the population of California. For 2018, we are sure to see a major influx of what they are calling the green rush throughout the festival scene, especially in California.