A cloud of Cannabis smoke graced the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa for the duration of The Emerald Cup weekend in late December. We may or may not have contributed to the permacloud that made a contact high impossible to avoid, but isn’t that the point of all great Cannabis events? Enjoying the creations of those hardworking farmers, craftspeople, and scientists?
Comedian Ngaio Bealum remarked onstage during the event that “this whole festival is Cannabis infused,” which couldn’t be a more perfect explanation for the wondrous world that is The Emerald Cup. Imagine a farmers market, concert, trade show, and Cannabis cup combined.
Featuring over 600 entries and 65 judges, it is easily the largest Cannabis competition in the world and has entries representing every corner of California.
Operations have changed slightly over the years.
With the regulations came taxes and the eviction of unlicensed farmers from the festival. We truly salute the farmers who have worked unbelievably hard to achieve licensed status in this incredibly unpredictable market.
It was a highlight of the event to be able to purchase flower, edibles, concentrates, and more directly from the companies and to enjoy prices that are much more affordable and accessible for patients and recreational consumers alike.
Another interesting aspect of this event that Californians are used to, but other attendees haven’t seen in years, is the sale of clones.
The Emerald Cup is home to not only some of the most impressive genetics a grower can find, but also the most innovative and organic sungrown Cannabis farming techniques and methods in the history of Cannabis cultivation.
Out of nearly 130 award winners for the competition, there is only one “Regenerative Farms Award” and 2019’s winner was Organic Medicinals out of Humboldt.
This honor is bestowed upon a farm for their dedication to the cultivation of sungrown Cannabis in native soil.
As defined by RegenerativeCannabisFarming.org, a farm of this classification “works beyond the boundaries of the cultivation site. It integrates the surrounding environment and community into the systems that build soil, restore habitat, protect water quality, and encourage mutualistic relationships. It breeds resilience and collaboration. It celebrates diversity in its soil, plants and people. It values quality over quantity. It works year-round with the seasons. It is bioregional and heterogeneous. And it is guided by principles and ethics.”
This is the award that stands out the most, although congratulations are in order for every single contestant and participant in this festival.
With over 600 entries and 65 judges, the emerald cup is easily the largest Cannabis competition in the world and has entries representing every corner of California.
STORY & PHOTOS by DANIELLE HALLE @SWEET.DEEZY for LEAF NATION