If you’re following the retailer ARCannabis on Instagram, you most likely know about the huge hype they created with their ARCannabis Cup.

But how did they create all of this excitement? Who did the consumers crown as the champion of the ARCannabis Cup? And How successful was the tournament actually?

To answer these questions, we talked to Matt Chernoff who’s the Regional Manager and Operator of ARCannabis’ Social Media.

But first, let’s look into how the ARCannabis Cup worked.

The virtual ARCannabis Cup

In case you didn’t read our first article about the ARCannabis Cup, here’s a quick summary of the concept and how ARCannabis executed its idea.

The ARCannabis Cup started on March 1 2021 and was Vancouver’s first virtual cannabis cup. It was “virtual” because it was entirely set up through AR’s Instagram story. So, everyone could participate by simply watching their stories and voting for their favourite producer.

The ARCannabis Cup competition started with a total of 96 licensed producers (LPs) and was set up as a tournament bracket system. What this means is that every day, two of the producers were going head-to-head until there’s only one of the 96 left. And that one will be declared the winner of ARCannabis Cup.

As you can see in the picture below, the two LPs that made it to the final of the ARCannabis Cup were Dunn Cannabis and blkmkt.

blkmkt is the winner
Picture provided by ARCannabis

“It blew our minds”

The ARCannabis Cup gained more attraction than its creators Matt Chernoff and Aaron Sinnnathamby would have ever expected.

Whenever you visited ARCannabis’ Instagram during the cup, you could notice that their stories were fulfilled with shares over shares of consumers, brands, and their employees calling people to vote for them in the daily match-up. Some people even received direct messages from the licensed producers asking them to please go vote for them.

This shows us that the team of ARCannabis simply mastered the creation of a virtual event that fully engaged both the consumers and the licensed producers of the recreational cannabis market.

“It blew our minds when we looked at the data at the end of the cup,” laughed Matt Chernoff as I asked him about his thoughts on their success.

And indeed, the data speaks for itself:

  • Their Instagram account gained 1,716 new followers
  • They received 28,941 votes in total whereof 3,504 were only for the final.
  • And through the duration of the cup, they gained a total of 768,386 impressions.

One reason for how they received such huge engagement was that every Monday, Matt and Aaron published a recap show about the Cup to hype up the voters. In their show, the two reviewed the past round, revealed the match-ups for the next round and shared little hype videos of the licensed producers.

In total, they produced 8 recap shows and shared about 17 different hype videos from brands such as Qwest, Natural History, Royal City Cannabis, Dunn Cannabis, and others.

The last of their episodes for 2021 was published on April, 26. In this final recap show, Matt and Aaron summarized the entire cup and thanked everyone for their support.

Click the picture below to watch ARCannabis Cup last recap show.

ARCannabis Cup
Picture provided by ARCannabis

ARCannabis Cup is a collective success

In the final recap show, Matt and Aaron shared that besides all of the impressions they got on their social media, there’s something else they’re really proud of.

Because what the two were most thrilled about was all the support and positive feedback they received from the cannabis community.

“For us, the big takeaway of the entire tournament was that we brought the community back together. I know it sounds silly, but one of our old slogans we joke about is: ‘It’s not about your cannabis. It’s not about my cannabis. It’s ARCannabis,” grinned Chernoff during out interview.

In his opinion, it felt like a lot of the companies on the regulated market were mostly focused on themselves to keep up with all of the new rules that came with legalization and the outbreak of the pandemic. However, thanks to the ARCannabis Cup, Matt saw the entire community, whether it was other retailers, producers or consumers letting go of their cautious ego and instead collaborate and have fun again as a community.

“I even had people out in the East Coast messaging me about the ARCannabis Cup. It was incredible. I literally have several dispensaries, all messaging us saying, ‘it was great! Thank you for creating fun in the industry. It’s everything we needed.’ And that’s what I mean with the community. We brought everyone together and it made all of us remember how to have fun in the industry again,” explained Matt.

The winner of the ARCannabis Cup

But, besides all of the fun, it was still a competition, and there could be only one winner.

So here they are, the winner and first-ever champion of the ARCannabis Cup…

winner of the ARCannabis Cup
Picture provided by ARCannabis

blkmkt

As the winner of the ARCannabis Cup, blkmkt won special features in all ARCannabis stores such as:

  • Posters that will be permanently displayed in each of the ARCannabis stores to credit them.
  • Having the 2021 Cannabis Cup logo on their price tags.
  • Having their name engraved on the ARCannabis Cup.
  • And bragging rights as the First Ever ARCannabis Cup champion.

As someone who’s working in the industry, I think that blkmkt deserved this win very much. Its brand is known for producing high-quality buds that are usually densely covered in Trichomes and well packaged in a black glass jar. Besides, what budtenders and consumers also love about them is that they list their Terpene percentages on their products to inform their consumers about the compounds that created their experience.

Here’s also a little fun fact: in its very first recap show, Aaron mentioned that he’d see blkmkt as one of the brands that would make it far in the tournament. So, well guessed Aaron!

Looking forward

Now that the team of ARCannabis knows of the huge impact their ARCannabis Cup made, they’re already thrilled about launching their next competition in 2022.

Matt and Aaron already told me about what to expect from the next ARCannabis cup and it sounds like they’re fully ready to take their tournament to the next level.

If you’re curious about ARCannabis and how they established their business, you can also go and check out our last article about them.


I’m already excited to report about the ARCannabis Cup 2022. It will be fascinating to see who will be the winner of ARCannabis Cup in 2022. But, until then let us all try our best to keep the hype up and continue supporting the cannabis community.

Two ideas on how you can support the community right away would be showing ARCannabis some love on its socials, or letting us know how you liked the article. You can share your thoughts either in the comment section below or by messaging us on Instagram or Facebook.

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