With its 104th episode, Expert Joints LIVE! officially wrapped up Season 2. We spoke with the host, Craig Ex, about the year looking back, what his plans are for Season 3, and a few favorites to look out for at the upcoming Karma Cup, which he’s hosting, in Toronto Sept. 9-10.
Cannabis Life Network: Now that Season 2 of Expert Joints LIVE! has come to an end, what were some of the biggest highlights looking back?
Craig Ex: We did the recap of the top 20 biggest moments on Episode 104, the season finale. Coming in at #1 was Tim McBride, the former cannabis trafficker whose operation in the 80’s was responsible for smuggling 30 million pounds of cannabis into the USA.
Tim wrote a book on his adventures, and he traveled to Vancouver all the way from Florida. He’s been involved in so many of my shows, Skyping in throughout the season, and it was great to finally have him there in-person.
Who were a few of your most memorable guests and why?
I heard that Freddie Pritchard has a brand new show on Pot Tv as well.
Yeah, the Great Cannabian Smoke Show, which I kind of helped instigate to some degree. I mean, they had always been talking about the possibility of doing it and I pushed it along and helped make that happen. It’s very good to see Freddie on his show. He definitely belongs on Pot Tv.
So what made you push to get Freddie on Pot Tv?
He’s been a big supporter since day 1, and he’s been proven right on so many of the things that he’d been saying, especially in the last couple years. He’s such a strong activist and Pot Tv’s the place for activists so it’s a natural home. It’s good to see him on the network doing his thing.
Looking towards the future, what plans do you have for Season 3 of Expert Joints LIVE!?
Season 3 is going to come with new graphics, new audio, new segments- just a refreshed new look.
There’s not going to be a huge change or departure from the format, but we are going to make a couple changes and tweaks to keep it fresh and interesting.
As well, we will be starting out this season, or the preliminary for the season, at the Karma Cup September 9-10th.
But, for Season 3, the big thing is moving out from the Pot Tv studios and into Studio710.
What do you want to do more of in Season 3?
Bigger names, more guests, more products. I would also love to have some live performances on the show. Maybe even some live glass-blowing at some point if we can.
Obviously I have a couple destinations, a few big events, and a few big names that I’d like to target.
But really, just the progression and evolution of the show. I’m stepping up the production values with more prizes and more fun.
Also, maybe a little more of the normalization, like getting some sponsorships to make Expert Joints LIVE! look more and more like a late night talk show.
Are you trying to go a little more mainstream in the cannabis industry?
No. I’m still going to do my thing. I’m always going to be looking to highlight the voices in the community- a nice cross-selection from a wide spectrum of folks in it.
A lot of craft producers and a lot of people are making fantastic products and I want to keep up with what’s new and innovative.
I’m just looking to do it bigger and better and fancier than ever
You’re hosting the Karma Cup. What are you most looking forward to?
It’s great to be able to see friends and familiar faces I don’t get to check in with all the time. It’s a great get together and a social opportunity as well.
My favorite part is the trophy presentation and handing out the awards to the 45 lucky winners across 15 different categories. It’s so much fun to be able to celebrate the success of all these people’s hard work and to be able to hand out these trophies to these folks who make some beautiful products that folks have voted on.
But what’s even more satisfying is when those people are friends of mine or people I’ve had on the show or worked hard to break.
Just seeing people get recognition. You win a Karma Cup and you’re on the map. It’s a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing that.
How does the Karma Cup compare to other competitions?
There’s a lot of different cups out there and everybody’s doing relatively the same thing: you have a bunch of varieties, people vote on it, and you hand out some prizes.
But Karma Cup is, at this time, the most respected and biggest cup in the country with more than a 100 different entrants.
It’s the biggest package held in Toronto, the biggest city, put on by Sarah Sunday and her amazing team.
The name carries a lot of weight and it’s because of the level of people who enter it.
Any strains or growers that we should be on the lookout for?
Last year Thompson Caribou Concentrates took home 7 trophies! Can they win that many again or how will they do?
Of course, we saw Liberty Farms come in and go 2-for-2. Two entries, two victories, and two firsts at that! That was pretty impressive.
The other big questions are always “Who’s going to be the new and emerging talent? Who’s the name that gets broken?”
Finding that is always exciting to me and I’m looking forward to that.
Is it an opportunity for you to come out and scout the unknowns?
100%. It’s a chance to see the emerging people, the emerging products, and I try to see who’s the best of the best and then see if we can work together.
There are also great networking opportunities with all the vendors, panelists, and speakers. Lots to see and do, and lots of people to talk to
It’s great if you have questions about your products or providers because they’re often right there- you can walk down and talk to them yourself!
There’s also a lot of free support activities and if you’re a judge or you have tickets, you get access to all these different lounges.
It’s a pretty all inclusive package and I hope a lot of people come down and support Sarah Sunday and all her efforts, and check out the Karma Cup .
Are you a judge as well?
I’m supposed to be, but whether i get my kit in time, I don’t know yet.
But yes, I’m supposed to be helping to judge it, host it, MC it, and I’ll probably do some more activities throughout the weekend. Maybe even some live streams; it’s hard to say.
We’ll be running our feet off, that’s for sure.
What can you tell me about the event at Vapor Central Toronto?
It’s September 8th, which is a Friday night, and we will be having a big smoke out at with some of the finest bud, just like we did previously with Liberty Farms. There’s also a little meet and greet, just like we did during the Cannabis Life Conference.
It’s an opportunity for people to come out, meet some producers, and smoke some product.
Also, we’ll probably give away some stuff.
It will be a great kick-off for the Karma Cup and a chance to meet some of the entrants.
With the Season 3 premiere still weeks away, do you have any free time?
Well it’s not going to be free. I’m taking 4 weeks off from the show to get set-up at the new studio and with all the changes going on, it going to take time to mastermind and put together.
But it’s also an opportunity to regroup and get a few things done on the to-do list.
I’ll be back Sept. 7 with a special Season 3 preview from Vapor Central, with the smoke-out/meet and greet the next day. Anyone who’s around is welcome to come down and watch the show.
Catch it at 4:20 PST, 7:20 EST.
Anything else on your plate right now?
The only other thing is the new studio I’m doing my show from, Studio710, is Vancouver’s first multimedia marijuana production facility, space, studio.
In addition to my show, they’re going to be doing many other shows and other content.
Working there is a great opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it.
Catch Craig Ex and Season 3 of Expert Joints LIVE! every week starting Sept. 7.