Craig Ex is known as “the Expert of Expert Joints” but there were no shortage of other experts in their own fields at last month’s gathering of cannabis connoisseurs for the 2016 Emerald Cup.
The spliff-savvy CLN correspondent recently made his very first pilgrimage to Santa Rosa, California for the Emerald Cup: basically North America’s answer to Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup that honours the finest strains of craft cannabis.
“This is one of the biggest and baddest North American weed events there is,” he says. “The quality of products was off the chain and the whole event was second to none. It was an honour and a pleasure to be part of it and I can’t wait until next year.”
It’s been 13 years since founder Tim Blake launched the inaugural event at a campground called at Area 101 – with only a handful of people in clandestine attendance and won by an 86-year-old man with a strain of Purple Kush he got from his son – and the annual event at the Sonoma County Fair Grounds now attracts thousands of people from far beyond the state’s remote “Emerald Triangle” world-renowned for producing top-quality cannabis.
“It’s amazing,” says Taylor Blake, Tim’s daughter and one of the main organizers of the event. “This year we were like ‘there’s no way we’ll be over 800’ and then we got 1,200 and then we sold out the day before our event, which we’ve never done before. So every time we think ‘are we doing OK?’ we see people support us and they understand.”
Attendance was no doubt given a boost by the fact Californians recently voted to legalize recreational use along with its longstanding medical exemption.
Craig was given a VIP tour from Lauren Fraser of the River Collective and had the chance to meet and/or partake with a veritable who’s who of the weed world, including reggae royalty Damian Marley, DJ Short, Dirty Heads guitarist Dustin Bushnell, Sonoma County Growers Alliance executive director Tawnie Logan and a wide range of reps from such craft cannabis companies as Gold Drop, Elicit Labs, Hitman Glass, Medvets, Madrone, Emerald Family Farms, and the Weed for Warriors Project. Not to mention a roll-off contest with a fellow joint expert from Sunboldt Grown of their award-winning Loopy Fruit strain.
Watch the video below for the full experience and a possible contact high from the event.