We spoke to Derrick, the squad father at Thompson Caribou Concentrates (TCC), about their trophy case, his favourite cannabis cup, and the charity event they throw every year called Patients over Profits.
Cannabis Life Network: How many trophies has Thompson Caribou Concentrates won?
Derek from TCC: Total? So not just Karma Cups? Hold on, let me check the trophy case… 16. We’ve got 16.
How many of those are from the Karma Cup?
12 are from the Karma Cup, and Thompson Caribou Concentrates is proud to be one of the most awarded brands in Karma Cup history.
Which trophy are you proudest of?
I’m proudest of this year’s first place indica trophy from the Karma Cup. It’s the Indica Shatter trophy, and we won it with our Sour Bubba.
What’s your personal favorite out of Thompson Caribou’s line of products and why?
My personal favourite is the shatter- I’m a simple extract kind of guy. I always go for the indicas, and my favourite is the Sour Bubba, the one that won us first place at the Karma Cup.
What made you guys choose to enter the Sour Bubba?
We basically did a silent sample with a few other people. Although nobody knew what it was, the reviews we got back on the Sour Bubba were very positive, so we figured that would be a good one to enter.
Has Thompson Caribou applied to be a licensed producer?
No and we don’t currently have any plans to.
What are your thoughts on Ontario’s plans for legalization?
You mean the LCBO model? I don’t think that’s the appropriate model to go with, and I really hope that BC doesn’t follow. So far, it doesn’t seem it will.
What do you hope BC does with its respective plans?
I hope that they keep it safe, and make sure it stays out of the hands of children- I share all of those concerns- but I think it also needs to incorporate the people that have helped the market what it is today, like the dispensaries and mom-and-pop businesses. I really hope they make an effort to try and include us in their regulations and their model.
I hope BC takes advantage of all the knowledge that’s out there, from people who have been doing it for many and many years. I think it would be foolish to not gain anything from that and the previous systems that people already have in place.
As the headline sponsor for the Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup in October, what do you hope to see?
Have you ever competed in the Prairie Cup before?
No we’ve never entered, but it’s one of the longest running cups in Canada- this one is its seventh annual cup, and I didn’t want to neglect it any further. I know it’s a community cup and the one where the most activists go. To me, it’s the unofficial “community cup” even though it’s not named that.
What are you most excited about the Prairie Cup?
I’m most excited about the marijuana games that they have there. It’s almost Olympic-style with events like Synchronized Dabbing, Fastest Joint Rolling, and categories like that. Everybody competes for prizes.
I’m looking forward to that the most and always hear that’s one of the coolest parts of the cup. Everyone who comes back from it always says that, and I want to see it for myself this year.
As headline sponsors, are you allowed to compete in the cup yourselves?
We’re able to compete, but we’re just entering one flower and one extract. When we say we’re title sponsoring, it doesn’t mean that my squad is running the cup- we’re not making the judging rules or anything for the event. We’re not involved in that part, but I feel like there’s sometimes a bit of confusion when people see the Thompson Caribou name as title sponsor.
What are Thompson Caribou’s plans for the next year or so?
I want to stick to the model that we’ve stuck to for the past three years- continue to preach patients over profits and safe access to cannabis for everyone. I want us to focus on our charity event we do every April called Patients over Profits. 2018 will be the 3rd year.
Last year we had about 300 people packed into MMJ Canada, so we’re looking for a bigger venue this year.
We’ve got a surprise planned for this year’s event, but I can’t divulge too much information. It’s super patient-friendly, and it’s more geared towards people who are in dire need of medicinal cannabis.
Having participated in cups across Canada, what’s your favourite part of the competitions?
Yeah we’ve been in cups from Ottawa all the way to Victoria, but my favourite part of the competition actually has nothing to do with the competition!
I describe the cups as a small family reunion with the cannabis community. Sometimes, like with the Karma Cup for instance, it’s the only time I get to see some people from Ontario.
These cups are a great opportunity to see old friends and I really like that.
Out of all the cups you’ve participated in, do you have a personal favourite?
Well, I can’t judge the Prairie Cup yet, having never entered it, but I consider the Karma Cup to be Canada’s premier cannabis cup.
What makes it stand out is organization. I run a business, and when I see things in disorder or chaos that could have been prevented, it bothers me. I think Karma Cup is overall one of the best organized and ran events in Canada, and it’s not just what they present- from start to finish, it’s very well-organized.
I’ve heard the trophy is actually a functional glass rig. Have you ever used it?
In the first two years we were at the Karma Cup, the trophies were much bigger and bulkier, so they weren’t as functional. But this year, they made the rig smaller yet sturdier, which made it much more functional and I’ve used it for sure.
Any last thoughts?
Yeah this is basically the end of the cup season for 2017. The Prairie Cup is our last big show for the year and I just want to say thanks to everybody. We appreciate everybody who gives us the support and attention we need to make things happen all year round.
Big shout-outs to everybody from our patients, the media, and everyone up and down who helps push the brand. We’re a community and we’re all in this together.