To those who have by no means been to the Emerald Cup, it can be alternatively hard to recognize the scope of the renowned affair that takes place on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, each December. Founded by Tim Blake fifteen years ago as a small friendly cannabis competition, the Cup has grown into a mecca of 15,000 presenting cannabis enterprise figureheads and, more importantly, for Emerald Triangle pot farmers, who challenge out of the hills down south to show off the finest, sun-grown, sustainable crop in all of California. This cannabis competition-meets music festival-meets academic convention brings collectively lots of cannabis producers, artists, musicians, activists, scientists, and daily consumers.
However, while the Cup at times may feel like a survival-of-the-fittest amongst even the most veteran cannabis consumers, the methods in which attendees can even attempt the product, as well as the nature of the Cup itself, has changed alongside with the ever-evolving nature of California’s weed regulations.
This year, for instance, rather than sampling products at each of the supplier booths and walking away with tote luggage full of free bud, attendees needed first to purchase before they could even try the stuff. This is because cannabis license holders, following country law, cannot gift cannabis.
This past fall, sanctioning cannabis sales on personal and public property, the number of areas where weed events held has improved greatly. Prior, activities should only happen on fairgrounds, and the fairgrounds themselves had the authority to figure out whether or not they even wanted to host cannabis activities in the first place.
At the Emerald Cup, indeed located on a county fairground, event planners needed to grant a layout of the festival, designating specific areas for consumption, and other areas including places where beverages were served nearby the food fair for non-consumption. Besides, of course, all cannabis vendors setting up shop at the licensed event needed to have their retail license.
The notion is for the Emerald Cup to be another most important event, as cannabis becomes less niche and more normalized coming into the mainstream.
Along with a robust social justice component, shedding light on efforts like those with the aid of Cag- Free Cannabis (Emerald Cup’s charity partner) to enhance the lives of those most affected by the Drug War, the Emerald Cup honors the history of where the cannabis enterprise has been the past 40 years, and where it is going post-prohibition. A party of the Emerald Triangle’s agricultural heritage, as well as of California cannabis tradition as a whole, the Cup is universally accessible to cannabis veterans and the canna-curious, alike.
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