An estimated 10,000 people attended an epic marijuana festival in Wine Country over the weekend, as the 11th annual Emerald Cup celebrated the Golden State’s rich medical cannabis culture and booming industry.
Held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds north of San Francisco, the massive, sold-out, two-day event featured hundreds of exhibitors, dozens of speakers, entertainers like Ozomatli and Slightly Stoopid, and more than 600 entrants in the outdoor flower bud competition alone. Luminaries and neophytes alike communed in Sonoma — with the likes Greenhouse Seeds’ Arjan mingling with retirees trying medical cannabis for the first time in their lives.
Judges awarded first place in flowers to Mendocino County breeder and grower to Joe Peinado for his customized breed of Diesel X Ogre, which tested at 26.51 percent THC. Peinado has been growing in Laytonville, CA. since ’87, he said. The first-time entrant in the Cup bested more than 600 other entrants from across the state to win a free trip for two to Jamaica and the title of California’s best breeder and grower. “I feel great,” said Peinado. Next year he plans to “keep doing the same thing.”
Medical cannabis patients can support small farmers and artisanal cannabis by coming together every year at events like the Cup, he said. “We can only move forward when we get together and talk to people at events like these.”
Second place for flowers in the competition (which was for individual growers, not dispensaries) went to Mean Gene and Aficionado Seeds for their Black Lime Reserve. Third place went to grower Budonymous and Ganja Girl Scout for their Lake County cut of the strain Cheese. First place for best solventless concentrate went to Moonshine Melts, which swept eight of the top ten places in the best hash category.
Judges in the flower competition had to sample about 130 strains in a week in the quarter-finals, they said. “We proved once again it is impossible to overdose on smoking marijuana,” said one judge.
There’s lots more to detail coming out of the massive 2014 Cup. Here’s a some photos from Smell the Truth’s visit.