The Road to the Emerald Cup, Hollywood Edition

An 11 day road trip along the 101 to SoCal wasn’t just a beautiful trip, it was a fruitful one. Packed with dispensary visits, a cannabis farmers market, a party with Woodie Harrelson, a High Times Magazine feature and some disc golf, Joseph set off on a journey that will be hard to forget.

In mid-May, our family got word that we would be receiving an Emerald Cup award in front of a packed audience at the Montalban Theatre in West Hollywood. What the award was for? We didn’t know. All we knew was that we had submitted our THCV rich Pink Boost Goddess into the competition and it had won something. In 2021 we received a 1st place award in certified sungrown flower and an SC Lab award for the highest THCV, but with Covid and the lockdown still looming over society, the awards were announced online. They came and went with very little publicity and excitement. This year we hoped it would be different, and it was.

After 4 days of traveling with events at Big Sur Cannabotanicals, Sespe Creek Collective and Cornerstone Collective, I woke up in a wealthy neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills after a night in the trusty 2000 Subaru Forester. I’d set up a route that allowed me to stay at someone’s house every other night to wash up and stretch out along my journey. My ice chest, tabling set up, suitcase and marketing supplies all stacked to one side of the car so I could lay out a sleeping pad and stretch my feet into the front seat to catch a snooze under the city lights. As I sat in my car taking a couple early morning calls, I enjoyed my fruit and PB&J and gave a wave to a neighbor walking their dog. The Emerald Triangle was about to show LA what our cannabis is all about.

I’ve got a lot on my plate for the day. Woodie Harrelson’s new dispensary, The Woods, is having its grand opening on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood, and there’s a cannabis farmers market at LAPCG. I’m going to be talking to lots of people today. And before I go anywhere, I need to find some copies of the June edition of High Times. Daniel Stein at Briceland Forest Farm got our brand Farm Cut a brand spotlight in this month’s edition. They are calling it, “Untrimmed Planet Friendly Pot”. The article details our brand’s mission to protect trichomes which preserve the terpenes and cannabinoids, giving users the flavors and effects behind cannabis. “The result of this method is incredibly fragrant and flavorful outdoor herb with an extra layer of protection…” We prefer to use the term ‘minimally processed’ rather than untrimmed, but nonetheless, Farm Cut has made the spotlight.

The Woods is a beautiful shop. If you haven’t checked it out and you’re in LA, go there when you’re done reading this article. Large wooden doors with big clear windows meet the sidewalk with planters and a few small round tables outside. Through the windows you can find some of the best sungrown cannabis in the California market. To name drop a few brands: Down Om Farms, Happy Day, Moon Made, Ridgeline, Redwood Roots, Huckleberry Hill and Farm Cut. Step out back of The Woods to find a garden and consumption lounge. There are few better places to enjoy a doobie in LA than right here.

The Woods was just the first stop for the day. Next stop was just down the road at LAPCG, where the first cannabis farmers market in LA was about to showcase some of the best bud in the Emerald Triangle. LAPCG is the longest running dispensary in West Hollywood that opened up in the 215 days to service cannabis patients of LA. Under the leadership of Chelsea Lucich they are now supporting some of the small sungrown farmers of the Emerald Triangle to get their flower into the LA market.

Cannabis farmers markets are a new thing to LA. Very rarely does the NorCal farmer make it down to LA and its even more rare for a group of them to make an appearance. With Mendo favorites including Nikki and Swami of Swami Select, Marty Clein of Martyjuana farms and Phil Crews of Mendo Family Farm, this was certainly nothing to miss. I set up my booth and looked down the isle to see the familiar smiling faces of Jenn and Joey at Wildland Farms. Sungrown farmers are here in LA and we’re representing strong!

After a fun and eventful farmers market at LAPCG, it was time to get back to The Woods for the grand opening after-party to mingle and celebrate. I shared drinks and chatted with friends old and new including Drew Martin, Ted Blair of Cannacountry Farms, and Jesse and Claire of Regenerative Cannabis Farming. When the time came for Woodie to cut the cake the whole room erupted with cheers and excitement. I managed to grab a few minutes with Woodie to show him pictures of our farm and thank him for his work in advocating for sungrown cannabis and the small farmers up north. Around 2am, I packed up shop and headed back into Laurel Canyon to sleep in my Subaru and get ready for my second big day in a row.

Waking up meant go time. It was the day of the Emerald Cup awards! After a quick shower and a bite to eat, it was time to prepare for the big night.

First thing, meet Eric Hiss at the Montalban to set up the display of The Farm and The Feminine. This collection of images feature 4 rockstar women in the cannabis industry: Taylor Blake (Briceland Forest Farm), Rose Moberly (Huckleberry Hill Farm), Tina Gordon (Moon Made Farms), and Katie Jeane (Emerald Spirit Botanicals). I was blessed to be in the company of three of these women during the Emerald Cup Awards. After setting up the images I went to a friend’s house to catch a quick nap and get ready for the big night.

My mother and I arrived to the Montalban Theatre around 6pm. A long line stretched down the sidewalk. As we came closer to the entry a flashy red carpet completed the path to the front door. We grabbed a shot on the carpet together and headed into the theatre. Just inside, five long glass cases displayed all the flower and products submitted into the cup. It seemed like the flower was organized based on terpenes. SC labs set up a classification system based on their PhytoFact terpene reports. Flower was batched into 6 sections: Jacks + Haze, Tropical + Floral, OGs + Gas, Sweets + Dreams, Desserts and Exotics. As we looked through the sections, we couldn’t find the Pink Boost Goddess. She was hiding somewhere. As we turned the corner into the 3rd row only a few flowers remained. Sitting at the end of the row was our beauty. To our surprise the terpene classification was listed as “Exotic”. Only 3 other entries had this classification, two of them were a strain called Juice Z and the third was a strain called Juicy Gushy, all three grown by Atrium Cultivation. Out of the hundreds of submissions into the Emerald Cup, only 4 of them were listed as exotic, including Pink Boost Goddess.

The Pink Boost Goddess terpene and cannabinoid content is quite unique. Before getting into the numbers I want to highlight that at Emerald Spirit Botanicals we grow our plants from seed. This means there is some variability between each plant and results will vary between batches. The top three terpenes are typically Myrcene, Ocimene and Terpinolene. The cannabinoid profile ranges between a 2:1 THC/THCV and a 1:1 THC/THCV. The batch submitted at the Emerald Cup this year came in at 11.4% THC, 9.7%% THCV and 2.6% total terpenes. The resulting aroma and flavor is a floral, minty cream with a touch of peppery gas. Effects often include an uplifting and energetic euphoria with a heightened sense of focus and motivation. THCV has also been shown to help regulate blood sugar and up regulate energy metabolism making it appear to be useful to support weight loss and help patients with type 2 diabetes.

As the award ceremony kicked off, we saw some friendly faces walking up to the stage to receive their awards. Heritage Hash Company and HuckleBerry Hill partnered up to win 1st place in Ice Water Hash and second place in Rosin. Sunrise Mountain Farm received a 1st place in Alternative Cannabinoid Tinctures with their full spectrum CBD rich tincture. Big Sur Cannabotanicals won best dispensary in Central California and Cornerstone Wellness won best dispensary in Southern California.

It wasn’t until the second half of the award ceremony that we had our time in the light. Woodie Harrelson walked on stage to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and shared a few words. Jesse then came onto the stage to present the Regenerative Farm Award. His intro was spot on, highlighting the importance of regenerative farming at our current time in history. With so much destruction happening on our planet due to agriculture, it is imperative that we create a cannabis industry that not only sustains the current state of our climate and soil but begins to heal and regenerate the systems all life relies on. Cannabis can help us in doing this. After a beautiful and moving speech, Jesse began the video.

When the video completed, my mother and I were called to the stage. We walked up to an applause to receive our plaque. I turned toward the audience to share a few words. The lights were blinding and shocking. With a shaky tone in my voice, I greeted the crowd. It was hard to think in the moment, all I could do was trust. I encouraged the room to pause and take a deep breathe together. The room fell silent.

Inhale… Exhale…

I reminded everyone to have gratitude for the earth and the sun working together in harmony ro create the beauty and abundance we all experience and enjoy. I called on the spirits of cannabis to offer support to humanity at this time that we may find guidance within ourselves to support and heal our relationship to ourselves, each other and our earth. I reminded everyone that cannabis is here to promote balance, and it is from this place of balance that we most move forward in harmony if we are to protect and preserve the earth as we know it. With tears in my eyes and a deep sense of gratitude, I received the award and walked down the stairs with my mother back to our seats.

To our great pleasure and surprise, the awards were not over. We went on to receive awards for our Pink Boost Goddess with a 1st place in certified sungrown flower, and an SC lab award for most unique cannabinoid! In total, we returned home with 3 awards and an exotic terpene classification.

Putting the awards together, Emerald Spirit Botanicals won awards for regenerative cultivation, sungrown flower, unique cannabinoids and an exotic terpene listing.

As the event came to a close there was one more great victory for sungrown flower. Farmer and the Felon not only took first place in the sungrown flower category with their Lemon Sponge Cake, they also won Best in Show, highlighting that their flower was voted the best flower in the entire event. The best part about it, it was sungrown baby!! Of all the flowers, indoor, greenhouse, and mixed light, a sungrown flower managed to take home the win as the Best in Show. It was a great day for sungrown flower and the sungrown farmers up north.

With the Emerald Cup awards wrapping up, my mom caught a flight back up to the farm and I continued south towards San Diego to do some more demos at Torrey Holistics and Cannabist before making the turn to head back to Mendocino County.

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