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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: North Coast | Drug War | Environment & Forest Defense | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Emerald Cup 2010-Californias longest running medical marijuana competition
Marijuana growers and consumers gathered at this years 7th annual Emerald Cup-Californias longest running medical marijuana competiton at Area 101 in Laytonville, nestled in the hills of Northern Mendocino County, to celebrate all things marijuana and the best of Northern Californias largest cash crop….
Hundreds of people gathered at Area 101 nestled in the hills of Northern Mendocino County to celebrate all things marijuana and the best of Northern Californias largest cash crop….
"This is wonderful," said Sandra Jennings, owner of Absolutely Wonderful Cannabis.
Jennings is Amidst a crowded showcase of locals and out of towers displaying their marijuana related products. She brought a collection of pharmaceutical jars of cannabis from more than 100 years ago.
"We had a cannabis tincture bottle from the civil war and we sold that one," said Jennings.
Other groups were there to showcase medical marijuana infused food. Katrina is with the Mendocino Farmers Collective. She was there representing their kitchen products.
"We have spices, teas and chocolates," she said.
Other entrepreneurs brought bottled marijuana infused soda, truffles, and cannabinoid infused pain relief topical ointment. Out of more than 130 entries this year, the time came to announce the top 10 outdoor grown green bud.
Swami Shatanyah, an Emerald Cup judge, started off the competition with a few ohms for the middle east-home to the kush bud.
"People are dying over there," he continued, "So lets send them the love we get from our kush…."
Steve Bloom author of Refer moved madness announced the top 3 winners….with descriptions of their prized top grade medical marijuana. The top winner, number 1 was a cross strain from Southern California, called 'Best Shit Ever.' Out of the top 10 winners 4 were from a small medical marijuana collective in Anderson Valley, in Mendocino County.
Amidst the live music and ganja the Emerald Cup had sobering moments. Each year organizers invite speakers to discuss issues around the marijuana drug wars, from legalization to recent medical research. This year, Mendocino County's 2nd district supervisor John Mccowen discussed the county's newest marijuana certification program-the 9.31 ordinance that allows eligible growers to produce up to 99 plants with protection from the county's Sheriffs Office.
"It's one thing to say your legal, it's another thing to have a permit from the Sheriff's Office that says your legal," said Mccowen.
A marijuana critic, Mccowen supported a backlash ordinance to limit the amount of medical marijuana grown in Mendocino County in 2008. Now, he says, he wants to work with growers who are willing to work with him.
"If they can show they are not damaging the environment and creating a public problem….then we can save money from bringing them into the court system….and focus on doing something proactive," he said.
With the county and state in a defect, law makers are looking at ways to bring in needed revenue. The untapped resource of medical marijuana may be their salvation. Mccowen says if 100 growers sign up they can save 7 sheriff office jobs at the cutting block.
But for some it's hard to trust law enforcement. Growers who have been at the helms of hiding their operations for years, if not decades from law enforcement may have some trepidation about working with law enforcement. Emerald Cup founder Tim Blake signed his collective up with the program.
Pot growers and law makers alike are seeing common ground in the benefits medical marijuana can have for the community. The Emerald Cup is just one example. At 100 dollars a ticket, Blake estimates 10,000 dollars of the events proceeds will go to the Gavin house a non-profit in Ukiah.
"They are doing work with HIV and Aids patients and needed the money so we choose them," said Blake.
And all in all, Mccowen may even be turning a new leaf within the medical marijuana community…..after attending the Emerald Cup he says… "its probably more mellow than a bar scene."
I'm Christina Aanestad reporting for KMUD Community News.