by David Downs
Northern California's Tolkien-esque gathering of hairy hill people and their fragrant psychedelic herb will move further south than ever before this year to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, the Emerald Cup organizers report.
The 10th annual Emerald Cup — billed as the world's only outdoor organic cannabis competition — will be held Dec. 14-15 at the spacious Sonoma County Fairgrounds, according to Cup founder Tim Blake.
For the past nine years, the Emerald Cup has been held at small — sometimes secret — locations. The one-of-a-kind medical marijuana competition's move into a more populated area signifies the change in legal climate surrounding the plant. An expert panel will judge weed based on color, smell, trichomes, taste, vibrancy, and “how it changes consciousness.” It's like the world's stoniest county fair.
The 2012 Emerald Cup was attended by more than 1,500 visitors, including growers, activists, scientists, attorneys, and patients who gathered to celebrate the year’s big harvest and enjoy educational panels, live music, local arts and crafts, and games.
“After smoking two hundred strains in fourteen days, judges gave the grand prize to local breeding company Cannabis Aficionado for its Chemdawg Special Reserve. The company won a trip to Jamaica and the notoriety of having the best "beans" in the biz,” we wrote last year.
Early-bird tickets are $40 per day and $70 per weekend. Tickets at the door are $50 for a day and $90 for the weekend.