Green Future

Emerald Cup celebrates legendary plant and culture


According to lore, beings of higher intelligence from an unknown region of the cosmos paid visit to a few would-be horticulturalists residing in the woods of Northern Mendocino many years ago, bestowing upon the small group their favorite chemovar (aka, strain) with simple instructions: revere this plant and share her gifts to heal the world.

Thus a small transmission upon the frequencies of radio Area 101 broadcast the trance-like mantra: ganja ma, we cultivate your finest kind in Northern California.

The message was received, expanded in size and dimension, reaching so many as we amassed by the tens of thousands this past weekend to catalyze the 17th Emerald Cup. It was abundantly clear that this festival is not only the finest but also the only of its kind in the annals of human history.

The Cup this year was grounded by a noticeable increase in production value, enhancing the overall experience for attendees and participants alike. It could be said that it left many of us floored, literally, as the dank fairground soil was covered by flooring in the vendor areas for the first time, warming both temperature and moods alike.

This was the springboard for the dualistic nature of the circus that is the Cup: world-renowned experts giving PhD-level panel discourses abutting Team California’s dab Olympic trials. There were hour-long lines for both seed preservationists and those wishing to purchase limited-edition flowers to smoke immediately and altars to Kali and Mary Magdalene among a traditionally male-dominated culture. Cannabis was celebrated as both medicine and a psychoactive inebriant.

Underlying the palpable enthusiasm for the coming era of legalization was a current of apprehension, uncertainty and dread. New Year’s Eve rings in a change for cannabis culture. The confluence of regulation, taxation and transparency is already proving to be daunting for many, as the regulatory system attempts to assimilate the crazy wisdom of the cannabis community.

Alas, this wisdom is what brought the cannabis communty together at the Emerald Cup. We are well-versed in adapting to catastrophe, as evidenced by the supportive response to this year’s wildfires. We declared organic and restorative cultivation practices as our norm. We reminded ourselves that there are nearly 8 billion human endocannabinoid systems on this planet that could benefit from the healing properties of cannabis.

We are a collective of tribes, and when we rally up, we party and dance. And one more thing: We are taking this show on the road.

Patrick Anderson is a lead educator at Project CBD and patient consultant at Emerald Pharms.



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