A new study found “no significant impact” on driving ability after smoking CBD-rich marijuana and no effects on vital signs, even as all the study participants exceeded the legal limit for THC in their blood.
For the pilot study conducted in Switzerland, 33 participants were each given a joint containing 500 mg of tobacco and either 500 mg of CBD-rich marijuana (16.6 percent total CBD; 0.9 percent total THC) or 500 mg of a placebo containing a product called Knaster Hemp, a nicotine-free and cannabinoid-free herbal mixture with a hemp aroma. Researchers then used multiple common DUI tests.
As the Swiss market for CBD products has exploded in recent years, the authors wished to investigate the efficacy of CBD-rich tobacco smoking cessation products and their impact on driving safety.
According to the three researchers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Bern, the “purpose of the current study was to inform recommendations for warnings on tobacco substitute products containing CBD-rich marijuana and to provide information for drivers regarding the possible risks of consuming CBD-rich marijuana.”
“To the best of our knowledge, the current study is one of the first to investigate the potential impact of smoking CBD-rich marijuana for road safety,” they said.
The results revealed no significant differences between the effects of smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo on reaction time, motor time, behavior under stress or concentration performance.
“No significant impact on driving ability was found after smoking CBD-rich marijuana.”
In order to confirm participants were above the legal limit for driving with THC in their system, blood samples were taken after smoking and after completion of their tests to determine the cannabinoid concentrations of CBD, THC and THC-metabolites.
The 19 men and 14 women in the study, who were between the ages of 19 and 31, flipped a coin and, depending on which side the coin landed, were handed either a joint with CBD-rich marijuana or the placebo. Participants were tested a second time between seven and 14 days later and “those who had smoked a CBD joint on the first day of testing received a placebo joint and vice versa.”
After statistical analysis, the following groups were distinguished: CBD versus placebo consumption, women versus men and first trial versus second trial.
The psychological assessment of the drivers consisted of three different tests designed to measure and examine the attitudes relevant to road safety, and it was designed to aid reliable decision-making regarding an individual’s fitness to drive. It included a reaction test, a determination assessment to measure the ability to react under complex stimulus conditions, and a Cognitrone test, where the participant compares one geometric figure with four other geometric figures.
The study found that were no significant differences in reaction time or motor time between smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo. There was a difference between men and women’s reaction time after consuming the CBD-rich marijuana, and in motor time, regardless of whether the placebo or the CBD rich marijuana was consumed. There was no difference between the first and second day of testing, allowing researchers to conclude that “learning effects” can be excluded.
“No effects on vital signs were observed after smoking CBD-rich marijuana.”
In the determination test, each participant was put in an “overstrained situation” with high stimulus frequency so that they were no longer able to perform the required reactions. This made it possible to study the participants’ behavior under varying degrees of psychophysical stress.
The results revealed “no significant differences in the comparison between CBD and placebo consumption, between male and female participants, or between the first and second trial.”
The analysis of the Cognitrone test, where the participant compared one geometric figure with four other geometric figures, also revealed no significant differences between smoking CBD-rich marijuana and placebo, or any significant differences between men and women or between the first and second trials.
To further assess one’s fitness to drive, three common tests were given for balance and coordination based on what is used by drug recognition experts. “These tests are regularly used in Switzerland by trained medical personnel on behalf of the police to determine neurological deficits after substance misuse and/or possible intoxication of persons suspected of impaired driving,” the study states.
First, the participant’s balance and internal clock were tested by standing up with arms out and eyes closed with instructions to open their eyes after they believed 30 seconds had elapsed, while the examiner recorded the actual elapsed time. Although there was a statistically significant difference between the placebo and the CBD group, the results for both groups were well within the normal range of 20 to 45 seconds and, regardless of whether the CBD or placebo joint was smoked, all the study participants were able to maintain “a secure balance.”
Next, the commonly seen finger-to-nose test was used, and “of the 33 participants, 32 touched the tip of the nose with each action” regardless of if the CBD or placebo joint was smoked. But after consumption of the CBD joint, “one participant missed the tip of his/her nose twice.” More difficult for the test subjects was following the instructions to alternate arms, left-right-left-right-right-left, as that was performed incorrectly five times: three times from the CBD group and twice from participants who smoked the placebo joint.
Finally, during the walk-and-turn test, everyone walked without interruption “and no participants missed the heel-to-toe or hop around, regardless of whether they smoked the CBD or placebo joint.” There were some discrepancies, with 19 of the 66 tests taking the wrong number of steps, especially during the turn, but those errors were evenly spread over both groups: 10 times after a participant smoked the CBD joint and nine times after they consumed of the placebo joint.
Despite blood tests revealing that all participants had a THC level in their blood above the legal limit, at the time the testing began, no significant differences in blood pressure, behavior, orientation, mood, language and psychomotor skills were observed in those tested. The researchers concluded that there was no significant influence from smoking CBD-rich marijuana on vital signs.
“Although free THC concentrations reached levels that were considered to cause symptoms of impairment in other studies in which THC-rich marijuana was smoked, no signs of impairment were observed in the current study,” the authors wrote. “These findings suggest that higher CBD concentrations caused a negative allosteric effect in the endocannabinoid system, preventing the formation of such symptoms.”
Despite no symptoms of impairment being observed, these researchers nevertheless recommended that consumers refrain from driving for several hours after smoking CBD-rich marijuana, as legal THC concentration limits can be exceeded.
These conclusions are similar to earlier studies about CBD’s impact on driving from the University of Sydney. They are also in line with the recent decision from Michigan’s Impaired Driving Safety Commission, which concluded that there should not be a per se limit on THC concentration in the blood to determine impairment in drivers and instead “recommends the use of a roadside sobriety test(s) to determine whether a driver is impaired.
A study published in 2019 also concluded that those who drive at the legal THC limit—which is typically between two to five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood—were not statistically more likely to be involved in an accident compared to people who haven’t used marijuana.
Separately, the Congressional Research Service in 2019 determined that while “marijuana consumption can affect a person’s response times and motor performance… studies of the impact of marijuana consumption on a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash have produced conflicting results, with some studies finding little or no increased risk of a crash from marijuana usage.”
Rhode Island Lawmakers Unveil Revised Marijuana Legalization Bill, With Committee Votes Set For This Week
Rhode Island lawmakers have unveiled a newly revised marijuana legalization proposal that’s scheduled to be taken up in two committees this week and then head to the floors of both chambers next week.
The legislation is the product of months of negotiations between legislators and the governor, who released his own legalization measure as part of a budget proposal in January.
Now the identical companion bills, which are being sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller (D) and Rep. Scott Slater (D), are ready for action. Both the Senate Judiciary Committee and House Finance Committee are expected to vote on the measures on Wednesday. Assuming they advance through those panels, floor votes are set for May 24.
“I’m proud that everyone involved—the advocates, the existing industry, patients, legislative leaders and the governor’s office—worked very cooperatively to smooth out the bumps and create a proposal that works for all the stakeholders,” Miller said in a press release. “We all wanted to do this in a way that is safe, keeps revenue in Rhode Island, and is as fair and equitable as we can possibly make it.”
“The amended bill is a collaborative effort to address concerns about protecting medical use, ensuring fair governance and recognizing that we cannot make this transition without taking action to make whole the communities and individuals who have been punished for decades under prohibition,” he said.
— Rhode Island Senate (@RISenate) May 17, 2022
While the basic provisions of the new substitute amendment are consistent with the bill as introduced and considered during earlier committee hearings in March, lawmakers incorporated feedback and made key revisions in an effort to get closer to consensus.
For example, the legislation was revised to streamline the recreational licensing process for existing medical cannabis dispensaries, allowing the existing Office of Cannabis Regulation to authorize them to serve as hybrid retailers that also serve the adult-use market, rather than wait for regulatory responsibility to transfer to the new Cannabis Control Commission that will be formed under the bill.
Legislators also reached a deal on expungements, with the companion bills now stipulating that the state needs to automatically provide relief to people with prior cannabis convictions by July 1, 2024. But people who proactively petition the courts would have their record sealing expedited.
With respect to local control, jurisdictions that currently have medical marijuana compassion centers operating in their area could not opt out of allowing recreational retailers. The revised measure also includes new language providing a procedure for localities to opt back in if they initial choose not to allow dispensaries. Individual jurisdictions could also set their own rules on public consumption through ordinance.
The amended bill also removes fees for medical cannabis plant tags and patient IDs once adult-use sales start on December 1, which is later than the original bill’s October 1 start date.
There was additionally some language changed concerning the appointment of regulators on a cannabis commission. While it initially would have made it so legislative leaders would make initial selections and provide the governor with a list of choices for the panel, Gov. Dan McKee (D) raised constitutional concerns about the process, so the revised bill defers that responsibility to the governor alone. That change is the result of direct work with the governor’s office, the sponsors said.
Other key components related to regulatory authority, tax policy and the basic framework for adult-use retailers were kept the same as the bill as filed.
Adults 21 and older could purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow up to six plants (only three of which could be mature) for personal use.
The allowable possession limit for marijuana stored in a given household would be maxed out at 10 ounces.
The state would automatically expunge prior marijuana possession convictions for amounts now being made legal by July 1, 2024, but those who petition the court for relief would have their cases expedited.
Regulatory responsibility would be shared by a new independent Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) and a Cannabis Office under the Department of Business Regulation (DBR). A new advisory board would also assist.
The governor would be responsible for making appointments to the CCC.
Adult-use marijuana sales would be subject to the state’s seven percent sales tax, a 10 percent excise tax and a local three percent tax for municipalities that allow cannabis businesses to operate.
For the initial rollout, a total of 33 marijuana retailers could be licensed. Twenty-four of those licenses would be new standalone adult-use retailers, divided up equally between six geographic zones of the state, and nine other hybrid licenses could be approved for existing medical cannabis dispensaries if they pay a $125,000 fee for the privilege to add recreational sales.
Of the 24 standalone retailers, 25 percent would need to go to social equity applicants and another 25 percent would be for worker-owned cooperatives.
No single entity would be allowed to possess more than one business license, but people could invest in multiple companies.
Approved hybrid licensees could start to grow and manufacture marijuana for adult consumers starting August 1, 2022.
Adult-use sales would start on December 1, 2022.
Possession of more than one ounce but up to two ounces for adults 18 and older would be decriminalized, with people facing a civil penalty without the threat of jail time.
Part of the money collected from cannabis licensing fees would support a new “Social Equity Assistance Fund.”
The fund would “provide assistance to applicants from communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition of cannabis,” according to an earlier summary.
Equity business applicants would need to meet one of several criteria to qualify, including at least 51 percent ownership by people who have resided in a disproportionately impacted area for five of the past 10 years, 51 percent ownership by people who have faced arrests or convictions over offenses that would qualify for expungements under the law or having income that does not exceed 400 percent of the median income in a disproportionately impacted area for five of the past 10 years.
A business that has at least 10 employees, with at least 51 percent residing in disproportionally impacted areas or who have been arrested or convicted for an expungable offense offense under the bill would also qualify as would being able to demonstrate significant experience in types of businesses that promote economic development.
There would be a two-year moratorium on licensing additional cultivators beyond those that are already operating for the medical cannabis market.
Regulators would also be responsible for setting limits on “cannabis product serving sizes, doses, and potency, including, but not limited to, regulations which provide requirements for reasonable tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) potency limits for each type of cannabis product sold by a licensee and reasonable potency or dosing limits for cannabis concentrates and edible products, that shall apply for adult use cannabis only.”
“Social equity has been a top concern for us throughout this whole process,” Slater said. “Senator Miller and I represent some of the communities that have suffered disproportionate harm from prohibition for decades, resulting in generational poverty and mass incarceration. The starting line isn’t the same for people in poor, urban and minority communities, and they deserve support to ensure they get the full benefit of participating in legalization.”
Miller, who sponsored an earlier legalization proposal that was approved in the Senate last year, previously said that lawmakers “made our best attempt” to get the provisions right, and he stressed his openness to feedback from colleagues and stakeholders.
In a statement, the governor’s office thanked lawmakers for “their collaboration on this legislation.”
“While this bill is different than the Governor’s original proposal—it does accomplish his priorities of making sure legalization is equitable, controlled, and safe,” a McKee spokesperson said. “We look forward to reviewing the final bill that comes out of the General Assembly and signing legalization of adult use cannabis into law.”
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Jared Moffat, state campaigns manager for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Marijuana Moment that it’s “exciting to see legalization moving forward, and I’m grateful to legislative leaders and staff who put a great deal of work into this bill.”
“It’s particularly good to see the addition of an automatic, petition-free record clearance process for prior marijuana possession convictions,” he said. “This will allow tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders to get relief.”
Both Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D) and House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi (D) have said they are comfortable with the move toward legalization, and they’ve weighed in on various provisions related to issues like equity in the industry and the regulatory model for a cannabis market. But they’ve also said they’re comfortable with the gradual pace of the reform and don’t want to rush the legislative process.
Shekarchi said that while he feels reform is “inevitable” in Rhode Island and bound to happen “soon,” he wanted to take time to work with lawmakers on reaching a workable deal.
The governor is supportive of legalization and proposed his own reform plan this year as part of his requested budget. Some of the initial differences between the lawmaker-led legislation and the governor’s measure were resolved in the latest substitute amendment, and there were compromises made in other areas.
For example, McKee’s plan called for automatic expungements without a requirement for people to petition the court for relief. The compromise that lawmakers landed on was to provide automatic record sealing by a certain date while creating an expedited process for those who proactively petitioned for relief.
The governor also proposed having DBR be the sole regulatory body for the marijuana market. The agency would share that responsibility with an independent commission under the revised bill.
Lawmakers did not change their mind about permitting limited home cultivation for personal use, however, even though McKee’s measure would not allow home grow.
Under the governor’s plan, 25 percent of marijuana tax revenue and licensing fees would go to the “regulatory, public health, and public safety costs associated with adult-use cannabis.” Fifteen percent would go to local governments and 60 percent would go to the state general fund.
The executive summary of McKee’s budget proposal says that the state’s sales tax revenue would be “boosted by the proposed introduction of adult-use cannabis tax revenue in FY 2023.” The state is estimating that it will collect $1.2 million in general revenue for the 2023 fiscal year and $16.9, “with a full year of sales in FY 2024.”
The revenue projections and provisions largely reflect what the governor proposed in his last budget request, with the exception of the expungements language.
Not only does the governor’s plan not allow for home grow, it also sets out a series of fines and penalties for personal cultivation of any number of plants. For example, a person who unlawfully grows one to five plants would face a penalty of $2,000 per plant and an “order requiring forfeiture and/or destruction of said plants,” according to the text of the proposed legislation.
The bill also includes language to create a Cannabis Reinvestment Task Force that would be required to study and issue recommendations on using marijuana tax revenue for “job training, small business access to capital, affordable housing, health equity, and neighborhood and community development.”
The proposal calls for 25 marijuana retailers to be licensed each year for the first three years of implementation. Those would be awarded on a lottery basis, but at least five would be specifically given to minority-owned businesses, a category. Additional licenses would be issued in the future based on market demand.
The House Finance Committee discussed the governor’s proposal to end prohibition at an earlier hearing last year.
A coalition of 10 civil rights and drug policy reform advocacy groups—including the Rhode Island chapters of the ACLU and NAACP—had demanded that lawmakers move ahead with enacting marijuana reform in the state before the end of 2021. But that did not pan out.
Lawmakers have also noted that neighboring states like Connecticut and Massachusetts have enacted legalization, and that adds impetus for the legislature to pursue reform in the state.
Both the governor and the leaders’ legalization plans are notably different than the proposal that former Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) had included in her budget in 2020. Prior to leaving office to join the Biden administration as commerce secretary, she called for legalization through a state-run model.
McKee gave initial insights into his perspective on the reform last January, saying that “it’s time that [legalization] happens” and that he’s “more leaning towards an entrepreneurial strategy there to let that roll that way.”
Meanwhile, Rhode Island lawmakers introduced a pair of drug decriminalization bills in March—including one focused on psilocybin and buprenorphine that would authorize doctors to prescribe the psychedelic mushroom.
Last year, the governor also signed a historic bill to allow safe consumption sites where people could use illicit drugs under medical supervision and receive resources to enter treatment.
The Senate Judiciary Committee also held a hearing last year on legislation that would end criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of drugs and replace them with a $100 fine.
Photo courtesy of Carlos Gracia.
Study Analyzes Cannabis Content on TikTok, Including Youth Concerns
A research study published in Drug and Alcohol Review found that cannabis consumption is mainly depicted as positive on TikTok. However, lead author on the study, Brienna Rutherford, explained the thought behind the study.
“Social media is a big part of the modern world, with adolescents reporting that they spend an average of eight hours online every day,” said Rutherford, a PhD candidate with University of Queensland in Australia. “Despite this high volume of use, little is known about the potential risks exposure to social media content depicting substance use may have on viewers. However, before you can assess the effects of exposure, we need to know what content is out there and accessible.”
The study, entitled “Getting high for likes: Exploring cannabis-related content on TikTok,” establishes the intent of analyzing cannabis content on TikTok, which has over one billion users, one-third of which are under 14 years of age. An estimated 63% of users between ages 12-17 use TikTok daily.
Seven main categories were defined, including Humor/Entertainment (71.74%), Experiences (42.90%), Lifestyle Acceptability (24.63%), Informative/How-To (7.5%), Creativity (5.4%), and Warning (2.7%).
“‘Humour/Entertainment’ videos often used comedic skits or storytimes to portray cannabis use positively to viewers,” researchers wrote. “Videos frequently featured discussions of users’ personal cannabis ‘Experiences’ through storytimes, re-enactments, and videos taken during active use. ‘Lifestyle Acceptability’ was also promoted using hashtags associated with pro-cannabis use communities (e.g. #cannamom, #stonersoftiktok, #stonertok).”
Researchers estimate that 54.14% of videos (viewed collectively over 417 million times) were portrayed as positive. Also, most of the TikTok users on videos were Caucasian males between 25-50 years of age. Of the videos analyzed for this study, only 50 videos actually depicted consumption, such as smoking, vaping, or eating edibles).
“The main take-home point from this study is that there is a high number of cannabis-related videos on TikTok that are a) publicly accessible via links (even without accounts!), b) have no age restrictions or content warning banners, and c) are promoting use of cannabis to viewers,” Rutherford added. “While many countries are moving towards legalization, that doesn’t mean cannabis use is without risk and none of this content addresses the potential negative health consequences associated with use.”
Rutherford explained the next steps toward identifying the impact of cannabis-related videos on TikTok. “The next step is obviously to assess whether viewing this content has any impact on viewers’ attitudes, behaviors or risk/norms perceptions around substance use,” said Rutherford. “Exposure to text- or image-based substance use content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram have been shown to influence the likelihood of substance use, so it is likely that a more engaging platform and content type (such as TikTok’s short-form videos) may have an even larger influence.”
Researchers also concluded that TikTok takes extra precautions to warn viewers that a specific video contains cannabis. This is similarly done with violent videos, or videos that might portray false information.
“TikTok has taken some additional steps to regulate the availability of substance related content by removing access to hashtags which explicitly reference substance use (e.g., #cannabis). However, the videos themselves remain accessible—they are just no longer stored under these hashtags,” Rutherford said. “Removing the content or hashtags may also not be an effective approach as creators subvert hashtag rules anyway (using numerical values instead of letters ‘#w33d’ to get around the explicit reference rules).”
Social media channels have become home to many unique cannabis creators, although many other services such as Facebook or Instagram have frequently banned users who create cannabis content. High profile content creators such as YouTuber Chrissy Harless, whose account once had 46,000 subscribers, was recently terminated without an explanation.
The Emerald Cup Awards Rocks Hollywood with Unforgettable Genetics and Guests
Last Saturday, the 18th Annual Emerald Cup Awards was held at The Montalbán Theatre near Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood in Los Angeles, California—and it was truly a spectacle to behold.
As people shuffled in, creating a continuous stream of advocates, patients, breeders, and growers, the venue filled quickly. Some attendees made their way to the dab bar and drink bar at the Mezzanine level, and others made their way up to the rooftop, which is where the real magic began.
I walked through a vine-covered corridor into the rooftop party area where vendors such as LitHouse and Fig Farms handed out generous gift bags with eighths and double pre-rolls. A sprawling 360-degree view of downtown Hollywood provided the backdrop. Musical performances by Andreas One, Jasmine Solana, and Lafa.
As for the ceremony itself, there was a whopping number of categories—over 50—and it was hosted by a number of special guests including Ngaio Bealum, Whitney Beattie, and the clear fan favorite hosts, Swami Chaitanya and Nikkie Lastreto of Swami Select, who we also recently profiled in print.
We were impressed by the powerful sense of community. On one hand, the ceremony felt like the Academy Awards, as Rolling Stone puts it, but on the other hand, there was a strong craft farmer and hippie vibe undercurrent. For instance, when the hosts asked a question, the crowd answers back loud and clear.
“It’s our culture, it’s, it’s our community … they feel like there’s an ownership here because of my deep roots and connection to the community,” Tim Blake told High Times. “And they just feel the love. We don’t do it for the money, we do it to really do something special. You know, at the Harvest Ball last year, we gave away over 50 free booths. And people just know who we are and where we’re coming from.
“We’re not a big crew, our local people, and we love our, our community. And so it’s just a mutual love affair,” Blake added. And people feel it.” Individual, personal use categories were included, so that people without expensive licensing could participate.
The Emerald Cup and Blake are both mostly associated with the Emerald Triangle encompassing Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity Counties, but this year the event was moved to Los Angeles to represent a strategic move.
“In 2017, legalization came in, I knew then that for our contestants and our vendors and sponsors that the future was LA—the largest cannabis market in the world, the largest media market in the world,” Blake said. “This is where they need it, we’re gonna do their Academy Awards in the cannabis industry.”
The judges had to go from 700 entries, all top-shelf, and narrow them down to just 182 winners. In some categories this year, the process involved blind or doubleblind methods in order to prevent bias for any one farm or company.
The trophies were hand-blown by glass artist Ryan Fitt in collaboration with Puffco. The event was overseen by executive producer Taylor Blake, Tim’s daughter, who is increasingly taking in the reins of the enterprise.
It took 150 expert judges to find the winners including Alec Dixon of SC Labs, Bill and Jeff Levers, Eric Brandstand, Guy Rocourt, Jimi Devine, Maya Elisabeth, The Dank Duchess, Abdulah Saedd, and too many others to list. The crew of judges mobilized last February, and according to Swami Chaitanya, were confined to a room until they could narrow down the contestants.
Dennis Hunter from Farmer and the Felon had to return to the stage many times, as the team won award after award. I was able to snag some Farmer and the Felon seeds. LitHouse, Rebel Grown, and Fig Farms also took home several awards that night. The crowd went wild when Huckleberry Hill Farms won an award.
Since 2004, the Emerald Cup has served as “a grassroots celebration of the cannabis plant and harvest, and as an unbiased, free, and fair competition,” but Blake and the leadership of the event emphasize that it is really about people—farmers, judges, entertainers, and attendees.
The Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award
Woody Harrelson was the guest of honor, receiving the coveted Willie Nelson Lifetime achievement award. Past winners include Winona LaDuke, Tommy Chong, Valerie Corral, and Willie Nelson himself. Harrelson was an advocate going back decades, with a proven track record of serious activism.
“So we got the information to Woody, and he checked us out,” Blake said. “And, you know, he almost thought about not taking the award this year, because Green Street lost their permit. And then The Woods couldn’t get their permit to open. We didn’t have a venue. And so what was he going to do? And in the course of one week, we found this place, and he got a permit to open his place. And he called me up and we had a long talk. And he said, you know, heck, I’m gonna come out there and join you guys. And I’ll tell you what, I was tickled pink, I told him, I said, You know what, you have no idea what this means to us. And now, seeing The Woods open up.”
Harrelson was chosen not because of his celebrity star power, but based on his activism in the cannabis space. That dates back to Woody’s symbolic protest by illegally planting a hemp seed in Kentucky in 1996 and his vocal activism in favor of environmental sustainability, veganism, and regenerative agricultural practices.
It’s the same environmentally healthy practices that are already a part of the Emerald Cup.
“For the first time ever, we had more indoor than the sungrown entries, which is, you know, pretty big change,” Blake said. “The beverages and the edibles are just blowing up. The enhanced beverages are unbelievable and the pre-rolls had gone from like afterthought D grade trim to where it’s like just stunning representations. We did a classification system separating the terpenes into classification systems and gas and desserts and sweets and whatnot, so that we could really do an educational process not only for our judges, but for our community, and get people really to break out of that mold and looking for the highest THC and start looking for the right cannabinoid profile fits best for them.”
Wooks, Wizards, and Warlocks
Some guests were dressed up as wizards, and another was dressed in a zoot suit period piece. Others looked as though the hippie lifestyle never faded at all since the ‘60s. Pebbles Trippet was a center of attention, being a longtime advocate, and she received devotionals from both Blake and Harrelson.
“People down here are pretty cool,” Blake said. “And they get to get dressed up for a show like this. And now people are just, it’s exciting for a lot of these hill people to have a reason to come out, come down here and get dressed up. And they’re not they’re not pitching at all. They’re excited. And they’re coming up and telling me how wonderful it is.”
I returned to the rooftop where the most fun was to be found. There, I bumped into Shavo Odadjian of System of a Down who was there to promote his flower from 22Red. I found a shrine with beautiful Hindu representations.
Throwing events such as this isn’t all fun and games when the rules become involved, but Blake is hopeful.
“This year, the DCC [Department of Cannabis Control] came in heavy at the Harvest Ball,” Blake said. “They were telling small farmers that they couldn’t display things; they were going after small farmers and people … in their booth smoking, you know, it’s like that personal stuff. So we had to continue that educational process. But it’s so critical for farmers and brands to have direct access to consumers … We need to open that up. And so it’s educating the DCC so that we set the bar and show them how to do it so that these farmers markets and all kinds of events, not just ours, can happen all over the state because it’s so critical for the consumers and for the farmers.”
Coverage of the 18th Annual Emerald Cup Awards at the Montalbán Theatre will be provided by ALTRD.TV. You can watch all taped educational fireside chats, exclusive interviews, and the ceremony. A full list of winners, provided by the Emerald Cup, is below:
Sungrown Flower Category Winners
1st Place Farmer and the Felon – Lemon Sponge Cake
2nd Place Rebel Grown – Double OG Chem
3rd Place Farmer and the Felon x Cookie Fam Genetics – Georgia Pie
4th Place Farmer and the Felon – Double OG Chem
5th Place Full Moon Farms – Black Water OG
6th Place Canna Country Farms – #26
7th Place Rebel Grown – Natty Bumpoo
8th Place Farmer and the Felon – 92 OG
9th Place Huckleberry Hill Farms – Mom’s Weed
10th Place Esensia – Lime Juice
Sungrown – BREEDER’S CUP Category Winner
1st Place Rebel Grown – Double OG Chem
Mixed Light Flower Category Winners
1st Place LitHouse – Modified Grapes
2nd Place LitHouse – Jealousy
3rd Place LitHouse – Lemon Lava
4th Place Safier Family Farms x Peak Humboldt x Mattole Uplift Cooperative – Angel Food Cake
5th Place Healing Herb Farms – Lemon Head OG x Zkittlez
6th Place Monterey Kush Co – Matchalato
7th Place LitHouse – Paragon
8th Place Bono-Ape – Ice Cream Cake
9th Place Monterey Kush Co – Citra-Lato
10th Place Booney Acres – Strawberry Jelly Flower
Mixed Light – BREEDER’S CUP Category Winner
1st Place Healing Herb Farms – Lemon Head OG x Zkittlez
Indoor Flower Category Winners
1st Place Fig Farms – Animal Face
2nd Place Panacea – Pablo’s Revenge
3rd Place Fig Farms – Blue Face
4th Place NUG – Chocolatina
5th Place Fig Farms – Holy Moly!
6th Place Sovereign – Lemon Vuitton
7th Place STIIIZY – Blue Burst
8th Place Cure Company – Marathon OG
9th Place Source Cannabis – Quest
10th Place Atrium Cultivation – Juice Z
Indoor Flower BREEDER’S CUP Category Winner
1st Place Fig Farms – Holy Moly!
Sungrown Greenhouse Flower
1st Place Local Cannabis Co – Sherbhead
2nd Place Glass House Farms – Glass House Farms Waiting Game
3rd Place Local Cannabis Co – Ice Cream Cake
4th Place Local Cannabis Co – Orange 43
5th Place Harborside Farms – The Mac
6th Place Harborside Farms x Bloom Farms – SFV OG
7th Place Humboldt Redwood Healing x The Humboldt Brand – Sour G
8th Place Country Club Cannabis – EVB Rainbow Frootz
9th Place Ridgeline Farms – Ridgeline Runtz
10th Place Harborside Farms – Motorhead
Personal Use Flower
1st Place Parker PZ Moselle – Ohrangatang Titties
2nd Place Colin Teurfs x Dan Pomerantz – Double OG Chem 4
3rd Place Matt Jones – Cheese
4th Place Brandy Schneider – AM Lime
5th Place Mary Polson – Pink Champagne
3rd Party Certified Sungrown Flower
1st Place Emerald Spirit Botanicals – Farm Cut – Pink Boost Goddess
3rd Party Certified Mixed Light Flower Category Winners
1st Place Old Briceland Cannabis Company – Epiphany
2nd Place Old Briceland Cannabis Company – Area 41
3rd Place Old Briceland Cannabis Company – White Gummies #1
Best in Show Category Winner
1st Place Farmer and the Felon – Lemon Sponge Cake
Pre-Roll – Infused Solventless Extract Category Winners
1st Place Sovereign – Geode Joint – Modified Lemons
2nd Place El Toro Verde – El Toro Verde Cannagar
3rd Place Vital Grown x Sticky Fields x Compassionate Heart x Massive Creations x Feeling Frosty – Mendo Massive
Pre-Roll – Infused Solvent Extract
1st Place Paletas – Paletas Mother’s Milk Infused Blunt
2nd Place Sugar Daddy – Sugar Daddy Indica 2.5G Infused Blunt
3rd Place Weedwoodz – Weedwoodz XOXO
Pre-Roll – Non Infused Category Winners
1st Place Lost Paradise Organics – Gelonade 6pk Flower Pre-Roll
2nd Place Atrium Cultivation – Juice Z Pre-Roll
3rd Place Country – 1:1 Good Neighbor Pre-Roll 6pk
Ice Water Hash Category Winners
1st Place Heritage Hash Co – Whitethorn Rose Live Bubble Hash
2nd Place el Krem – Papaya Bomb Ice Water Hash
3rd Place Papa’s Select – Amarelo #9 90u Ice Water Hash
4th Place Feeling Frosty – Banana Cream Cake x Jealousy 120u Ice Water Hash
5th Place Kalya x Dancing Dog Ranch – Double Rainbow
Rosin Category Winners
1st Place Rosin Tech Labs x Luma Farms – Papaya
2nd Place Heritage Hash Co – Whitethorn Rose Live Rosin
3rd Place Kalya x LUMA Farms – Lemon Limez
4th Place FIELD – FIELD Papaya Cold Cured Live Rosin
5th Place Rosin Tech Labs – Garlic Cookies
6th Place Rosin Tech Labs – Garlic Juice #3 Cold Cure
7th Place el Krem – Strawberry Runtz – Rosin
8th Place Moon Valley Hash Co – Strawberry Banana Cold Cure Live Rosin
9th Place Doc Green’s – White Buffalo Cold Cured Live Rosin
10th Place Have Hash – Zkittlez Cold Cure Live Rosin (Headstash)
Personal Use Solventless Category Winners
1st Place Alice Reis x Flynn Abeln – Wooksauce Winery Screaming Mimis
2nd Place Brett Byrd – Modified Grapes Full spec 45-159 creme brulee consistency w/THC-A layer
3rd Place Brett Byrd – Gush Mints Full Spec 45-159
4th Place Brett Byrd – Modified Grapes Full Spec 45-159
5th Place Brett Byrd – Apple Fritters Full Spec 45-159
C02 Cartridge Category Winners
1st Place Haku – Haku CO2 Live Resin
2nd Place Featured Farms x Burzt Farms – Burzt by Featured Farms
3rd Place Wildseed Co x Cannabis Refined – Cherry Wife CO2 Cartridge
Distillate Cartridge Category Winners
1st Place LEGION – Monarch – Strawberry Banana – Cannabis Derived Terpenes
2nd Place GoldDrop x Fig Farms – Kush Mint Cookies Nug Run Vape Cartridge
3rd Place Beezle Brands – Orange Blossom Buzz Cartridge
Live Resin Cartridge Category Winners
1st Place URSA Extracts – Liquid Diamond Sauce Humboldt Jack
2nd Place Arcata Fire x Humboldt Seed Co – Raspberry Live Resin Sauce Cart
3rd Place Lemon Tree x Holy Water x Orchard Beach Farms – Kiwi tree Single Source Live Resin Cartridge
4th Place ColdFire Extracts x Turtle Pie Co – Prickly Pear Juice by ColdFire Extracts
5th Place Friendly Farms – Friendly Farms Liquid Live Resin Apple Fritter
6th Place The Bohemian Chemist – The Bohemian Chemist Cart Blanche .5g Hotsy-Totsy Live Resin Cartridge
7th Place Halara – GMO Live Diamond Sauce
8th Place Friendly Farms – Liquid Live Resin Flight #23
9th Place ColdFire Extracts – UpDog Juice by ColdFire Extracts
10th Place Oakland Extracts – Papaya Pucker
Solventless Cartridge Category Winners
1st Place Doc Green’s – Runtz Live Rosin Vape Cartridge
2nd Place Jetty Extracts – Fatso Solventless Vape
3rd Place Arcata Fire x Highwater Farms – Key Lime Pie Solventless
Hydro-Carbon Solid Category Winners
1st Place Beezle Brands x Luma Farms – Key Lime Paya Live Resin Budder
2nd Place Beezle Brands x Earthen Farms – Gary Payton Live resin Budder
3rd Place URSA Extracts – -Live Badder Modified Grapes
4th Place Cookies x ArcataX – Day Day
5th Place PaperPlanes Extracts x Land Hammer Farms – Donnie Burger #5 Live Resin Batter
Hydro-Carbon Liquid Category Winners
1st Place Cosmic x Peak x Feeling Frosty – White Runtz
2nd Place FIELD x Wizard Trees x Doja – FIELD x Wizard Trees x Doja RS-11 Live Resin
3rd Place Cosmic x Peak x Feeling Frosty – Orange Daiquiri
4th Place Terphogz – Live Resin Sauce Melon Brainz
5th Place Orchard Beach Farms x Holy Water – Kiwi Tree
Therapeutic Topical Category Winners
1st Place Care By Design – CBD Joint & Muscle Cream
2nd Place Kush Queen – Kush Queen Transdermal THC Water Based Personal Lubricant
3rd Place OM x Feeling Frosty – Sweet Dreams CBN Rosin Bath Bomb
Cosmetic Topical Category Winners
1st Place Proof – Face Serum
2nd Place OM x Feeling Frosty – Himalayan Kush Rosin Bath Bomb
Personal Use Topical Category Winner
1st Place Erica A – Deep Muscle Rub – Liniment Lotion
Tincture Category Winners
1st Place Care By Design – Refresh Drops 1:1 MAX
2nd Place Santa Cruz Mountain Tops – La Luna
3rd Place Lempire Farmaseed – LEM OG 1000mg Rosin Tincture
Edibles – Beverage Category Winners
1st Place HiFi Sessions x Lagunitas x Absolute Xtracts – HiFi Hoppy Chill
2nd Place Pure Beauty – Little Strong Drink
3rd Place K-Zen Beverages – Mad Lilly Passion Fruit Mango Spritzer
Edibles – Beverage Enhancer Category Winner
1st Place S*Shots – Berry Blast
Edibles – Gummies Category Winners
1st Place Kalya x Elephante – Papaya Rosin Gummies
2nd Place Space Gem – Sweet Sleepy Fig
3rd Place Queen Mary – Enchanted
Edibles – Sweet Category Winners
1st Place Cosmic Edibles x Kalya – Solventless Rosin Plant-Based Chocolate Chip Sprinkles Cookie Dough
2nd Place Oasis – Peanut Butter Cup Minis
3rd Place Mammamia – Capri Lemon Cake Bites
Edibles – Savory Category Winners
1st Place Potli x SF Roots – Shrimp Chips
2nd Place TSUMo Snacks – TSUMo Snacks Classic Cheese Crunchers
Alternative Cannabinoid Flower Category Winners
1st Place Pure Beauty – Terry T & Gelato 33
2nd Place Glass House Farms – Jelly Fish
3rd Place Glass House Farms – Tangelo Flow
Alternative Cannabinoid Flower Breeder’s Cup Category Winner
1st Place Pure Beauty – Terry T & Gelato 33
Alternative Cannabinoid Hemp Flower Category Winners
1st Place Flowgardens – Orange Glaze #32
2nd Place Flowgardens – Grapefruit
Alternative Cannabinoid Edible Category Winners
1st Place Papa & Barkley – Sleep Releaf
2nd Place Granny B Goods 1:1 Canamels
3rd Place Hi Burst Raspberry Lemonade Fruit Chews
Alternative Cannabinoid Beverage Category Winner
1st Place KHEMIA – Chakra Chai
Alternative Cannabinoid Topical Category Winner
1st Place Carter’s Aroma Therapy Designs – Rasta Roll-On
Alternative Cannabinoid Tincture Category Winners
1st Place Sunrise Mountain Farms – PACIFIC – Full Spectrum CBD Rich Tincture
2nd Place PROOF – CBN Tincture
3rd Place Fiddler’s Green – Kindred Spirit – Raw Tincture
Alternative Cannabinoid Cartridge Category Winners
1st Place Chemistry – Serpentine
2nd place Kurvana – CBD All-In-One – Banana Smoothie 5:1:5
Hemp-Derived Ingestible Category Winners
1st Place Green Truth – Trifecta Immune (CBDA-CBGA-CBDVA)
2nd Place Kurvana CBD Dream 2:1:3
Hemp-Derived Topical Category Winners
1st Place WeedSport – WeedSport CBD Muscle Stick
2nd Place Pure Dharma – Glow CBD Activated Oil Serum
Most Innovative Product – Consumable Category Winner
1st Place Holy Water x Honey Suckle Lotus – Jelly Ranchers. Unholy Rosin/Resin Split Jar
Most Innovative Product – Industry Asset Category Winner
1st Place Huckleberry Hill Farms – Sow Your Own Magic
Breeders Hall Of Fame Category Winner
1st Place Greg McAllister
Visionary Award for Glass Artistry Category Winner
1st Place Scott Deppe – Mothership Glass
Regenerative Farm Award Category Winner
1st Place Emerald Spirit Botanicals – Farm Cut
Best Photo Contest Winner – Amateur Category Winner
1st Place Claudia Price – Pancake Stomper No. 5
Best Photo Contest Winner – Professional Category Winner
1st Place Benjamin Neff – The Heart
Best Dispensary – Northern California Category Winner
1st Place Mercy Wellness – Redwood Dr – Cotati
Best Dispensary – Central California Category Winner
1st Place Big Sur Canna + Botanicals – Carmel Rancho Ln – Carmel
Best Dispensary – Southern California Category Winner
1st Place Cornerstone Wellness – Colorado Blvd – Los Angeles
Eco-Conscious Packaging – Category Winner
1st Place Sol Spirit Farms
Environmentally Conscious Indoor – Category Winner
1st Place Moon Valley Cannabis
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