I recently relocated from San Francisco, California to Phoenix, Arizona. The general response I get when I tell people this is: “Why would you move here?” But that’s another story.
In 2010 Arizona passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, making it the 14th state to adopt medical cannabis. Today, there are almost 126,000 patients throughout the state — I recently became one of them.
The relatively new 710 holiday is certainly adding to the list of options for summertime festivals. While my friends in California were gearing up for the Chalice Festival, I was getting ready for one of Arizona’s own cannabis functions, the 2nd annual 710 Degree Cup.
The event was held at the American Royal Palace, a banquet and conference hall that normally sees more brides than bong rips. But on this particular Saturday, the air was thick with smoke as Arizona patients filled the venue to its maximum capacity.
The Errl Cup, the masterminds behind the event, aim to keep all of their events admission free and open to all patients. Volunteers helped with parking, cleaning and guiding patients in and out of the building. Nothing inside was available for sale, but vendors handed out free dabs, held raffles and passed out samples.
While I waited in line, I overheard eager patients express their joy for the opportunity to celebrate cannabis together.
The crowd was no joke, maxing out the 1,200 person capacity in just a few hours. Patients lined up in 104-degree weather for a chance to get inside and enjoy Arizona’s finest, only to find the venue had little ventilation or air conditioning, in addition to being packed full of people. Nonetheless, patients then waited in more long, crowded lines to try all of their favorite flavors.
The Errl Wars brought out the competitive side in patients, pitting 64 dabbers against each other for a chance to win the championship belt. In order to win a round, a competitor needs to be the first to clear the rig of any smoke. All competitors were provided identical rigs, dabbers and carb caps to ensure fairness. The size of the dabs grew with each round, and the final two dab battlers had to prove themselves by finishing a 1.5-gram dab!
The Errl Cup bills their events as patient appreciation parties, and it can easily cost over $300 to acquire a patients card in Arizona, so patients do want to feel appreciated.
Most importantly, patients were just so grateful to have a space where the community could come together and celebrate their love for cannabis.
Competitors eager to become one of Arizona’s best handed their samples over to C4 Labs for testing and judging. All winners received gift certificates for C4 testing and first place winners also received custom goblets by Austin Hensley.
Arizona’s current laws only allows patients living more than 25 miles from a dispensary to cultivate at home. The state also doesn’t require cultivators or dispensaries to provide test results for their products. This is why it’s so important for patients to have access to events like those held by the Errl Cup, where they can meet the people who make the medicine they use in their daily lives.
I love and miss the Bay Area cannabis community with all my heart, but I’m excited to be exploring new landscapes in the budding Arizona industry.
TELL US, have you been to a sesh in Arizona? What was it like?