They don’t call the Emerald Cup “the Oscars of weed” for nothing. This one-of-a-kind cannabis competition is a magnet for strain celebrities, attracting all-star entries from the upper echelon of cultivation. Some of the newest stars in cannabis are shining a little brighter after this year’s Emerald Cup, and the old dogs once again proved they don’t need any new tricks.
The wares displayed at the first Emerald Cup in California’s age of legalization, hailing from the hills and beyond, were nothing short of spectacular. Competitors from eight counties entered choice samples of their goods, all hoping to be declared the premier offering of the fall harvest.
But even with a record number of entries this year, it still all came down to a top five.
The elite team of judges whittled down the winners list over weeks. They didn’t know it yet, but after one final extended smoke session, the cultivators known as the Dookie Brothers clinched their second major competition of the season.
Following their big win Golden Tarp Awards — the world’s premier light deprivation grown championship — the Dookie Brothers returned to competition, again with their masterfully grown rendition of Zkittlez.
They’re so good with their phenotype that it also placed 19th — a massive achievement in and of itself, never mind their gold medal finish.
And while the quality of craft displayed by the Dookie Brothers is beyond reproach, the stars of the show were the providers of their genetics, 3rd Generation Family.
Terp Hogz, Dying Breed Seeds, 3rd Generation Family — whatever you want to call them, they’re the opposite side of the magnet from people who can’t grow weed.
Even though Zkittlez reigned supreme, Brandon and the 3rd Gen Family took home the Breeder’s Cup with their “#8” strain placing third. Expect a fantastic name on the horizon.
And while their flower game was top notch, with two top spots on the podium, the hash categories are where 3rd Gen went 25-Year-Old Tom Brady. Last year’s rosin category saw 3rd Gen take every place in the top ten apart from one, but this year it was a clean sweep with Hindu Z taking the top spot.
They froze out the competition with the ice too; six of the top ten bubble entries also came from their ranks.
It’s worth noting, 19 of the top 20 rosins produced in Northern California over the past two years come from the same place — insane.
Unsurprisingly, the 3rd Gen/Dying Breed booth also was the most absurdly packed of the event, with the crowd regularly wrapped around the corner booth, five people deep. Even before the gates opened on Saturday, there was already a line of vendors hoping to score seeds before the general public flowed in and turned it into a free-for-all.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of shine to go around the aisles of the 215 section this year. One of the top aromas of the weekend was a Strawberry Banana Cross called Terp Smoothie; few other jars in Santa Rosa could match its piercing sweetness.
Returning for their second cup was Creek Tompkins and the team at Soul Evolution Enterprises. These gentlemen kept the booth simple and let the buds do the talking, and by talking I mean Whitney Houston doing the chorus from The Bodyguard.
Pointing to their Marmalade Beezy, a fantastic cross made from their house genetics, Tompkins said the cup had been kind to the Soul Evolution strains and that they were stoked to be a part of it.
“We were excited to place last year,” he said. “And this year will be our first flower entry.”
During her first time speaking at the cup, Dr. Amanda Rieman, Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance, said she’s been pushing farmers hard to prepare for branding since 2012. At the time many were still hesitant to split away from the safety and anonymity of the pack, but the results have now been proven, with some of the biggest winners coming from the hills.
“I’m proud of the farmers, they’re working hard to bring themselves into the light,” she said. “This is the future, this is what big marijuana looks like, and it’s not scary.”
TELL US, were you at this year’s Emerald Cup?