The Emerald Cup Survival Guide 2017

Emerald Cup Survival Guide

From throat lozenges to elderberry tinctures, here are the items that experts recommend bringing to the upcoming premier outdoor cannabis event.


The plants have been chopped, the buds dried and cured, and the judges have had time to sift through it all. On Dec. 9 and Dec. 10, the 2017 Emerald Cup will take place in Santa Rosa, California at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds — and Cannabis Now wants you prepared with our very first-ever Emerald Cup Survival Guide to accompany this world championship for outdoor marijuana cultivation.

You may be asking, “But Jimi, has anyone ever died at a cannabis competition? Why would one need a Survival Guide?” A reasonable inquiry, certainly. However, the goal is not to save your life, but to help you enjoy this special, once-a-year event at peak enjoyment.

We reached out to some of the premier cultivators, companies, judges, and even past winners to get their expert tips on how to have a blast this weekend.

The two biggest points that our experts emphasized concerned weather and wardrobe.

Over the course of the weekend, the weather will be a bit crazy. Weather forecasts are predicting that it will be drier than it has been in years past, which is promising, but it’s still going get exceptionally chilly in the evenings. Nevertheless, both Saturday and Sunday are looking at highs in the mid-60s, before dropping to below 40 degrees when the sun goes down.

If you’re a champion and envision yourself trooping through a whole cup day without a wardrobe change, you’re definitely going to want to wear layers. If you wear your nighttime attire all day, it’ll get sweaty and not do as well keeping you warm later. However, we anticipate that it will be a reasonable temperature inside the concert and awards ceremonies venues each evening, especially with all the joints acting like mini space heaters.

However, no matter what the temperature, an Emerald Cup can easily be ruined if your feet hurt. Solid footwear is a must if you’re planning to spend 10 hours a day walking around on mostly concrete.

We suggest that you couple your comfy footwear with one of the Emerald Cup’s new innovations this year: pre-verification. In years past, one of the worst parts of the cup was standing in line to get your wristband to enter the 215 Zone, where smoking was allowed for medical marijuana patients. Thanks to the good folks at San Francisco tech-hub Meadow, this year the verification process will feature an express line. By visiting the Emerald Cup website, you can get yourself pre-verified, but we recommend that you definitely still bring a hard copy of your recommendation for backup.

Advice from Emerald Cup veterans and experts:

  • “The biggest thing I would have to recommend [is to] wear warm clothes, be well hydrated and enjoy the beautiful Sonoma County air!” – Chris from Dabbenport Extracts
  • “Stay hydrated, use protection (those little personal silicone things people hang around their necks), wear comfortable shoes and stay with a squad. It’s a weed event, so it’s pretty easy to survive those. I think it’s even handicapped accessible” – Daniel De Salles, founder of The Secret Cup
  • “Bring some CBD for when you get too high, plus extra alcohol swabs in case people run out and an elderberry or echinacea tincture!” – Maya, founder of Om Edibles, past Emerald Cup winner
  • “The obvious… Drink water, eat well. Be careful with edibles and dabs, know your dosage and start small if you’re new. And, the most important: contrary to stereotypes and stigma, it’s about more than just getting high. The Emerald Cup is the best place to learn about and celebrate the heritage, culture and craft of cannabis.” – Hezekiah Allen, Executive Director California Growers Association
  • “Bring throat lozenges if you’re smoking a lot to cool and ease the throat after smoking. Bring business cards if you’re doing business. Do consider layers as it’s going to be cooler at night, and older folk may want to consider gloves and scarfs. It’s going to be cloudy and cool, not outright cold and rainy as in years past, so that bodes well.” – Etienne Fontan, Berkeley Patients Group
  • “Stay hydrated. Go easy on the edibles — they add up.” – Ngaio Bealum, comedian, contributor to Cannabis Now and Emerald Cup flower judge.
  • “Eat the Greek food! It’s hella good. Remember that glass jars aren’t allowed. I’ve had to take like 15 grams out of a jar (full melt) and put it in (glad I had extra) parchment paper.” – Allie Butler, Founder of Hepburns
  • “Bring a small satchel of coffee beans to sniff and reset your pallet, a few black peppercorns to chew to sober up between tastings, three lighters, two packs of papers and money for seeds.” – Chrystal Ortiz, True Humboldt
  • “Get your medical ID ahead of time so you don’t have to do it there, take a ride-share to avoid parking, drink lots of water, and prepare to get high!” – Nikki Lastreto, co-head flower judge and Cannabis Now contributor
  • “Water, water, water. The first few events I got a hella bad headache every time from dehydration and too many dabs.” – Ted, Alien Labs
  • “As for surviving, everyone should consume CBD throughout the day ideally with edibles or infused oils. I did that last year and it made the experience so much better. Only using THC will make you more and more tired.” – Justin Kander, Aunt Zelda’s

TELL US, are you excited for the Emerald Cup?

Jimi Devine has been involved in cannabis reform since 2005 and has worked in the Berkeley cannabis industry since 2009 when he moved to California from Lynn, Massachusetts. Currently serving as Staff Writer here at Cannabis Now, you can also find his writings on cannabis products and policy in the San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Hill, The Chronicle of High Education, GreenState.com, Marijuana.com, 7×7 Magazine, and in Ed Rosenthal’s most recent book This Bud’s for You. Jimi has a BA in Journalism and Media Studies from Franklin Pierce University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *