Emerald Cup: Making Connections With Cannabis

I once only identified as a casual smoker. Now, I’m diving into this brave burgeoning industry pipe-first.

My love of weed was always a communal one. Cannabis ties the yuppies of the Upper Haight to the chill street kids in the horseshoe by Kezar. It’s a tie binding politicos of all stripes under our oft-fractious City Hall dome. It’s a bond many San Franciscans share.

Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Photo by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

And it cements social bonds as well. My first time smoking ganja, my friends and I were in high school, and in our lack of experience we tried to light up on a windy day from a fourth-story rooftop. That didn’t work out too well. After managing to get moderately stoned out of our gourds, we wandered down to our favorite doughnut shop, All-Star on Chestnut Street (now closed, may she rest in deliciousness).

There, even the SFPD ignored our extracurricular activities. Content to poke fun at our altered state, we started referring to them as “our old friends the Po.”

When you’re just a cannabis consumer, the larger realities of the culture can escape you.

So here I am, older, smoking from my dad’s decades-old ceramic pipe, thinking about the future of our new venture, SF Evergreen. I know that we’ll try to reflect that communal ethos here: a little rock and roll (or hip-hop, if you please), a lot of the good green stuff, and a look at the people who tie this industry together.

At my first Emerald Cup, in December, I met a community more than willing to welcome someone new.

The folks at Scorpion Coffee patiently explained the correct dosage for their THC coffee creamer, which was well-timed help, as I had thrown out my back shortly before attending the Cup. Soon that pain was a distant fuzz, barely perceptible.

Photo by Joe Fitzgerald RodriguezExploring the vendors, I was surprised by just how many were strictly mom-and-pop. One fellow had his wife’s photo on the box of one of his grinders. Another fellow, from the Sweet Leaf Collective, told me of his mission to bring medical marijuana to patients at no cost.

And there was passion among the more business-minded ganja purveyors. One group of fellows dreamed up the iChief one day, in a haze-filled hangout. A few designs later, and the iPhone case with a built-in hiding place for rolling papers was a reality. OCO Labs’ representatives were rightfully proud of its Super C, which they brand as the world’s smallest extractor. Its low cost may open up opportunities for small businesses or independent gardeners that didn’t exist before.

And as California nears legalization, or at least, regulation, the possibilities for everyone is growing. That’s where SF Evergreen comes in.

We’ll celebrate the puff-purveyors of the city, and our neighbors in the town. The growers, the sellers, the all-day tokers and the social smokers. We’ll try out the best new edibles, all in the name of journalism, of course. And a special hobby of mine: I’m looking forward to exploring the Maker community, to see all the fun new cannabis-related contraptions people can imagine.

Most of all, we’re excited to know you all. So roll one up, and let’s celebrate.

2014 Emerald Cup Winners

Top THC 
flower strains
Grower: Joe Peinado
Collective: Healing Harvest Farms
Genetics: Diesel x Ogre
County of origin: Mendocino
Lab results: THC 26.51, CBD 0.07

Mean Gene from Aficionado
Healing Harvest Farms
Oil Can x NL x Lime Afgani x PK x Chemdawg SR
THC 18.8, CBD 0.04

Budonymous & Ganja Girl Scout
THC 16.76, CBD 0.09

Guerilla Meds
ACDC x Purple Legend
7.98% THC 14.73% CBD

Sour Tsunami x Harlequin
21.05% CBD 0.86% THC

Dr Courtneys Strain
10.16% CBD 11.12% THC
For a full list of winners, including topicals, 
concentrates, and edibles.