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High Times’ Santa Rosa Cannabis Cup Coverage


By Roger Malespin  (photo/istock/smontgom65 )

The High Times Northern California Cannabis Cup was held this weekend on the famous Sonoma County Fairgrounds. For those not in the know, the NCCC is like the super bowl of American cannabis competitions - where the elite cultivators from around the world gather and vie for honors including best flower, vape cartridge, packaged products and edibles. It encompasses much more than just smoking - it’s an arts and culture festival with deep counterculture roots where attendees experienced great food from around the world and live music including Grateful Dead founding member Phil Lesh and Blues Traveler.

Taking place on June 2nd and 3rd, the event was just the second cannabis event in the United States to allow adult sale and consumption on site, and attracted people from as far away as the Caribbean. Admission was open to anyone 21 and over.  “All you need is to be 21 years of age and have a heartbeat,” said Omar Figueroa, a Sebastopol-based cannabis attorney.

The festival came shortly after the Central Valley Cannabis Cup in Sacramento on May 4-5.

Some of the major names competing were Alien Labs, Gold Drop, C.R.A.F.T, URB Delivery, and The Village. Among the strains that the elite growers brought to the table were Purple Punch, Mimosa, Gelato, and Forbidden Fruit. 

The judges have rendered their verdicts and the winners include:

Best edible went to Strawberry Express Edible Tincture by Val’s Organics with the Weed Studio City and Critical Minds, usurping Cannabis-Infused Mocha Crunch Milk Chocolate by NUG, which took 1st place in Sacramento and 2nd place here.

Best indica flower went to Creme De La Crème by Team Elite Genetics with OG Collective, knocking Sacramento winner Gelato 41 by Connected out of the top spot and into 3rd place. 

CBD OG by C.R.A.F.T. took the prize for best CBD flower in a victory over Sacramento winner Pac Man CBD by The Kaiser Select. The judges had high praise for CBD OG saying it had “A+ flavor and smoke which we felt behind the eyes and backs of the ears.”

Best vape pen cartridges went to Big Lemons Vape Cart by Gold Drop with Lemon Tree, described as having a “mellow but uplifting high”. 2nd and 3rd place went to  Mimosa Live Resin Sauce Cartridge by Moxie with the Village and Pineapple Express Vape Cart by The Bloom Brand, respectively - all three failed to make the top spots in Sacramento.
Best Sativa flower was somewhat of a surprise victory for Gelonade by Connected, which took the top spot from Sacramento favorite Melonade by Alien Labs. “This had a tangie, floral and gassy scent, and had a citrus, floral, and soapy taste. It was strong and stoney.” said the judges of this flower. A big win in the face of strong competition from the likes of Mimosa #A5 by Atrium Farms and Master Blaster by Purple Frost Genetics. 

Best product went to Mint Chocolate Chip Seeds by Exotic Genetix. Bred from a Girl Scout Cookies phenotype and Green Ribbon BX, it has a growing reputation in the California Bay area as a palate-wrecker with pulsating effects. Loaded Pre-Roll by Golden State Banana took home 2nd place and Papaya Flower by Eve Farms walked away with 3rd. 

These are just a few of the winner from the festival - Full results can be found at High Times' official site. Those looking to explore the very best in cannabis are urged to check out all these brands and the array of cannabis products they have to offer.