Musings of a Cannabis Judge
Being asked to judge the Oregon Grower’s Cup was, for me, a huge deal. After running the PNW CannaReviews site and #AStonerinPNWonderland blog for almost two years now, being extended the opportunity seemed like a stoners dream come true. Samples of the top quality buds from around the state and a few concentrate samples in there as well. Sounds fun right?
Then reality sets in…….you’ve accepted a job!
I received the judge’s pack and couldn’t believe our eyes. It was packed full of over 80 samples of cannabis, with three categories: Indoor, Outdoor & Concentrate. The smell that wafted out of the tub was a floral assault on the senses and the aroma was enough to bring any weed fan around for miles!
Image Courtesy: Apotheker Agro Cannagars
Due to current lab testing bottlenecks in Oregon our sample packs didn’t arrive when I originally expected. So, when I did finally get them I had only 11 days to judge all these samples. Spread out that’s seven strains a day (with one day getting eight and a few random ones tossed in for good measure) and who has time for that with a day job and a family! Well, we were about to find out.
The pack arrived just before Thanksgiving so we had family here which just exacerbated the issue. Here I was, all this weed to smoke, and what feels like no time at all to smoke it in……..end of the world right? So, off on my canna-adventure as I grabbed the first sample and began to rate it on a scale from 1-5 in 4 categories: Look, Taste, Smell & High. One down……..how many more to go again?!
I continued to smoke a new sample steadily while trying to give ample time between for the high to reset. Friday, then Saturday…………finally Sunday. It’s been 3 full days of judging and it feels like I haven’t even made a dent in the pack. Hours of flower with a random concentrate thrown in the mix to break things up a bit. Reality has set in as the amount of THC I’ve ingested hits me like a Mac truck and it’s time to take a break. So, I pull out all the samples and sort them into an even amount per day. That’s when I realized that I’m ONLY half way through and that I still need to smoke an average of 4 flower and 1 concentrate sample each day to get my scores in on time!
Yes, that’s only HALF WAY DONE!
For the first time ever smoking herb has felt like a chore as I stare at the barely dwindling pile of samples and think to myself, “shit, I have to smoke ANOTHER bowl?!” Tears of frustration coupled with massive yawns carry me to sleep and I wonder if it was really worth it! (hint: of course it was!) I decide to smoke one more sample before heading to bed and I realized another pitfall: all samples are numbered without names or strain info. This is great for remaining unbiased and all but had one fatal flaw……I DIDN’T KNOW WHICH WERE SATIVAS!! For hours I lay in bed, stoned out of my skull but with a mind racing faster than Phelps in a swimming pool!
I finally reach the end of the samples and get all of my scores sent over the Cup officials for tallying and all I can really think is damn, I hope I can enjoy my bowls again!!
Well, the Oregon Grower’s Cup definitely had me appreciating fine cannabis and cannabis accessories (I bet you read that in Hank Hill’s voice, didn’t you!). We were able to roll up hours before the gate opened to hang with the vendors and let me tell you, it was an experience to be had! I’d talk about it but what happens before the gates open stays behind the gates forever…
The event was a mix of indoor and outdoor vendor areas with an outdoor seating area for the awards and eating. There was limited space for seating though; most of the tables were reserved for growers who had entered into the cup itself. Unlike the first year, this one was on private property and we could smoke to our hearts content…..and we did!
I’ll get to that, but first let’s talk about the vendors. You had your usual suspects: my man Carl Gorca reppin Microbelife Hydro (one of our awesome sponsors), NW Grind and a few others sitting right next to the awesome Jeremy with Foundation Holistic and Signature Oregon; our pals at Eugene OG (you’ve read about them in our stoner date night article); a few seed vendors including a new friend we made Bee Well! Genetics; Weed Maps put in an appearance; Dustin Lynch with Apotheker Agro Cannagars rollin up his sweet cannagars and quite a few others. Too many to list, there were something like 60 vendors from what I heard.
Aren’t those cannagars amazing!
My main Mikey Gordon with the Cottonmouth Comedy Tour put in an appearance too! He headlined the event with their comedy act and had the stoners laughin it up mid-toke. The night ended with the Resinators putting on a fantastic set. Sadly, we missed most of it because it was so damn cold we had to leave just a bit early. We caught the first few songs though and they were killin it on stage when we left!
We made some new friends as well! Let me show you these awesome glass pieces from Scientific Inhalations!
Those were the two that caught our attention the most and have me drooling for sure! The black stuff is coconut carbon (not charcoal, as they said if you want charcoal go break up a briquette!) and organic cotton fibers to add an additional filter. Combined with their scientific glass and you have a product that provides a healthier smoking and consuming experience. They can also prove it!
Samples and gifts were given freely as growers and attendees alike all busted out their private stashes they legally grew in their backyards or home closets. There was no hate and only just a bit of jealousy as we all just got silly stoned! Dabs were being slung like they were goin out of style too! Watch this time lapse from the McDank Entertainment booth.
Those guys got down with their dabs! It was a huge madhouse over there and you could find random McDank crew members wandering the crowd filming and mingling!
They weren’t the only ones slingin dabs though! The team over at Chilly’s Garden were tossing dabs around in some gorgeous Mothership Glass pieces (our first time hitting one too!) and giving some samples of their Dragon Breath distillate. Watch for a strain review of that coming this weekend! Chilly’s took 2nd Place for their Clementine extract, and damn it was a tasty dab I promise!
That was my fiance and I hitting those awesome Mothership pieces! I tell you we had one hell of a time hanging with the Chilly’s crew!
Before we wrap it up we can’t fail to mention the awesome 3 foot tall ice bong carved for the event by NW Ice Pipes! Take a look at one of the main dudes hammin it up with this awesome piece!
We had a blast judging and attending the event and even if it felt like work I ALWAYS want to be a judge at one of these events! I hope to have a few of those under my belt soon!