All photos by Erik Anderson
Somewhere amidst the marijuana energy drinks and exuberantly filled bags of Volcano vapor at yesterday's fourth annual Cannabis Competition, a young lady named Lacey was making a name for herself.
“Sales have been excellent – we've cornered it! I think the best sellers have been the shortbread cookies. You can have them alone or we also make them into filled sandwiches,” said the fetching entrepreneur of Laced Cakes, who sat with her girl friends behind stacks of individually packaged marijuana edibles, all attired in vintage approximations of boho homemakers.
The trio joined proud purveyors of marijuana energy drinks, handmade color-changing coffee mugs, and raw organic hemp rolling papers -- not to mention the more urban, less crunchy beats than Competitions past by Bayonics, Manicato, and Mystic Roots -- in a celebration of gourmand greens. Set in Terra's be-succulented patio and indoor space, the Competition was a happy, if slow moving refutation of the fact that pot heads can't party.
Lesson of the day? There is life post-Prop 19. Even while plagued with last-minute venue kerfuffle and copyright blowback from the OG cannabis cuppers, High Times, the Cannabis Competition hit it big with SF indian summer weather to die for and an enthusiastic crowd. “It was an extremely successful event in terms of people having fun,” said Kevin Reed, CEO of the Green Cross, the pot delivery service that sponsored the event.
“I think that [the venue change] probably did keep a lot of people home – anything that has to do with the police department will do that – but it did get us some mentions in the press,” Reed continued. He said that a few vendors also backed out at last minute for fear of conflict with the law.
But the trepidation of the competition suited Lacey (real name: Courtney, she didn't want her surname in the press) just fine. Laced Cakes has been around since 2007, but lack of consistency with her inventory – “you know how that happens,” she smiles – led to Lacey losing her regular selling gig at the Green Door, a SoMa dispensary.
Six days before the Competition, the buyer at the Green Door mentioned there was an empty vendor booth still available – would Laced Cakes like an expo debut? Lacey sprung into action and baked up some product, even learning a recipe for caramel that looked like a success from where I was standing and admiring her cakes. Her other offerings? Zucchini bread, vegan butter, take and bake cookies with their own little tubs of frosting – all “medicated,” all preciously packaged and ready for action.
Which was kind of a shame, because by the time I ran across her booth, I was in no shape to eat any more weed. In fact, by the end of the eight hours of Cannabis Comp, it was fair to say that not many were – particularly the judges of the Patient's Choice contest itself. I spoke with one judge, who paid $250 for the privilege of weighing in on the Bay's best buds. The Green Cross mails these brave arbiters 43 strains of weed (a gram of each), 17 kinds of weed edibles, and eight weed concentrates.
Ahem, a mere 10 days before the competition. Clear your schedule! Reed says some patients – you have to have your medical marijuana card to participate – hosted tasting parties with their similarly-carded friends to help share the burden of the position.
I got a chance to check out the tiny microscopes included in the judge's package of fun (the Green Cross hands them out to all its patients who place orders with them). Equipped with a button to turn regular or black light on your bud of choice, the 'scope revealed a tiny new land of purples and greens and complex crystal formations. The whole thing looked a lot like some dendrite-heavy sea creature. An pungent anemone, maybe. Or maybe I was just stoned.
Makes you think differently about marijuana – the intent, surely, of a peaceful party packed with pot. Maybe the rest of the state's not ready for legalizing the dro, but it would seem that for San Francisco, a lot of the victory would be a symbolic one. Symbols, man.
2010 Cannabis Competition Patient's Choice award winners (congrats!)
Best Edibles: First place - Scott Van Rixel's Bang Dark Chocolate
Second place - (tie) Auntie Dolores' chili-lime peanuts, The Green Door's Buddies peanut butter pucks
Third place - Sean Polly's Hash on the Mountaintop
Best Concentrates: First place - (tie) The Green Cross' Frosty Oil, The Vapor Room Co-operative's Blue Moonrocks
Second place – The Green Door's G18
Third place – The Green Cross' Sour diesel keef
Best Cannabis: First place - Boss' OG Kush
Second place - (tie) Allen Wrench's Island in the Sky, The Green Door's Granddaddy, The Green Cross' Kryptonite
Third place (tie) - Earth Green Cali Farm's Jack Hare, Dutch Treat by San Francisco Medical Cannabis Garden