The New World of Regs, Judging My First NorCal Cannabis Cup, and Summer Farm Tour 2018

It’s been a pretty wild few months on the cannabis front since we last checked in Champions.

Lots to talk about all over the place, but I’m pretty California-centric these days with the worlds biggest cannabis market struggling to figure itself out at the moment. That being said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the pace of federal progress in recent months. In particular people like Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, and Cory Gardner taking the lead is fantastic. Trump coming out in support of the Gardner/Warren bill blew my mind. Hopefully, the discussion continues through summer and both parties use it to bait voters for midterms then follow through.

I went to the first legal High Times Cannabis Cup in Sacramento in May. It was amazing. It seemed like a different world than what we’ve witnessed recently amidst the July 1 regulations kicking in, nevertheless a good time. Alien Labs crushed taking home all three flower trophies, it was very impressive. The Gelato #41 is really something special when grown by true artists. The Village, of Symbiotic Genetics, crushed it too with some savage Mimosa 6! I also had the chance to interview The Village about developing Purple Punch into the now famous V2 that was the strain of the year everywhere in 2017. Keep an eye out for that in the next issue of Cannabis Now in stores soon.

After I did my write up of the Sacramento cup for Cannabis Now, I ended up doing High Times preview for the NorCal Cannabis Cup a few weeks later! I was also invited to judge the Sativa flower category it was awesome! I’m excited to see what California events can turn into given the way these worked out. But we still have a long way to go, I was absolutely devastated to hear Victorville didn’t give Chalice a permit for sales. 

On sadder note recently we’ve seen more great companies not able to make it in the age of regulated cannabis. Not because they couldn’t comply, in many cases they were either priced out of the permit process or screwed by a close-minded county that decided to not take part in the regulated marijuana industry. Furthermore, some communities like Oakland threw their golden tickets in the shredder or punched the gift horse in the mouth many times with numerous companies bailing in response to over-regulation.

Also if you’re in California, be sure to support SB289 if you want to save California compassion programs that provide free medical cannabis to the seriously ill. The current tax climate treats the cannabis given to these people as if it were entering the market. This means producers trying to help the sick are being devastated by taxes and fees, basically making their efforts to help impossible.

This month I’m going to start hitting farms and am super excited for this year’s crop. Let me know if you want me to swing by your spot, I might get as far up as Washington this summer but we’ll see.

Have an awesome July!

Weekly Vlog Kick Off

Hey All!

I hope the young summer is treating you well. I’m kicking off a weekly recap of the headlines I find interesting and the stories I’m covering. Here is the first installment!

Hope you enjoyed! I’m going to be trying to drop these on Mondays!

Happy New Year Champions!

Hope everyone made the best of the tail-end of 2016!

I had a great time covering the cannabis industry for some amazing new publications this year including Cannabis Now Magazine, 7×7, Marijuana.com, and The San Francisco Chronicle. What a ride it was watching the battle for cannabis progress unfold over the year, eventually seeing major action at the polls and in state capital buildings.

Next year I’m excited to watch the largest marketplace in the world, and its greatest producers, develop into something special. It will be a rocky road for sure,  be it NorCal vs. Socal, wholesale prices on outdoor demanding less than a buck a gram, or the hill vs. the valley. These are only a few of the puzzle pieces of the tale of 2017 yet to be penned, I look very forward to seeing how it all comes together!

If you want to keep up to date with what I’m writing you can follow me on twitter @JimiDevine, or check out my author page on Cannabis Now where I’m currently a Staff Writer putting up a few things a week.

Have a great 2017!