The Clever Root

Winter / Spring 2016

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Page 26 of 104

2 6 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t PART OF THE ALLURE OF FARM-TO-TABLE MEALS AND VINEYARD TOURS is building connections with the people who produced what you're about to experience. Visit the estate pictured on a wine label and the wine becomes more than the sum of its parts. Your dinner offers more satisfaction when you've shaken hands with the farmer who pulled those sautéed carrots out of the ground. Cannabis is no exception. As the Executive Producer of the Golden Tarp Award cannabis com- petition, I have the pleasure of experiencing vibrant and resin-encrusted flowers from the best light-deprivation farmers in the state. One farmer who stood out in our 2015 light-deprivation com- petition was Vince Sims of Emerald Essence. He submitted three outstanding entries, and the Sour Tangerine entry placed in the top 16. LETTER FROM THE CANNABIS EDITOR farm-to-able I'd never met Vince and he didn't accept his award publicly on stage, but still we'd connected through this competition and I enjoyed the fruits of his labor. At the 12th annual Emerald Cup in December, his name came up again. The Emerald Cup is one of the defining cannabis cups in Califor- nia—this all-organic, outdoor competition features a range of categories, the most anticipated of which is flowers. Tension for the competition mounted throughout the two-day event and culminated at the crowded award ceremony at Sonoma County Fairgrounds. As they reached No. 12, Vince of Emerald Essence was awarded for his entry Jedi Kush. The name was immediately recognizable to me from the Golden Tarp Award, so I clapped loudly and found his booth after the awards. Vince was soft-spoken when we met, though his passion for growing cannabis was evident in how he shared the story behind his entries. Placing in the Golden Tarp Award had been exhilarating, and he was both excited and surprised to have placed 12th in the Emerald Cup with Jedi Kush. His other entry, Death Star, was far stronger—it originated from a cut from Boulder, Colorado, and tested clean with 22.2% THC. He created the winning Jedi Kush by crossing the Death Star with a kush variety on his farm in the Emerald Triangle. Before I gave him a hug and took my leave, he gave me pre-rolled joints of Sour Tangerine, Death Star and Jedi Kush to take home as a thoughtful "thank you." The Sour Tangerine was as pungent and fruity as ever, and the Jedi Kush had a strong fuel flavor. But I understood his surprise—the Death Star's full flavor was a potent mixture of sour and fuel notes with a powerful and relaxing effect. As I sampled these strains and unwound from a busy weekend, I thought of the story Vince had told me of where they came from and how they were grown on his farm. The experience became more than just the flowers. Moments like these with cannabis are possible in some places, but in many "legal" states they are not. Markets like Colorado are focused on large, indoor cultivation, and other states have regulations too stringent for small scale farms to survive, forcefully separating both cultivators and consumers from the growing of the plant. In emerging legal markets like California, small farmers and producers are fight- ing for their ability to produce connoisseur-level cannabis that can reach the high-end market that craves it. For the farmers I know personally and the ones who have impressed me like Vince, I hope and advocate for this to be preserved. ■cr JEREMY BALL LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS ON CANNABIS OPENS NEW DOORS FOR ITS FARMERS — Allison Edrington Cannabis Editor

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