Opening Statement



Monday, 11 September 2017

Oh Cannabis: Karma Cup 2017 Review!

[Links + Photos To Follow!]


Summer has definitely ended on a "high note"! On September 9-10th, I had the distinct honour of being one of 200 judges at Karma Cup 2017, here in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During the daze leading up to the cup, I sampled over 146+ entries of the "best of the best" in cannabis bud, shatter, concentrates, non-solvents, medibles, topicals, glassware and more!Then marked each sample between 1 to 9, in each of up to 9 categories [Smell, taste, strength, medicinal effect ...]!

Whew! Perhaps I've finally found my true vocation in life as a retired teacher and medical cannabis patient, -grading pot!Hard work! But somebody had to do it!


Lotsa marking to do! Much more fun than school! Much ...

Once again, there were 2 equally important parts to this year's 4th Karma Cup; Firstly, there was the NORML [National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws] Canada [] annual conference. It was held at the Yonge Street Vapor Central Lounge []. Secondly, the Cannabis Expo on Church Street.

As a toker of long standing, circa 1970 to be exact, just getting veeeeery stoned at the EXPO, sampling more weed, would've been enough in and of itself for me! Yippie! Er ... er ... in between, of course, long trippy sessions toking and feeding my head at Vapor Central! Listening to the mind blowing NORML keynote speakers! The discussion panels! Joining in the very potent and mind expanding Q+A's!

Here are but a few of the many highlights:

NORML CANADA CONFERENCE:


There were 4 very interesting Key Note Speakers; one Ottawa politico and three of our leading Canuck cannabis activists:


Dana

Dana Larsen: Our conference's activist voice from BC provided a very hopeful message. The cannabis community is winning, despite the ongoing pot busts and our attendant activist misgivings with the Canadian government's heavy handed, corporate "legalization" agenda. Yes, it's turning into a great, big, nasty, legal mess! However, we've come a long way! As Dana noted, we are now sitting safely in a downtown Toronto cannabis vapor lounge, pondering what most certainly will be a new "golden age for cannabis" during the century ahead. Finally, the times they are a' changing: The new CBD market alone will be huge. Our children will never suffer the injustices of Prohibition 1.0 or 2.0! Nor for that matter, the stigma of just being labelled a crazy pot head! It will take time! There's still a lot of work to do! Fittingly, Dana ended with a rousing call to action; "Long live the cannabis revolution!"





Jodie Emery

Jodie Emery: The Cannabis Culture co-founder provided an impassioned social justice-civil rights critique of the legalization process. Speaking for the cannabis community, Jodie called on Trudeau to "Stop criminalizing us, and recognize that we exist". Former Toronto Police Chief and Trudeau Pot Point Man Bill Blair was taken to ask for "G-20'ing 420" vis a vis the government's heavy handed legalization tactics. Jodie encouraged everyone to get involved and take a stand, to protest and write letters to our politicians and the media. She finished on an uplifting note, proclaiming that now truly is the time to "Plant the seeds of freedom! Overgrow the government!"


Britney [on right]

Britney Guerra: The Cannabis Culture 5's Britney spoke on "Cannabis Entrepreneurship". Her valuable insights into Canada's grass root, cannabiz "craft industry" were based upon her own experiences starting up the pioneering Cloud 9 dispensary and Cannagems in Hamilton Ontario. Also, through her cannabis activism and "civil disobedience" with Marc and Jodie Emery's, over the past year or so, as reported on this site. Regretfully, bail conditions prohibited Britney from sharing any tantalizing background info about the infamous Project Gator busts with us. However, though her simple resilience and true grit, Britney bravely provides another excellent example of what each of us can do, when we are pro-active, in the good fight for legalization! Thank you Britney!


 
John Conroy [NORML] + MP Erskine Smith [Lib]
 

MP Erskine Smith:  How rare is this? The Liberal party faithful actually descending from on high in Ottawa! To rub shoulders! To hear first hand from folks whom actually smoke pot! A lot! Know the score! Can recognize a bummer, burn and rip off when we see it! Certainly, our lone, pro-cannabis federal Member of Parliament [MP] got a real earful from the activists gathered Sunday morning to voice their concerns. Promised me he'd look into the disgraceful, government "tax" on our cannabis medical prescriptions. Danced around my complaints about the government's sorry assed Licensed Producers [LP's]. Suggested that that we medical patients should be able to fill our prescriptions at a pharmacy too, rather than address the craft dispensary issue. Too bad Erskine wouldn't tell us if he still smokes pot or not! Still, he deserves credit for actually coming. Let's watch to see what he can really do!

CANNABIS EXPO:


Sarah + Craig!


The 36+ producers at the Karma Cup Cannabis Expo literally ripped a page right out of the Cannabis Free Enterprise Supply and Demand 101 handbook! Confronted us with a mind boggling array of heady delights! To sample and buy! With them on hand, knowledgably answering our questions. 

No shortage of free bud, shatter or concentrate samples here! Nor tasty treats! Quality was high! Competition stiff! Prices cheap! With good deals aplenty!


Standouts for me were Can Deliveries "Rockstar" buds at $5 [Cdn] a gram! Generous free dabs from Seven Star, Honey Badger, High Grade's, and Phat Farmer's, to name but a few! Then there was Seaway Valley's killer vape pens! Sofa King's to-die-for pretzels! Clearly Delicious' death star 1000 mg infused Peanut Butter! Dana Larsen's super star MJ creams and Pot Head books! Well, the list goes on and on!

No duds! Lots of good vibes! This was an excellent example of what a healthy, vibrant, craft cannabiz industry looks like! One that's all ready up, running and in place for legalization next year, should the Trudeau government only really look and see ....


CONCLUSION

Many thanks to NORML for providing us with a very thought provoking weekend! Finally, some real discussion about what legalization can and should look like, and why! Truly, the conference provided a refreshing alternative! Without all the loathsome and odious, fear mongering, corporate based monopoly bullshit disguised as "legalization", being trafficked to us by the Trudeau government and the mainstream media!

There's hope yet! It was also great to see our every vigilant local social media out in force, most notably Dopechef and Dankr.ca! Covering the real life Canadian cannabis scene, where the big boys fear to tread! Hooray! The counterculture in Canada, is still alive and well! Get your real news here!


And remember -craft cannabis works! Let's make sure the message gets out! It's a viable alternative to Trudeau's poorly thought out and executed legalization plans. Prohibition 2.0 be damned! The only real question is; will it exist above or underground come next year?

Finally, a big thank you is due to the organizers of this year's Kama Cup! As someone who's done a lot of marking over the years, I noticed a lot of ways the grading system could be tweaked to make it much, more easier and accurate to use on a go forward basis. Your judges can be a valuable resource! Perhaps a follow up survey is in order?

Still -well done! At Karma Cup 2017 a splendid time was guaranteed for all! 


Grading Pot -Serious Business!

NEWS LINKS [More To Follow]

The Karma Cup 2017 Winners are @ KC



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