Opening Statement



Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Oh Cannabis: The Karma Cup 2018 Review!



Saturday morning: Strolling towards 217 Adelaide Street West, deep in Toronto's Soho entertainment district, I'm greeted by a huge, omnipresent whiff of good old fashioned weed spreading out from Karma Cup 2018. It waffles past the long line ups of eager TIFF [Toronto International Film Festival] goers, excitedly gathered outside the local movie theatres and swinging chi chi club hot spots. Offering a none to subtle and enticing, hint of the reefer madness lying await just inside the Karma Cup gates!

This year's tightly packed Karma Cup main stage, vendors market and outdoor lounge has been set up in a parking lot narrowly wedged between Soho's office towers, condos and converted warehouses, under the looming shadow of Toronto's CN Tower. The huge line up to get in, without an advance pass, stretches outward from the gate and around the block, by far the longest I see. Clearly, this weekend, TIFF is not the only show in town!

Most of my Karma Cup weekend was spent shuffling back and forth between partying at the trez kool vendors market on Saturday on Adelaide Street West, and on Sunday at 612 Church Street. Then taking in the fabulous speeches and presentations at the Vapor Central Lounge on Yonge street, later on during the day, after I'd tied on a really good buzz. A dab or two. A door. Some medibles ...

It certainly was a helluva lotta fun getting high AF on all the free samples and show specials at the market. I also met with the good folks from High 5, Weeds Canadian Glassware, and Shatter Blaster. I stand in awe. Ditto the fine folk from Shatterizer, where I picked up some more coils and caps, and an extra charger, as well as a few other Shatterizer accessories. 



Let's Get Shattered!

My vendor market favourites? For weed? CandeliveryFukushima Pre Rolls, Lotus Toronto, Phat Farms, Sendrbud, and Top Shelf were out in force, with lots of top strains show priced at from $125-$280 [1] for a big, fat, ounce bag! Many of them offering free same day delivery options across the GTA! Very important with a postal strike looming by Oct 17. That's the official legalization date in Ontario, and as we now know, the province will only be selling government licensed crud by mail order at first! Good luck!

For shatter? Extracts? Concentrates? Distillates?: Diamond was on hand with lotsa dabs of "Pineapple Express", "Gorilla Glue #4", and "Laughing Buddah". Loved the great deals on shatter at the Quadfather. The $15 "God Bud" proved impossible to turn down! Ditto Top Shelf's "Ghost Train Haze" distillate! For $25, I also scored a kool Hippie Hills "Headband" vape pen too. Cheap!

Shatter was widely available, throughout the show, ranging in price from $15 to $65 a gram, with plenty of $2-$10 dabs, and lotsa free ones too! Same for the joints, with some of the better ones, quite frankly, wildly available in the lower price range! 

In the Medibles Department? Lucky and the crew from Buudobomb were back in force with their potent and mind expanding 10 X 10 mg organic gummies, also offering free delivery across the GTA.  Sugar Shack Edible's 15 X 10 mg "Blazed Blueberry" gummies also helped cheerfully brighten up my Karma Cup day!



Free Gummy Bears Courtesy Lucky from Ka-Buudobomb!

I went hog wild loading up on Purple Crown's 200 mg "Choco Budz" for the post Karma Cup party with all my good buds back at the trailer park. Everybody loved it. Definitely a personal favourites of all the many medibles I judged this year. Also loaded up on Gizen's super fine rolling papers for myself and all my friends. Scored some of Mary's Teas, in particular their "Peppermint", "Sleepy Time" blends for Janet. Also their "Original Blend" instant coffee, for me. Each with 60 mg of THC. Likewise, I scored a 10 pack of High Tea's 15 gm "Chamomile Smile" an irresistibly tantalizing, quick morning-pick-me-upper. And of course, I once again picked up some infused pretzels, peanut butter and blueberry jam from SKG Bakery. And one of CanaNorth's new finagled glass and metal, cork screw, twisty, refillable blunts.

On Sunday, day 2 of the show, the vendors market was suddenly moved to 512 Church Street, just east of Yonge, the same location as the last two Karma Cups, possibly because a certain Licensed Producer with a TIFF hospitality suite couldn't cope with the competition. [2] An omen of the bad things to come with legalization come October 17th? Nothing new!



Gimmie a "High 5" [or 2]!

Alas! With less space, Sticky Zoo's huge testing tent, along with a few other venders, got tightly downsized and squeezed into the now much tighter digs. But undeterred the show went on! Suffice to say, Day One of the Karma Cup usually features the best product. Day 2 the best deals. This year, as in years past, neither were in short supply. Plus it was still one helluva great weed party, at either location!

However, in my autumn, retirement years, I'm drawn less and less to big crowds. Plus another irony for me, as a Karma Cup judge, is that by the time the big weekend show arrives, I've already toked, dabbed, rubbed on myself and ate over 130 cannabis samples. Whew! I'm already partied out to the max! 

Quite frankly, there just isn't much more boo I can still ingest, short of sticking it up my butt! [3] Seriously! And so, by early afternoon each day, I'd invariably make my way to the Vapor Central Lounge stage for the presentations and speeches, in search of another more relaxing, less frenzied way to feed my mind!



For me, the outstanding Karma Cup 2018 presenters included:

Caryma Sa'd's legal presentation on "Cannabis and the Landlord and Tenant Act." Very timely and helpful! See my blog @ Here!

CFAMM's James O'Hara on "October 17th: What to Expect?" Surprise! Many Ontario condo owners and apartment tenants will wake up on October 17th, to sadly learn that they can't toke in the privacy of their home, let alone out in the park or out on the street.

It's a pretty grim scenario but fear not. There will be plenty of court challenges ahead. I look forward to working with James to see what can be done.

Peace Natural's Gordon Hagen's power point show on "Legal Cannabis Extraction Challenges" provided much insight into the unreasonable government restrictions and limits plaguing Canada's legal "Licensed producers" as they try to compete, with hands tied against their back, against Ontario's fabulous, flourishing underground market. Whoa! Low THC levels? Product restrictions? Quite frankly, as things now stand, come legalization -they are royally screwed! Expect a lot of corporate cannabis fireworks ahead!

High Society Chef Reena's "Cooking With Cannabis" lesson dished us all up a big, scrumptious, THC infused vegan taco to eat, along with Reena's insights into microdosing and cooking with extracts. Chef Reena is certainly no stranger to our southern Ontario audience. Indeed, see my blog @ There!



Chef Reena Cooks Up a THC Infused Storm!

Hopefully, with legalization, the Karma Cup can now better organize and unite the show within one main location, so as not to divorce these very, all important, broad based speeches and presentations from the more readily accessible green marketing aspects of the show. It is info that we, as counterculture cannabist activists and enthusiastic will need to know in the coming daze ahead.

As the speakers were quick to point out in their presentations, legalization in Canada is going to be one, great, big legal mess. As cannabists, we will need to be able to wrap our heads around Prohibition 2.0, more than ever before, just to stop it from becoming a total horror show. At present, the $30 cover charge for the show includes a great green market and one helluva big pot party. That's all fine and dandy, but the invaluable info from the presentations certainly needs to be a much, more central and integral part of the show!

Of course, Karma Cup 2018 was once again, a throughly excellent event, from the judging down to the vendors market, presentations and speeches etc. etc. etc. Considering weed's still not legal, it was a remarkable achievement for which, under the circumstances, one is loathe to seek fault. Still, here's a few constructive suggestions to hopefully make the Karma Cup even better in the years ahead:

Organizers: Could we possibly get the judges packages early in the summer? Testing over 130 products in two or three weeks does not really do all the fine products justice and can be quite the challenge, even for the more seasoned toker! A judge's inservice on the evaluation categories and criteria could also help make sure that we are all on the same page, and grading the many different products correctly! Also, how about a follow up debriefing with the judges after the show? Surely, we have a lot of good, ground level insights to share, which are otherwise wasted ....



Yup! Really good girls do sell and smoke weed!

Contestants: Why not include more product info and instructions in the space provided on the packaging for your samples? Ingredients? Usage? Etc? It's often quite lacking. That can be very confusing for a judge facing the daunting task of quickly testing all 130+ samples. Regretfully, I found many products in the "CBD", "Distillate", "Topical", "Terps" and "Solvent-Less" categories often, though not always, lacked even the most basic info, to help us as best give your vast array of quite different products all due consideration. It certainly can't hurt you in the marks department when it comes to judging the very important and critical "Enjoyment", "Medicinal Effects" and "Visual Appeal" categories, among others!

Ditto the apparent attempts to save on packaging costs, especially in the "Solvent Extracts" and "Solventless" categories. Why spoil a truly great product's chances of winning by wrapping it in a cheapo wrap or crappy container? They make it very difficult to correctly judge your products "Texture", besides also creating a whole lot of doubts in the other aforementioned categories. Chances are that your sample will go through many temperature changes between when you package it and it's finally opened by us to be tested. Sometimes, with cheap packaging even the finest of the fine oil, shatter, resin, and budder ends up little more than a horrible mess!

Last but not least, please don't scrimp on the samples. Most of this year's buds weighed in at least a gram, later providing plentiful leftovers for further reconsideration. However, the shatter samples seemed rather meager on the whole, for Karma Cup 2018. Think about it -What happens then when we want to retry and compare your product again after we've tested the other samples? If it's a lost saving measure, that's definitely not in your best interest for winning, if you've truly got an award winning product!



Howzabout a $2 Joint?!?

In Conclusion: Please don't be confused. These reservations are strictly meant provide constructive criticism. Truly, one realizes the terrible constraints and often insurmountable challenges that must be overcome in staging a successful Karma Cup. Even so, a splendid time was guaranteed for all at Karma Cup 2018! 

With legalization just around the corner, Karma Cup 2018 showcased what a vibrant, top quality, free market, Canadian cannabiz industry can really look like. Contrast that with the tired, exploitive, corporate weed model being pushed upon us by the Trudeau government. As your retired-teacher-turned-Karma Cup judge, I can only conclude by heartfully saying; "Keep up the good work!"

And so, with no further ado -Here's the Karma Cup 2018 judging results @ HERE!

Another blog, including my judging notes, will follow .....



 FOOTNOTES

1 = All prices quoted in Canadian dollars, currently hovering at the 75 cent US range!
2 = Why did the Karma Cup change venues? One theory @ Here!
3 = Ha! Bet there's a THC suppository included too, for good measure next year ....  However, if one is LGBTQ then Bast Silk's personal lubricant will do.

LINKS

Karma Cup 2018 Intro @ Here!

Karma Cup 2018 Judge's Notes @ Here!

Karma Cup 2017 Review @ Here!

Karma Cup 2016 Review @ Here!


No comments:

Post a comment

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!

Communist Girls ARE More Fun!
See below ...

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Girls Are More Fun #1

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls are More Fun #2

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Grrrls Are More Fun #3

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Communist Girls Are More Fun #4

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?

Art at the Paris Louvre: What does it mean?!?
A careful analytical study!

Help! I Have No Arms!

Help! I Have No Arms!
Please scratch my back.

I can't find my underwear!.

I can't find my underwear!.
Have you seen them!

Weee! I can fly!

Weee! I can fly!
Look! I can crawl thru walls!

I have a headache!

I have a headache!
And a broken nose.

I have a square hole in my bum!

I have a square hole in my bum!

Here try this, it's very good!

Here try this, it's very good!
No. You have a bird face.

I have an ugly baby!

I have an ugly baby!
No I'm not!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!

Let's save all our money + buy pants!
OK but I need a new hand too!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

Oh no! I got something in my eye!

You don't look well.

You don't look well.
No. My head hurts +I have a sore chest.

Would you like a bun?

Would you like a bun?

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!

Chichen-Itza: Lost Maya City of Ruins!
The Temple of Kukulkan!

Gotta love it!

Gotta love it!
Truly amazing!

Under Reconstruction!

Under Reconstruction!

Temples + Snakes!

Temples + Snakes!

The Snake!

The Snake!
It runs the length of the ball field!