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May 14 2010

Epic Daze Cannabis Cup

epic_daze.jpgThe first annual HIGH TIMES MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP in San Francisco will include prizes for the best and most medicinal cannabis, hashish and edibles from California's legal medical marijuana dispensaries. Lead by HIGH TIMES cultivation reporter Jorge Cervantes, a small panel of expert judges will award MEDICAL CANNABIS CUPS based on the medical efficacy of the submitted varieties, and will provide notes on the winners designed to help California's estimated 150,000 legal medical marijuana patients make well-informed decisions when seeking cannabis medicine.

HIGH TIMES first annual MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP will also feature a two-day medical marijuana and hemp expo that will include cultivation seminars with HIGH TIMES editors Jorge Cervantes, Danny Danko and Nico Escondido, activism sessions with leaders of the medical marijuana movement and major cannabis celebrities, seminars on how to open and operate your own legal canna-business, an all-star MEDICAL CANNABIS CUP awards ceremony, and an unforgettable Saturday night party with surprise musical guests.

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April 12 2010

The Connoisseurs Cup

connoisseurs_cup.jpgThe International Cannabis & Hemp Expo 2010
April 17 & 18 in San Francisco, California at The Cow Palace

The International Cannabis & Hemp Expo 2010 is a public education event, offering a forum for awareness, education and advancement of the hemp industry and medical cannabis community. The objective of the expo is to educate the public on the differences between industrial hemp, medical cannabis and recreational cannabis, and to show the public the benefits of each.

  • 100,000 sq ft of exhibition space

  • A Patient Consumption Area and VIP Lounge with approved onsite consumption

  • 2 Full Days of Speakers for exhibitors / speakers / community leaders / activists

  • Guest Celebrities, Experts, Politicians, Etc.

  • Hundreds of vendors from a cross section of industries

The Connoisseurs Cup is an important part of the International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, be assured that to the growers that enter cannabis strains in the Connoisseurs Cup, this is the most important event of the year and attracts the best growers in the world.

For ticket information and anything else you need to know, please visit the official website: www.intche.org

April 09 2010

Humboldt County, California

Humboldt_County_ca_seal.jpgHumboldt County along with Mendocino and Trinity Counties make up the "Emerald Triangle" famous for the cultivation of awesome weed. In an article by David Samuels of The New Yorker called "Dr. Kush ~ How medical marijuana is transforming the pot industry," he described Humboldt County as:

"the heartland of high-grade marijuana farming in California".

A 2009 report estimates that $35.8 billion of pot was grown in the United States in 2006, with California being the top producing state. The same report said California produced $13.6 billion in marijuana in 2006. It has been estimated that 30,000 residents in Humboldt County are involved in some aspect of the marijuana industry. Prohibition has been the key financial factor in the success of cannabis cultivation in the Emerald triangle, due to more lenient law enforcement and a symbiotic relationship between the citizen/growers and the governing establishment. For decades this was the best place in America for marijuana growers to learn and practice their vocation, this is where the great hybrid cannabis strains were first born and bred, and this knowledge has transferred to all corners of the earth.

In a post financial crisis economy where jobs and good opportunities are increasingly difficult to find, it makes perfect sense that cannabis cultivation will become a growth industry in California. Once it becomes legal there could be an explosion of grass growers all over the state of California. Consider this year's opening of iGrow in Oakland the 15,000-square-foot Costco of grow stores; it has everything you could possibly need for medical marijuana cultivation under one roof, even things you did not know you needed, like bat fertilizer. Members of the "Grow Squad" are there to help and the only membership card required is a pot card which is easier to get than a library card.

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Now the local growers and community leaders are nervous about the prospects of legal marijuana as they're already experiencing declining prices and a more competitive marketplace due to the increase in hydroponic grow operations throughout California and even Colleges like Oasterdam in Oakland teaching classes of enterprising students how to set-up and manage grow-operations. The reality is sinking in that Humboldt County will one day lose it's unique advantage. A new community action group called "What's after Pot?" was formed in Humboldt County and meetings have been held to discuss ideas and plan for the future.

The concept of creating a "Napa Valley" like scenario within Humboldt County has been one suggestions put forward and certainly once marijuana has been decriminalized in California it makes perfect sense to promote Cannabis Tourism but it's hard to imagine that this alone would replace the dollars from growing an selling illicit weed. However, the idea of going on a Emerald Triangle Tasting Tour definitely sounds appealing but after the first farm it would be more enticing to hang-out and kick-back, or go hiking in the Redwoods than driving to the next bud boutique. Maybe a cannabis hall of fame would generate revenue? Or specialized medicinal marijuana health spas would help but again look at the tiny profit ratios compared to growing pot plants. I'd say the growers of Humboldt are faced with a really challenging problem; where to grow from here?

It may be necessary for the Emerald Triangle cannabis growers to form an association (if they haven't already) and hire savvy marketing firms to trademark and develop their brands. They may need to get more scientific about their farming and cultivation techniques in an effort to discover genetic breakthroughs. Adopt methods to take advantage of the trend towards organic and build a stronger reputation for outdoor grown exotic weed, plus espouse the benefits of their geographical location, the soil and unique methods of plant propagation. If it hasn't been done already a growers co-op may need to be formed to negotiate wholesale deals with the leading cannabis dispensaries. These pioneer growers are going to need to work together to overcome the adversity of a new economic paradigm, where anyone can legally grow weed. The great growers of Humboldt are going to need to out-grow the competition.

January 04 2010

Beverly Hills NORML 90210

NORML_90210.jpgCheryl Shuman and Fred Rhoades the founders of Beverly Hills NORML 90210 are two crusaders for the reformation of marijuana laws who are making a big noise across the web and over the social networks. Fred has a most interesting background (see: Fred's Bio) with a wealth of knowledge and experience in Organic farming, then in 2007 he first met Cheryl, which he say's changed his life forever, and since that day they've worked together on a number of cool projects, first and foremost was treating the cancer and lung disease that Cheryl had been diagnosed with, Fred became her caregiver and they elected to apply a medicinal cannabis therapy combined with natural remedies. Today Cheryl is in remission and living an active lifestyle but the overall experience compelled her take a more active roll and lend her energy and experience to bring about change in the laws that surround marijuana, hence the formation of the Beverly Hills Chapter of NORML (www.norml90210.org)

The two cannabis crusaders made such a dynamic duo that they decided to start an organic farm in Northern California, where they hope to bring all their focus and knowledge to the business of healing. Complying with the legal guidelines of California Fred and Cheryl formed "Shaman Therapeutics" a Private Non-Profit Medical Cannabis Collective that serves seriously ill patients in both Northern and Southern California.

Fred and Cheryl also work with other collectives, activists and medical marijuana patients working to reform marijuana laws in Beverly Hills and throughout USA.

"This is a challenging time as a legal medical marijuana patient. Laws and politics are changing on a daily basis, says Fred Rhoades." "The prohibition of such a miraculous healing plant must stop. As a patient, caregiver and activist I will stand strong to fight for legalization and safe access for everyone."

November 09 2009

Northern Lights

northern_light.jpgNamed for the glimmer of the trichomes and crystals covering the buds, to conjure up images of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights). Many of the top Canadian seed companies sell Northern Lights (strain) cannabis seeds and since it's one of the most commonly crossed strains of hybrid cannabis there's legions of stable strains born of these genetics. This magnificent plant has probably won or placed in the High Times Cannabis Cup more times than any other single strain.

Legend has it that the strain was created in Washington State but some say that she may have been amongst the earliest sativa strains crossed with Indica in Humboldt California way back in the mid 1970's. However, Northern Lights strain has been preserved much as it originally was through inbreeding without any marked improvements other than hybridization.

Effect: One hit wonder
Stature: Very short and squat
Phenotype: Mixed, primarily Indica
Indoor: 55 to 60 days: Mid/late September
Smell: A Sweet Classic Skunky odor Yield: 2/3 ounces per plant

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