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It’s been a big week for weed award events. So… how was your week? – Noh Zee

I started out in Las Vegas at the annual Mjbizcon, the largest cannabis trade show on the planet. More than 1,000 vendor booths, and about 30,000 cannabis entrepreneurs took over the Vegas Convention Center for three days of schmoozing and boozing. The most interesting thing was seeing all of the “square” businesses reaching out to the cannabis industry. Laboratory gear, labeling and packaging companies and even a few beverage makers were in attendance, with their giant and shiny machines on full display.

But we were in Vegas, so people would only work for a few hours before heading out to the parties. Only one problem: Las Vegas is still weird about weed, so most of the venues hosting parties wouldn’t allow people to bring in weed. I’m not sure how a weed party can’t have any weed (looking at you, High Times Cup and Brooklyn Bowl) but I still managed to have a good time (yay vapes and edibles).

So after three days of talking to people in blue jeans and sportcoats, I went to Santa Rosa for the 16th annual Emerald Cup at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Weed heaven! The thing I like the most about the Emerald Cup is that cannabis is the star of the show. It isn’t a music festival with weed, it’s a weed festival with music. Folks were lining up to get the hottest seeds and strains, the weather was perfect, everyone was smoking and sharing. I tried some Roadkill Skunk, an heirloom cultivar first developed in Kentucky around 1988. It definitely smelled like a dead skunk, but in a good way. I also enjoyed some POG (Passionfruit Orange Guava) from Greenshock Farms in Mendocino, and I got to smoke a Hashbone – the brand name for a hash-and-weed doobie from Hollister Cannabis Company. So tasty and so strong.

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The awards ceremony was great. Tommy Chong received the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award and Mel Frank, truly a trailblazer, was honored with the Breeders Hall of Fame award. Sacramento-based Newell’s Botanicals won their fourth-in-a-row Best Topical award for their bath bombs.

There were a few (weed-filled, because California knows how to party) afterparties at the Cup. I was more than a little burnt by a long week so I only made a few cameo appearances – and now I need some rest.

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