Pubdate: Thu, 21 Jun 2012
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Copyright: 2012 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: David Downs


California's Best Weed Converges on Northern California This Weekend

Amid a tumultuous summer for California weed, there will be a number 
of positive developments at this weekend's third-annual High Times 
Medical Cannabis Cup.

Thousands of California patients and supporters are snatching up 
tickets. The 38-year-old weed-culture publication is bringing its 
25-year-old contest from Amsterdam to the Bay Area for the third time 
in as many years, part of its new, medical-cannabis cup circuit, 
which now includes annual events in Los Angeles, Denver and Detroit.

First off, the 2012 cup will be held in Richmond, as opposed to San 
Francisco. Second, the cup is outdoing itself with its music 
headliner this year: legendary Northern California rapper Del the 
Funky Homosapien. Third, the event has grown into an essential 
industry meet and greet. Dozens of dispensaries, seed breeders, 
hemp-product makers, and activist groups will staff booths for a cup 
expo all day Saturday and Sunday. Panelists include expert High Times 
grower and writers Nico Escondido and Danny Danko.

Oaksterdam University founder Richard Lee will receive a 
lifetime-achievement award for his work at the five-year-old cannabis 
college. In 2010, Lee personally bankrolled Proposition 19, which 
nearly legalized weed in California. Now, Lee faces the possibility 
of federal drug-trafficking charges for operating his city-permitted 
medical-marijuana dispensary Coffeeshop Blue Sky in Oakland.

Eight months into a coordinated campaign by U.S. attorneys to shut 
down lawful dispensaries in California, the Sacramento lost a model 
dispensary this past week, with El Camino Wellness Center.

Meanwhile, support for medical cannabis is above 70 percent in 
California polls. A recent poll by Rasmussen pegged national support 
for selling pot at pharmacies at 58 percent. A Colorado adult-use 
initiative on the ballot this fall is polling at 61 percent. Oliver 
Stone is on the cover High Times this August puffing on perhaps the 
fattest joint a Hollywood A-lister has dared to smoke. It's a potent 
symbol of sinsemilla's new swagger.

And, as California goes, so goes the country, many say. California 
grows the best weed in the world these days, Stone says in the August 
issue of High Times. Its finest cuts will be judged and awarded 
trophies in a Sunday, June 24, ceremony at the cup, honoring the best 
sativas, indicas, hybrids and highest cannabidiol strains.

So, will Florin Wellness Center defend its titles or possibly take 
the 2012 cup? And which strains will win? A NorCal Purple? Some OG 
Kush offshoot? An alien Haze?

High Times senior editor David Bienenstock wouldn't speculate. "The 
field is so broad and diverse and of such high quality," he said, 
"that making a prediction is just a fool's errand."
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom