Humboldt Grow Games: Sun Growers Guild
Cannifest Community Choice Bowl: Erik Riesendberg of Rise and Shine Farms
Best live artist: Galeon Davis
Best glass artist: James Shelton
Source: Stephen Gieder
Organizers, vendors, volunteers and visitors alike enjoyed a weekend of Cannifest activities and are looking forward to Humboldt Green Week, which goes through this Sunday.
A distinctive skunky aroma drifted downwind from Redwood Acres but once inside the pervading odor was that of caramel corn and funnel cakes.
“This is the third year of Cannifest and the 11th year of Humboldt Green Week,” Humboldt Green founder and event organiser Stephen Gieder said. “It’s a celebration of all things green.”
He said the festival and week of cannabis-related shows and activities have roots in past 4/20 celebrations barbecues at Northcoast Horticulture Supply stores that would benefit local nonprofit organizations.
“Every year it grew and grew and grew,” Gieder said.
Last year 4,000 people came to Cannifest, he said.
“This year we hope to see 6,000 people come through the gates,” Gieder said.
Over 400 volunteers, organizers and vendors will make this weekend’s festivities possible.
“Maybe 420 people if I counted correctly,” Gieder joked.
Humboldt Green general manager Lori Cosgrove said people lined up outside the fairground gates before they were thrown open Saturday morning.
“Attendance is awesome, totally what we were hoping for,” she said.
Cosgrove added that there were about 50 percent more people and vendors this past weekend compared with last year.
Festival activities included concerts by over 40 artists, marijuana strain competition, more than 100 vendors, speakers, family activities, a silent disco and a designated area for 215 medical marijuana card holders. Despite marijuana’s recent legalization in California, there couldn’t be a recreational use tent, Gieder said.
“Because it’s on a state fairground and that’s the only way,” he said the event followed all state and local laws. “We’re the organization that makes sure this is done right.”
Some of the big events included the Humboldt grow games and the Cannifest Bowl marijuana strain judging competition.
“It’s kind of like 4-H Olympic games,” he said if those games were cannabis-themed.
On Saturday the teams competed in three challenges: the re-pot hustle to see which team can re-pot six cannabis plants fastest, the Emerald Triangle irrigation puzzle where teams must take a mess of irrigation to hook a water reservoir up to a tank using piping and a pump and the dirt bag drag.
On Sunday the teams competed in the final event, the team pallet challenge where teams must move a shipping pallet-worth of bags of potting soil through a grow-themed obstacle course and onto another pallet.
“The grow games are pretty fun,” Humboldt’s Om cocreator Sasha Miksis said.
The festival was attended by many Southern Humboldt industry folk like Humboldt’s Dankest CEO Carmen, who declined to give her last name, and Roger Safier of Safier Family Farms.
Carmen sold top-tier bud to patients in the 215 tent on Saturday and Sunday.
“It was much more hectic yesterday,” she said on Sunday. “Like I ran out of weed.”
Carmen, who’s business is based out of Myers Flat, said she’s been growing for the past 11 years.
“We’re trying to bring the most top shelf, cleanest cannabis to my patients,” she said.
Safier said he’s been in the industry “forever” but he’s now trying to go legitimate for his nursery based out of Petrolia.
“We’re in the permitting process, which is burdensome,” he said.
Both Carmen and Safier both expressed nervousness at coming out of the black market after so long.
“That [local] part’s great, the county’s great, the community is great; the big question mark right now is what direction is the federal government heading in,” Safier said.
Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.