• Tiffanie Verhine, left, and Alissa Bernhardt help a customer try out the products at the Graham’s Brand booth during the Humboldt County Cup in Redway on Saturday, Jan. 21 - Kellie Ann Benz - The Redwood Times

  • Humboldt County Cup organizer Matt Smith-Caggiano inside the Mateel Community Center in Redway on Saturday, Jan. 21. - Kellie Ann Benz - The Redwood Times

  • Indica “Tiffany” Pine holding two of her ‘pain sticks’ at the Humboldt County Cup in Redway on Saturday, Jan 21. Pine said she was inspired to create the products, made of a combination of natural ingredients infused with cannabis, to address pain issues of her mother and grandmother. - Kellie Ann Benz - The Redwood Times

  • Some of the products on the shelf from one of the vendors at the Humboldt County Cup in Redway on Saturday, Jan. 21. Emerald Topicals are products from Emerald Genetics, a company owned by the event organizer. - Kellie Ann Benz - The Redwood Times

  • One of the booth signs inside the Mateel on Saturday, Jan. 21 for the Humboldt County Cup event. - Kellie Ann Benz - The Redwood Times

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When the Humboldt County Cup made a decision to move to Redway, it wasn’t as much of a scramble as the rumors suggested.

“We always had a plan B,” said organizer Matt Smith-Caggiano of the event that took place at Redway’s Mateel Community Center this weekend. “What we were hoping is that we could have worked it out with Ferndale, and we thought we were about to, but they wouldn’t respond to our calls.”

On Jan. 8, The Times-Standard reported on the sudden move in a story titled, “Ferndale police concerns send pot fest to Redway.”

Instead of waiting on the Ferndale City Council’s decision, they elected to move the second annual event to the friendlier Mateel Community Center in Redway, their plan B all along.

On Saturday, The Humboldt County Cup delivered on its promise to bring the best in Humboldt cannabis to the county.

“For growers, this competition is like the Super Bowl,” Smith-Caggiano explained. “You win here, you can market that win for as long as you are in business.”

“Having an event like the Humboldt County Cup in Southern Humboldt at a premier venue like our Mateel Community Center is cohesive to our thriving community,” said Laura Lasseter, the executive director of the Southern Humboldt Chamber of Commerce. “Our business community has the knowledge to host an event of this kind and we hope that events like this continue to flourish here.”

Smith-Caggiano would like to see a change to the reputation of cannabis users, and he’d like to start by doing away with old fashioned terms.

“It’s such a tired idea that we’re just a bunch of potheads,” Smith-Caggioano said. “We’re businesses and farmers and when we do events like this, we give back to the community.” He explained that the event donates 10 percent of its proceeds to local programs that benefit youth, and gave a booth to a local women’s art collective.

Being a part of this community is important to more than just cannabis enthusiasts.

Representatives from the Green Party made their presence known in a booth inside the Mateel hall.

“We are engaged in our community and the cannabis business owners are a great asset to all of us,” said Jim Smith, co-chair of the Green Party of Humboldt County. “We want to make an effort to let them know that we’re here too and we’re all in the same fight together.”

When Smith-Caggiano isn’t organizing cannabis events, he returns to his career as a fish biologist, running the company www.humboldtfish.com, along with the cannabis product company, Emerald Genetics and Humboldt NORML. Humboldt NORML is the regional chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a group dedicated to reforming cannabis laws at all levels of government.

To find out more about the Humboldt County Cup, visit www.humboldtcountycup.com.

The winners of the 2017 Humboldt Cup in 13 categories were announced Monday morning: Strawberry Fields Live Resin from Emerald Family Farms & Murphy Mountain won THC Concentrates; Medical Mass CBD Hybrid Rosin from 3 Creek Farm won CBD Concentrates; True OG Bud Rosin from Zeta Cannabis Farms won Solventless Concentrates; Humboldt Tropics High THC Pain Stick from Emerald Genetics & Emerald Topicals won topicals; Space Gems Candy won Edibles; Humboldt Honey Oil won the Indica, Sativa and CBD vape contests; Jack Herer from Emerald Family Farms & Gold Country Cannabis won Outdoor Flower (sativa dominant) and their Blood Orange OG won Outdoor Flower (indica dominant); Indoor Flower (sativa dominant) was won by Scarlet Fire from Dragon with Matches and their Black Domina won Indoor Flower (indica dominant); Medical Mass from 3 Creek Farms won CBD Flower. Full details of all of the winners can be found at: www.humboldtcountycup.com/results/.

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