For years, cannabis growers have been entering their prized flowers into annual judging competitions such as the Golden Tarp Awards and the Emerald Cup which will take place this and next month.
The entry deadline for the fourth annual Golden Tarp Awards at the Mateel Community Center on Saturday already passed as did the deadline for all entries into the 14th annual Emerald Cup, except sun-grown marijuana the deadline for which is Nov. 17. The Emerald Cup will be held in Santa Rosa during the second weekend in December.
The Golden Tarp Awards only has one judged category for light deprivation flowers while the Emerald Cup has competition categories for full sun flowers, light dep flowers, different concentrates, edibles, topicals, tinctures and innovative products.
“Light deprivation is where you use artificial methods to control the length of daylight on cannabis,” Golden Tarp founder Kevin Jodrey said. “It allows cannabis to be forced to flower whenever one chooses.”
Outdoor growers commonly use tarps as a means to simulate shorter daylight hours so plants can be ready to harvest in mid-summer which gives growers the opportunity to have two harvests in one year, hence the name Golden Tarp Awards, Jodrey said.
“We figured, why don’t we highlight this production methodology,” he said when asked why he founded an award surrounding one way of growing.
Jodrey said flower growers — besides marijuana flower growers — have been using this method to make decorative flowers bloom earlier or later than usual for decades.
Last year, the awards brought about 1,200 people to the Mateel to see which of the 220 entries claimed the coveted golden tarp trophy, he said.
“The one winner gets a brass trophy that’s a greenhouse with a woman pulling a tarp over it,” Jodrey said.
The 15 runners up each get a brass plaque, he said.
“This is the first year we’re doing this big digital push,” Jodrey said.
The entire event will be live streamed on the award website. He said a lot of the “main stream” know that cannabis judging goes on but doesn’t know how it works so this may shed some light on that. People who can make it to the Mateel on Saturday will enjoy an afternoon of vendors, speakers, music and more.
“It’s a good time,” Jodrey said.
Unlike the Golden Tarp Awards, the Emerald Cup, the longest running cannabis competition in the United States, has tons of judged categories but it started with just one.
“It started up with just outdoor organic flowers,” Emerald Cup organizer Taylor Blake said. “Now each year we seem to be adding a category.”
New this year is the light dep and most innovative product category.
“It’s always been based out of Northern California, it was started by my dad Tim Blake,” she said.
What started as a friendly competition between growers to see who had the best buds has grown to a weekend long event that drew about 25,000 people and 800 strictly-flower entries last year, Blake said.
While the deadline to enter light dep flowers, concentrates or edibles into the contest has passed, there’s two chances coming up to enter full sun-grown flowers. Also new this year are satellite days, Blake said.
“California’s a humongous state so we’re trying to go around and be accessible,” she said.
There are two satellite events organized this week in Humboldt County where an entrant can go to enter their flower in person.
“What’s really exciting about us doing satellite days is people get face time with Emerald Cup employees,” Blake said.
The satellite day in Garberville is today at Wonderland Nursery and the satellite day in McKinleyville is on Wednesday and Thursday at Satori Wellness.
Hunter Cresswell can be reached at 707-441-0506.