The Emerald Cup has built its’ reputation as the largest, most respected, organic, outdoor medical cannabis competition in the world. The group has made it their mission in uniting the experts and educators in the cannabis field with fellow farmers, patients, and patrons each year.
What began as a small friendly sun-grown cannabis competition in Mendocino has evolved into an international event to that continues to spread the message of the value of living and farming organically.
After this year’s most memorable and monumental event, we caught up with Tim Blake, the creator of the Emerald Cup to gain some insight into the how the Emerald Cup evolved, how it has changed and what advice he would like to share with our readers as the cannabis community begins to evolve into an industry.
DCN: First off Tim, ever since I found out about the Emerald Cup and I listened to the many interviews you and your daughters have done discussing the mission of the Emerald Cup, I instantly became a huge fan and want to say I look up to you all. Now, when looking back, how did the event originate?
Tim Blake: 14 years ago at Area 101, a couple of friends and I decided to disguise a cannabis competition and celebration of the fall harvest within a friends birthday party. We had twenty-three entries, many people showed up with masks on, and the first and third place winners didn’t pick up their awards. We pulled it off, did it again the following year, and it grew each year. My daughter came on full time five years ago and has been helping co-produce the show ever since.
DCN: So how would you describe the Emerald Cup?
Tim Blake: The Emerald Cup is the world’s longest-running sun-grown cannabis competition and celebration of the fall harvest. The Cup is a gathering of the tribe/community.
DCN: Can you take us back to the first event? What was the experience like? How did the team feel after hosting the first ever Emerald Cup?
Tim Blake: I was thankful not to get busted and that we pulled it off without a hitch. It was a lot of relief. It was a deep sense of pride that we pulled it off. Vindicated for not standing down. A sense of relief of not getting arrested.
DCN: How has the event changed each year?
Tim Blake: We add on one new category each year, and we learn from every year. Every year the team gets better and better. This year we took on Starr Hill Productions, and they helped us take it to the next level.
DCN: How has the community responded to the Emerald Cup?
Tim Blake: I feel the community has embraced the Emerald Cup. Every year we add new things on- better lighting, better music, better speakers… whatever you are looking for, you are going to find it.
DCN: Why do you believe the Emerald Cup is vital to the community?
Tim Blake: It inspires people to strive for organic living.
DCN: Any cool activities you want to highlight?
Tim Blake: I always love the Regenerative Farm Workshop with Jesse Dodd and the crew. I got to spend more time participating in the event this year and interacting with people.
DCN: How many attendees showed up this year?
Tim Blake: This year, we had over 25,000 people.
DCN: The cannabis community is moving towards becoming an industry, what do you want our readers to be reminded of as things start to change?
Tim Blake: Cannabis is a sacred herb and gift from our creator. It should always be respected and revered for its healing abilities and its power to inspire us.
DCN: What are the criteria for those who submit their products to be judged?
Tim Blake: Three things: Organic, lab-tested, sun-grown medicine.
DCN: We would love to learn more about the judges, we believe it is an honor to be a judge for the Emerald Cup, can you please share more about the judges you pick each year?
Tim Blake: To be honest, we find the finest farmers and producers, and ask them to help us out.
DCN: What is one interesting fact, lesson or insider peek you would like to share with our readers?
Tim Blake: They had a recent major scientific study that clearly proved even with small amounts of regenerative farming throughout our country and the world we could sequester enough carbon to have a chance at reversing our human impact with global warming.
DCN: Now, that is a fascinating fact! What are you hoping happens in 2018 as California moves towards recreational cannabis?
Tim Blake: I hope that we have an explosion of new business across our state and that California can take its rightful place as the preeminent producer of Cannabis flowers.
DCN: What are you worried about as we move to recreational cannabis and how can we as an industry work together to tackle those worries?
Tim Blake: The over taxation and too many rules are worrisome. A lot of these local state agencies will realize that they went a bit overboard, and they will have to become more reasonable to Cannabis Producers. I encourage everyone to fight for our rights and stay politically active.
DCN: Anything else you would like to share with the DCN community?
Tim Blake: There’s a lot of reasonable fear and uncertainty about what the future holds for us. I, for one, feel that it’s going to be better than any I’ve ever imagined. I’m dreaming of a peaceful planet filled with peaceful organic inspired souls.
Thank you, Tim, for sharing with our readers some backstory to the Emerald Cup and sharing some helpful reminders and insights.
Want to learn more about Tim Blake?
Tim Blake earned his real estate license at the age of nineteen. He was one of the founders and the CEO of several productions companies in the 1980’s. This included an audio/video production company, a music label, an original children’s program called “Eco, You, and Simon too”, and a line of “New Age” video releases.
Tim is blessed to have three daughters, six grandkids, and one great-granddaughter. He has owned property in Mendocino County since the early eighties. In 1998 he bought an old campground ten miles north of Laytonville on highway 101 and renamed it “ Area 101”.
Tim created The Emerald Cup, the worlds largest outdoor cannabis competition thirteen years ago. Tim sponsored and helped produce the first gathering of law enforcement and cannabis farmers to openly discuss how they would work together. This helped lead to the creation of the original 9.31 program, whereby cannabis farmers could grow up to ninety-nine plants legally with a permit from the county. Tim was one of the first cannabis farmers to join the program. He was the co-founder of the Mendocino Farmers Collective and also Healing Harvest Farms, both local cannabis dispensaries designed to help facilitate getting outdoor cannabis into the dispensaries across the state.
He was a founding member of California Cannabis Reform Policy (CCPR), which evolved in CA Reform and was also a founding member of the Mendocino Cannabis Policy Council ( MCPC).
Tim was on the steering committee for the Heritage Initiative ( Measure AF), which was on the Mendocino County ballot in November, and is on the board of directors of The Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association ( MCIA).
Tims personal goal is to help the world integrate spirituality, cannabis, organic food and living into a holistic lifestyle.
For those who want to learn more about the Emerald Cup, visit www.theemeraldcup.com
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