Article by Janine Morra, High! Canada
The Karma Cup was started in 2013 by Sarah Sunday, aimed to create a Cannabis-Positive space for growers, producers, business owners, industry experts and their fans to congregate and judge the country’s best cannabis and cannabis products on an even playing field. It’s amazing to think in 4 years it has grown from a small and not open to the public event. To 2017, this huge weekend, a massive amount of products and the largest ticketed Cannabis event in Canada.
The Karma Cup is a three part event. It starts off as a judging competition. The judging competition is open to medical cannabis patients and is 3 weeks long. A tally book was provided for the judges to score the entries. This year the entries included: 15 Indica Flower, 8 Hybrid Flower, 5 Sativa Flower, 7 Indica Shatter, 13 Hybrid Shatter, 7 Sativa Shatter, 8 Budder & Live Res, 11 Solventless, 4 CBD Concentrates, 3 Terp Enhanced Concentrates, 32 Medibles, 13 Topicals, and 7 Concentrate Vape Pens. So people need the me and ability to be able to judge. But really there could be a lot worse ways to spend three weeks. Thanks go to the people that assembled the judging packs. That must have been quite a job packing them all. At the end of the weekend is the Awards ceremony where the winners were announced. Every me a winner was called the joy of the person(s) winning was in the air. You could literally breathe in the happiness.
The second part of the event is a vendor village. Wow what a good use for a parking lot. Instead of cars, hundreds of Cannabis lovers of all ADULT ages were able to enjoy a wonderful cannabis filled two days. The passion that was packed on Church Street was not just love of the plant but love for the community also. What kind of cannabis products could you buy . Anything you can think of … the food/edibles everything from freshly made coon candy, tons of yummy baked goods, candies, sauces, jams, teas and different drinks. Vegan and gluten free options were also available. Lots of vendors had samples and you could nibble your way through the village. Amazing Canadian cannabis, so many different strains from all over the country. At price points that made it easy to buy a few new ones to try out and/ or to find a favorite and stock up. Many vendors had dabs for donations. What a great concept a person can try a new product and feel like they are doing something worthwhile also. Of course there were lots of extract products to buy…..can you say budder. There was glass pipe making right on site showcasing this amazing art. It wasn’t just tasty options there were cannabis themed books, jewelry, tinctures, topical products, all sorts of paraphernalia and accessories for cannabis users.
I just wish all the politicians in this great country of ours could have seen how hard the vendors were working that day and to see that people can enjoy and /or medicate with cannabis and still function perfectly fine. The problem is I think they believe that cannabis affects people like alcohol or like pharmaceutical opiates and we all in the cannabis industry know that these products are not alike at all. Yes… there are newbies who can, when faced with such an array of cannabis products partake too much. But this is easily solved with a seat, water, some non-edible food and in a little bit of me everything is good again. Overdo it with alcohol and your day/night is done.
The third part of the event is the NORML Canada Conference and KARMA CUP speaker series. There was a vast array of topics and panels over the two days. Some of the topics included entrepreneurship, women in business, activism, growing and producing the best cannabis. It was interesting, informative, inspiring and enlightening. OK lots of people over the weekend made reference to Ontario’s new scheme at cannabis distribution and how disappointed we were. One of the best quotes I heard all weekend was, “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds”. I want to thank the President of NORML Canada, John Conroy for all he has done for the cannabis community. Thankfully there are people working to eliminate civil and criminal penalties for private cannabis use and growing. A lot of talk about Project Gator and Claudia and how disproportionate these events were. The police were so heavy handed to a non-violent community that really has helped this city. The amount of people with addictions and medical problems that cannabis can aid in this city must be in thousands. Dispensaries can only help us as we fight the massive opioid crisis. Added tot hat fact is the basic math that the provincial governments won’t be able to supply any of the markets when legalization happens next July. There are all of the cases in the pipeline of the courts. Cannabis crusaders are fighting the absurdity of different laws, lots of talk surrounding the proposed new driving limits. Luckily it was hard to stay upset long with the amount of cannabis products being consumed, smoked, dabbed and/ or vaped.
Lest you not think this is all that was going on. Of course there was a Pre-Party on the Friday night with Expert Joints broadcasting live from Vapor Central. Both nights of course the enjoyment continued with other pares going on and the continuation in the lounge at Vapor Central.. The entire weekend there were people from all over Canada having as much fun as could be had. It was hard not to think that I was right in the middle of the best city in the world. Thanks go to the amazing organizers, the incredible sponsors, enlightening speakers from the conference, and our amazing cannabis producers and sellers and of course all the people who bought tickets from all over.
The Karma Cup weekend was an event not to be missed…. It was for sure one of the highlights of the cannabis calendar this year.