Raise high the Cup
Michigan Medical Cannabis Cup spurs and rewards creativity
Published: October 26, 2011
The first Michigan Medical Cannabis Cup came to Detroit earlier this month, in time for the harvest season, and handed out first, second and third place cups to an impressive list of local producers of buds and medibles.
The two-day expo, held at Bert's Warehouse Theatre in the Eastern Market, brought out a steady stream of people to look into the wares and services being touted at the vendor booths, listen to the seminars (the speakers were broadcast throughout the house over the sound system), and enjoy the friendly atmosphere generated by this curious congregation of local vipers and medical marijuana patients. (Don't recognize "vipers"? Hey, that's classic lingo for smokers going back to the '20s.)
The competition that gives the event its name was established at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam many years ago and spurred the Dutch grow community to higher and higher levels of creativity and production with each successive year.
Since the establishment of legal medical marijuana in almost a third of U.S. states, High Times has responded by staging Medical Cannabis Cups in Denver, San Francisco and now the Motor City to recognize and award the dedicated souls who grow our medicine in the newly liberated zones.
I was pleased to note that my old friend Kevin Plamondon's M22 Collective of Traverse City took first place in the Indica Cup with its Grandaddy Urkel strain and second in the Sativa Cup with Sour Diesel G-Cut 04. The Traverse Hydroponic Company took first place honors in the Hybrids Cup with an irresistible breed blending three all-time favorites: Sour OG Kush. That's a pretty nice showing for the northwestern sector of the state.
Another friend, Captain Kirk of Medmar, pulled first place in the Edibles Cup with his delicious Key Lime Cheesecake, followed by the Blue Water Compassion Center with its Blackberry Salmon Blue Cheese Crustini, and Totally Herbal Care took third with Permafrost Kief Mint Chocolate.
The Concentrates Cup awarded Super Lemon Haze by CY LLC first place, CPL Hash by New World Seeds second and CPL Hash Oil by Cannabistro placed third. The CBD Award for high cannabinoid content went to Cannatonic X.
Rounding out the list of winners for producing the all-important sativa, indica and hybrid strains that help keep us healthy were New World Seeds with Obamanator Sativa (first place) and the Metro Detroit Compassion Club with Sour Diesel XI (third). The Indica Cup found 98 Old School from TLC Services in second place and CPL from Cannabistro third. For hybrids American Meds took second place with Galaxy Godbud and New World Seeds won its second Cup with a third-place award for Creama Sweet Relief.
Congratulations to all the growers and indeed all the entrants in the premiere Michigan competition, and to the people at High Times magazine for bringing the Cannabis Cup concept to Detroit and making it work in the context of the Michigan medical marijuana movement.
The Cannabis Cup is always in good fun — even if police shut down paraphernalia sales and the medication tent — and my own position on the question of competition among the myriad excellent sorts of smoke available is well known: It's all good. But at the same time growing weed to answer the needs of medical patients and recreational consumers is a very serious undertaking indeed and, as in Amsterdam, the Michigan winners may expect a significant surge of interest in their honored strains during the coming year.
Kudos to Holice P. Wood of the Trans-Love Energies Compassion Club (full disclosure: he's my partner in crime at Trans-Love), who served as the local liaison for High Times in organizing the event, secured the splendid venue provided by Bert Dearing for the expo, and produced the smashing Saturday night party at the Warehouse on the southwest side where the 420 Funk Mob and surprise guest George Clinton turned things out Detroit-stylee.
From this writer's perspective, the initial Michigan Medical Cannabis Cup was a rousing success for a maiden voyage and for High Times' first major entry into the Michigan marijuana community, which has been on the cutting edge of the movement since the mid-1960s. They promise to be back next fall with the second edition, and that's something to look forward to.
After a lifetime of being treated like degenerate criminals simply for choosing to smoke marijuana, a benevolent herb with pervasive healing properties that was declared illegal with no showing of harm whatsoever, it's a beautiful thing to be able to come out into the open under the aegis of the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act and commune with fellow patients, caregivers and other sorts of smokers in a warm, friendly environment where we can be ourselves without fear of censure or arrest.
While the present situation is not exactly the one we might dream up in our highest reveries, nor even the one we anticipate when the police are finally removed from our midst and redirected toward fighting actual crime, it represents tremendous progress along the road to legalized marijuana in our state after nearly 40 years of stagnation.
Marijuana was classified as a narcotic until 1972. After the herb was redefined as a "controlled substance," three Michigan cities — Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and East Lansing — enacted local ordinances designed to consider marijuana offenses as the lowest possible priority for the forces of law and order, reducing the penalty for possession to a $5 fine exacted after the issuance of a ticket.
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