I left Cannabis Culture Editor Jeremiah Vandermeer’s home early Friday morning, before anyone else was up, so I could catch public transit to the airport for my flight to Saskatoon and the 2nd-Annual Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup.
As always when I fly in Canada, I have my personal medical cannabis with me, and I make sure to give myself extra time at the airport to medicate and for any delays going thru security with legal marijuana.
I’m glad that over the last 11 years and about 15 trips, in all my times flying with my legal med’s, that I’ve only been detained by ignorant security people and RCMP twice. This time was like usual and I sailed through security – no questions asked – with a quarter-pound tub of weed, a Zen rolling machine, Space Case grinder, a 300-pack of RAW papers, a maxipack of filters, and my kief tin; enough to get me thru four days. After all, I was going to a Harvest Cup and wasn’t worried I’d run out.
Kudos to CATSA for another unmolested flying experience.
I arrived in Saskatoon on the Friday before the cup, as I wanted to be well rested and settled-in before the commencement. Cannabis Champ Matt Mernagh of Pot TV Toronto fame was supposed to join me but backed out at the last minute for health reasons, so it was up to me to cover this event.
I grabbed my luggage and headed out into a brilliantly sunny Prairie afternoon. All this flatland was a bit of a shock and somewhat unnerving at first, being used to British Columbia’s abundance of mountains and trees. It’s been close to 30 years since I’d visited The Prairies and this was my first time ever in Saskatoon.
I found my rental car and was soon checked into my hotel, the Saskatoon Travelodge, complete with a pool and 250-foot indoor waterslide. Being early afternoon, I headed right back out to find a Starbucks – a task not as easy as you might think – but soon I had my coffee fix and was pulling up to Jeff Lundstrum’s Skunk Funk, the well-known Prairie head shop and main sponsor of the cup.
Jeff, head organizer of the Prairie Cup, was out for a moment but I had the pleasure of meeting the very lovely Jessie, who is in charge of sales.
I killed some time browsing and had to grin when I saw a case with some pipes by Helina, the artist behind Lethal Glass who has her studio a few blocks from my home. Skunk Funk also has a good supply of glass from various artists, as well as a fine selection of catalogue pipes and bongs and other smoking accessory. Of course, you’ll also find t-shirts, hoodies, and flags – if your in the Saskatoon area go see for yourself.
Jeff came back with his two assistants Sarah and Sarah, and I soon took to calling them ‘Sarah squared’. The Sarahs were two amazing girls who, over the course of the cup, were constantly taking care of all the little things that needed to be done: filling judges bags, decorating the hall, running errands all over town, selling tickets for the draws, and so much more that I don’t even want to think about.
Soon we got right down to some proper medicating. Joints and dabs were shared by many of Saskatoon’s activists and other people in the cannabis community. I needed to get caught up after flying in and losing an hour in the day because of the time difference!
Cup entries were still arriving and I was able to get some close-up macro photos of some of them. I recognized one entry from BC and picked it as the winner without having seen all of the entries. Bold of me? No.
That night I went with Jeff and his family, and both Sarahs, to Fuddruckers before heading back to the store for more medicating and socializing.
Skunk Funk was only able to book the event centre for two days this year, so unfortunately The Cup was being held on the Sunday and Monday of Labour Day long weekend. Saturday afternoon I did my show, Opus LIVE on Pot TV from the store where we spoke with a few customers and people coming in to get tickets for The Cup. Some customers were more than surprised to walk in and find me standing by the door smoking weed and talking to a camera. It was a fun show.
After the show I snuck off for a quick bite to eat before it was back to the shop for the Pre-Cup VIP party and more shmoozing over drinks and appies. It was more dabs and doobies as guests Tamara Cartwright Poulits, Jade Ridge, Dr. Paul Hornby and others began to show up.
I spoke with Jade Ridge, a medical marijuana strain advisor to patients with debilitating illnesses who was speaking at the event. She said she was stopped on her way from Manitoba and had a run-in with RCMP. The police found a small amount of mushrooms and claimed that because she was in possession of an illegal substance, her MMAR card was no longer valid for her medical cannabis. Find the interview at Pot TV.
Sunday – Day 1 of The Cup: The doors at the Odeon Event Centre opened at 3:30pm and before long there were about 70 people sitting about using one of the many Volcano vaporizers available (or dabing, which was also allowed inside). Out the back door in the alley was a fenced-off area with tables and chairs for those wishing to smoke. I was busy trying to get an Internet connection but failed, so I did my best to record as much as I could.
See photos of The 2nd-Annual Prairie Medicinal Harvest Cup by Mik Mann on Flickr:
After Jeff gave his welcome speech it was time for the scheduled speakers to take the stage. Robert Godfrey from the now-defunct Saskatchewan Marijuana Party spoke about his experience in politics and the obstacles and hardships in running a political party.
Next it was Tamara Cartwright’s turn at the podium. Tamara is a dedicated, hard working activist and founder of the Central Alberta Cannabis Club, and she shared her story of how she became an activist.
The next speaker was a great privilege to meet, Tim Selenski from Help Saskatchewan Grow and Head to Head head shop (also a sponsor of The Cup). He told us how his group has helped hundreds of people find a doctor to sign their MMAR paperwork and helped many more access needed medication. I also learned that Tim and his group had entered a number of strains in the cup.
Next it was my turn to speak, and I talked a little about my trip over on BC Ferries, and how I deal with ignorant people in positions of authority who disrespect my rights as a legal user of high-grade medical cannabis. If you’ve ever watched my show on Pot TV, Opus LIVE (Mondays at 3PM PST) you may have a better feel for where that’s coming from.
By now, with a room full of hungry and high people, it was time to eat. We were served a spread of tasty BBQ ribs and pulled pork with buns and side salads. Darn good BBQ! Yummm!
There was also a full cash bar set up (with water and soft drinks free) all weekend, a nice thing at an event where cottonmouth is common.
After the food was cleared away, Rebel Os took to the stage with some hard-rocking sound. I really liked this band and would have enjoyed hearing more of them.
The next act up was a rap duo, The Other Woman, until closing time at midnight when the afterparty moved back to Skunk Funk. By 2am I was headed for bed.
On Monday the doors opened at 3:30pm again, and soon the hall was filling once more with the sweet smell of vaped weed and many red-eyed stoners, med-users and cannabis chronisseurs. After much interweb monkey business, we managed to broadcast Day 2 of the cup on Pot TV. Voting cards were handed in and tallied while speeches by Dr. Paul Hornby and Alicia Smith from Sask. Medical. Cannabis Association were delivered.
Jade Ridge gave a short talk on her and her group in Manitoba that also helps people find doctors to sign MMAR paperwork and help find quality cannabis.
Lisa “Mamakind” Kirkman gave a rousing speech (that at one point had me wondering if the redneck country morality squad would show up – nevermind the cops) and read from her book, Sex Pot: The Marijuana Lovers Guide to Getting It On, and explained pussy-toking in detail. It was not easy to hold the camera due to me laughing so much.
Neil Magnuson filled us in on the Freedom Tour and his trek across the country to educate police and others about the harms from prohibition.
Now it was time to find the answers to questions many were asking: “what strains are we smoking and who is going to win?”
The strains were, in no particular order:
SUPER LEMON HAZE
SOUR APPLE CHEESE
Jeff announced on the mic that we had a tie! WHAT? Hold the presses! But he was short one or two judges scorecards, and after they were handed in the winners were:
In 3rd place: Bubba Chem, a Bubba Kush cross with Chem Dog #1. The grower who entered was able to watch that live on Pot TV and quite happy to see their strain take a cup. Congrats!
In 2nd place: Blueberry Kush.
And the winner: Blackwater, also a Kush variety.
Both 1st and 2nd place were entered by Tim Selenski of Head to Head/Help Saskatchewan Grow as well as Queen City Seeds. Find out more about them at http://www.head2headshop.com
(In case you’re wondering, the tie was between the Congolese and Blackwater – the Congolese was the entry I had recognized and picked to win. Seems I wasn’t far off)
Big high fives to all the winners as well as to all the people who entered. There was some very good cannabis to be graded and the winners I know are very proud.
Once again we were treated to a dinner of BBQ ribs and pulled pork, buns and salads – good hearty fare.
After supper we enjoyed the musical styling of Yellow Sky, Jada, Sonik & K-Blitz and Pimpton and Crew.
Soon it was time for Jeff’s farewell speech and goodbyes with many med growers. Many said they would be entering a strain next year! The 3rd-annual event promises to be a fine showing already.
I had a great time! Thank you so much to Jeff and all the people who worked so hard to make this happen. I know I’ll be there next year and maybe some more Pot TV crew as well – once they hear how much fun it was.
See y’all in the “Toon” next year!