Shawn DeNae Eddy Wagenseller
Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA
Acknowledging a job well done is underrated. We all need more “atta-girls,” high-fives and way-to-go acknowledgments. What we do as cannabis cultivators and manufacturers is demanding work; it takes 110% dedication and a hyper-focused devotion to the craft. It’s why I think a significant way to reward this hard work is the various cup and award ceremonies that take place across country.
I am the chair of the Washington Sun and Craft Growers events committee and have been working toward the WSCA 2022 Craft Cannabis Cup awards ceremony for months. Our collection of board members have put on five cup ceremonies and have a deep understanding of what it takes to make them successful. We take strict precautions to keep the judging blind and the winners under wraps until the reveal.
Last year we had to go virtual with the awards ceremony and that was okay but lacked the excitement of an in-person experience. This year’s event began bumpy with the same COVID concerns around gathering in public. The original date was scheduled for mid-February but as it approached, the Omicron variant was raging and due to peak during our event. Sponsors were uncertain about a live event and even entrants were not sure they even wanted to attend and asked for a virtual link.
So we rescheduled to April 23, during Earth Day weekend. Sponsors reacted with enthusiasm and the wheels began to turn in preparation for one of the first live cannabis events in our state since the pandemic. The event production company, Farechild Events, quickly retooled for the new date and the timeline took a breather.
I have several takeaways for planning next year’s cup. The main one is stay on top of the judges. We had 30 judges, and it was a real challenge to get them to complete their forms within the four-week deadline. Next year, they will get ample time to sample and record their choices.
The other takeaway is there were more sponsor interests than we had sponsor opportunities. We’ll get real creative next year to not limit sponsors so severely. It pains me that I am still getting interest requests but the deadlines for contracts and artwork have come and gone. We will also allow more time for entrants to get their samples to us. A good handful of growers wanted to enter but did not have time to prepare and deliver their samples. More time to allow the process to develop is the overarching lesson for me.
You can see the winners in the Northwest section of this issue of Marijuana Venture. Deep thanks to all our entrants for participating, our sponsors and our judges for their buzzed opinion on their favorite samples.
We get better at planning each year and this year will be the best yet! You can see photos of the event on Farechild’s event gallery page. I invite all Washington craft cannabis growers to participate in the 2023 Craft Cannabis Cup. Look for details we will post near the end of this year.