FOUNDER AND PRODUCER OF THE EMERALD CUP
INTERVIEW BY TODD MCCORMICK
IN 1998, TIM Blake bought an old campground ten miles north of Laytonville, CA on Highway 101 and renamed it “Area 101”. Fourteen years ago, he created The Emerald Cup, the worlds largest outdoor cannabis competition. 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 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.
Todd: When did you begin The Emerald Cup and what caused you to want to do it?
Tim: I started The Emerald Cup fourteen years ago out of the desire to have a celebration of the fall cannabis harvest competition- just like you see at all of the country fairs.
Todd: How many competitors were in the first event and how many were in the last event?
Tim: In the first event we had 23 entries.This year there were about 975.
Todd: Do you screen all the entries and test for pesticides and plant growth regulators?
Todd: Have you been surprised by the incredible growth of the contest and with it, the entire event?
Tim: It’s hard to believe that we would go from a small flowers competition to now having so many different categories to judge. It’s an amazing size and scope of the contest and the event altogether. I’m honored to be a part of it. It takes a lot of people to oversee a well-run competition.
Todd: What are your favorite elements of the EC?
Tim: It’s the annual gathering of the cannabis tribe and community. To see everybody come together each year is a blast.The awards are my favorite moment.
Todd: What changes do you foresee now that proposition 64 has passed and how legalization will affect the next Emerald cup?
Tim: We’re going to see the black market get smaller and smaller while the legal market explodes. The people who are legally permitted, produce a quality flower or product, and have a great marketing plan are going to do well in the next few years. The Cup will probably have fewer but larger, vendors.
Todd: Are you going to do a spring event, and if you are, could you tell us a bit about it?
Tim: We are looking to do several events from late spring to end of summer. But with all of the legal issues around permitting, we can’t say anything because we don’t know if we are going to be able to get a permit. But, we do know that we will be back in Santa Rosa in 2018.
Todd: I heard that you are going to do something completely different with the next contest and that you are going to categorize the entries based on their terpene profile – is that a rumor or is that true and if it is could you tell us a bit about it?
Tim: We have talked about doing that. We saw that at the Cultivation Classic. And, with so many different categories, it makes sense to group them this way- a more natural way when you have this many entries.
Todd: Thank you very much for talking to us today, is there anything you would like to add?
Tim: After waiting for over 45 years, to see this day become legal…I’m grateful to have lived to see the changes that we are all going to experience–how it’s going to affect every aspect of our lives. California will lead the way for jobs, education, stable families, and exporting. We’re going to rebuild the middle class of America with cannabis.