When I pictured what high times pot orgy the Toronto Cannabis Cup would look like, I imagined tables and tables piled high with sweet toke.
But five strains only? And no info available on any of them?
The fifth annual competition, held at a College Street venue (kept hush-hush out of respect for the owners last month), saw some 200 mostly out-of-town weed warriors shell out $250 each to rate the best bud this country has to offer. “Ontario has the best pot. It’s right here in this room!” High Times editor Dan Skye hollers.
But two strain samples handed out Friday and three on Saturday during a weekend featuring a banquet, BBQ and boat tour isn’t cutting it.
Pot participants only receive a total of 5 grams over two days – not exactly sustaining if you’re a weed heavyweight. Barely enough to cut a buzz for medpot users.
As the weekend wears on, stoners become less concerned about marking their scorecards and more about the rinky-dink amounts of pot officially bestowed for the judging. But personal stashes save the day.
The real competition is the unofficial one between hobbyist growers who share and sample one another’s stoner swag – though not everyone here figures cannabis equals friendliness. “There are two kinds of potheads,” Skunk senior editor Mama Kind wryly observes, “– weed whores and pot pimps.”
One participant in a red medpot shirt hands me some Afghani Bike Rider, her unique potent pain reliever. It’s a resinous, lip-smacking strain that lights me up like midnight loving.
A hippy-looking type passes around his mixture of “Burmese crossed with Fucking Incredible,” two seed types he got from the Vancouver Island Seed Company. It’s a wonderful afternoon weed that gives a gentle body buzz and leaves me with a feeling of mental alertness.
The hit of the trade show part of the event is the Bubbleator, a mini weed-washing machine and hashish hand press that turns pot into hash in five easy minutes.
“Dude, doesn’t she look like Martha Stewart?” a glazed participant asks, referring to the bud babe demonstrating the product.
We watch Martha Stoner dump 200 to 300 grams of shake and ice-cold water into the Bubbleator. She closes the lid, then sets a dial to agitate THC trichomes from the leafy matter. Rinse, spin, drain and– voilà – all yummy hashish.
I’m feeling better already. By Saturday’s BBQ, Toronto Pot Pixie’s burlesque number, Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, keeps us whistling.
Pixie’s costume is made from six enormous Volcano vaporizer bags, compete with nozzles. When her flasher jacket comes off, the full pumped-up bags pop out nipple nozzles. Stoners are stunned when she twirls around the room offering hits from her luscious bags.
After two days of inhaling, smelling and tasting, the votes are tallied during Sunday’s boat cruise. The winner is Manitoba farmer Johnny Budd’s Blueberry Super Skunk. He tells me later his secret is growing big soil-based plants and flushing them the last few weeks with non-fertilized clean water.
“Let them grow to full maturity” instead of snipping them too soon, he counsels.
He may be the champ, but Tourism Toronto is the real winner. Without taxpayer financing, the pot community is creating a globally recognized premier doobie destination.