Award-winning pot has deep purple hue, aroma of sweet berries

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    Award-winning pot has deep purple hue, aroma of sweet berries

    In a sign of marijuana's growing legitimacy, more than 700 people braved bad weather Saturday for Mendocino County's sixth annual Emerald Cup awards ceremony, the culmination of a month of examining, tasting and smelling pot.

    The once clandestine event has emerged from the shadows as medical marijuana has become increasingly mainstream, said organizer Tim Blake, who hosts the event at his Area 101 spiritual and events center north of Laytonville.

    “It's becoming so legal. Everybody has a medical license now,” he said.

    Still, the 1st place winner, a Mendocino County resident asked that he be identified only as “Hawaii Dave.”

    His “cotton candy kush” beat out 99 other entries to claim the elaborate first place glass cup, appropriately decorated with marijuana leaves.

    “It's nice to be recognized for my efforts,” he said.

    Eight judges and their assistants — generally partners or housemates — began sampling the entries in their homes Nov. 1, Blake said.

    “The judges are smoking three or four a day,” he said. It's a serious job.”

    Most take months off from smoking pot afterward, he said.

    The entries are judged on appearance, smell, taste and effect, Blake said.

    This year's winner is a deep purple color with iridescent orange hairs. It has a sweet berry smell and is extremely potent, said Hawaii Dave.

    Samples of the top entries were available at the Emerald Cup, said Blake. Attendees also bring their own pot to the event, he said.

    The celebration also featured a half dozen bands, food and vendor booths that included hemp and marijuana products, Blake said.

    Proceeds from the $50 entry tickets will benefit the Trees Foundation and the Mendocino Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, he said.

    Published: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at 5:55 p.m.

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