The Golden Ticket
By Kristopher Christensen
As I prepare for day one of the 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup, my nerves are a bit jangled. It’s a much larger event this year and I was in part invited here to find edibles of all kinds medicated with cannabis. My kind of gig! However, my true quest won’t be an easy one given the breadth of dreamy and delectable treats. With my trusty recording device in hand, I roll out to procure the much needed audio proof I might not otherwise be able to remember.
By the end of this weekend I will have consumed candies, chocolates, cookies, popcorn, cake pops, fondue, crackers with ranch dressing, peanut butter, gourmet mac and cheese, beef hamburger sliders, cotton candy, honey sticks, pizza, ice cream, and lest I forget, pan fried bacon dipped in South American chocolate.
I arrive around 3:30 pm and the Cup is in full swing with what looks like ten thousand people in Californian’s biggest cannabis street market. With over four hundred booths to check out over a two day period, reality kicks in full tilt. Am I here to see Rick Ross or to find out who wins the cup for best Sativa? Nope, I’m here to eat!
Thirty minutes in and I’ve met Xizibt, all decked out in hip-hop hemp military bling gear. Seeing this as an instant good luck charm, I proceeded to medicate since it’s almost 4:20 and I’m way too sober for my own good. Walking around the NOS Center in San Bernardino, I navigate my way around walking human joints, girls dressed as pot plants, and food company reps with trays offering a plethora samples. Picture your local street fair with a cloud of smoke surrounding it and some hip-hip music playing. You get the picture.
I meet Chef Angelo of Two Sticky Gourmet Medical Edibles. Chef Angelo was on Iron Chef America twice, both times beating Bobby Flay:
“I’ve created some of the highest concentrate edible THC products in the market. I have peanut butter, jelly, honey, syrup, hot sauce, salad dressings, ketchup and whatever custom order you want. I also make a CBD oil that’s legal in all US states, it contains no THC at all. I like being here to meet new patients and let them sample for themselves my product, it’s phenomenal.”
I’m wandering a little after trying a few samples but I’m still on my quest. Everywhere I look, I see people smoking cones, blunts and joints. There are also lots of beautiful women with expensive glass pieces attached to their mouths and people walking around carrying cannabis plants of all sizes, smoking two foot long joints. There’s grow equipment, free concentrate hits and peppered about are small stages with MC’s throwing free gifts to the crowds. At one point I walk past a stage throwing “Koala cookies” to people; I raise my long arm up and snake one from the throngs. Yoink!
Later I find myself at the Edipure booth. The elaborate display looks more Willy Wonka than reefer madness and the little kid in me can’t decide between gummy bears, sour strips or maybe those red hots. Oh the colors! A representative comes to talk to me about the growing industry and what their company is about.
“At Edipure, the THC gummy bears are our number one seller. We like to recreate all the nostalgic candy you had at the movie theater or candy shop when you were little. The market has also taught us to make more savory items such as dry fruits and the response has been great. Edipure makes everything from small newb-oriented doses to larger does for seasoned consumers, so portion control is easy. We’d much rather have you take a smaller amount and work your way up. Everything is controlled and tested all the way up the ladder.”
Kicked in have the edible samples I’ve been trying and it appears over 15,000 people are now packed into the NOS Center here in San Bernardino. Everyone is medicated, smiling and happy. No fights have taken place but copious amounts of ganja have flowed in dubious amounts, everywhere. On a scale of one to ten, I must admit I’m only about a five in this crowd. I sense some people here are much, much higher than I am.
I spend the next two hours trying more samples of canna tinged creations. Throughout the day some of the chefs shared with me the celebrities to whom they cater and the sheer volume of famous people cited amazes me! Many in the cannabis industry know that the food sector is the fastest growing aspect of industry. Maybe I’ll cater a medicated Thanksgiving next year, but for now I need to think about getting some sleep and heading back tomorrow.
Atop my bucket list for Sunday was to find who was making the hamburger sliders. Word spread like wildfire about this amazing booth, but finding anything in my haze wasn’t easy. By the time I find Chef Nuggs booth, I’m famished and extremely medicated. The aroma is amazing and the food looks great. After whipping me up two sliders and a fresh portion of garlic mac and cheese, I sit down for a talk.
“I’m a French-trained chef that’s been doing fine dining for almost seven years. I started doing this only nine months ago, due to its rising popularity. I’m from Hollywood and this is mainly a Southern California based business. I specialize in everything from fine dining to everyday diner comfort food, except it’s medicated with cannabis.”
I’m a military vet myself and I started this for other ex-military personal who need help. I’m able, through my business, to make enough that I take profits and help other vets get my meals for free. I do all types of catering from big parties to small individual meals. I also do a meal delivery service called Canna Cuisines to Go. We’ll post a menu on Instagram for the day and we’ll deliver what we’re cooking. You just order and we deliver for a great meal.”
By now I’m happy and full from my late lunch, but well over-due for some fun. My work is done so I can finally take a few dab hits here, a few bong tokes there. I can chill and have a few hours of pure relaxation. The food I ate was delicious and has taken all the pain out of my bad knee with the torn ACL. The Southern California weather is perfect and clear with a skunky overtone to the air. As I walk out the exit, I run into Chali 2na of Jurassic 5 as he’s trying to find an ATM machine. We stop and chat about the event and he obliges me with a few pics. Walking to my car I think, “Xhibit when I show up, Chali 2na when I leave….perfect start and finish to a Cannabis Cup.