Pot Talk with Emily Hobelmann



Sunnabis killed it at the 2016 Emerald Cup, an outdoor, organic, medical cannabis competition, taking ninth place in the Flowers category with their Mango OG and 18th place with their XJ-13. There were more than 650 entries in the category this year, by having both of their entries place in the Top 20 is a huge deal!

  Wendy Kornberg and her partner Doug Cook are the proprietors of Sunnabis, or, in her words, “The whole nine yards.” Sunnabis is a Southern Humboldt-based company offering sun-grown medicine via their collective, Humboldt’s Full Sun Farms.

  Kornberg recounts hearing her name called during the awards ceremony at the Cup; “It was awesome… They said our name and […] I started crying. It was hysterical… by far the most excited 18th place winner ever.” Now take that reaction and double it for when Kornberg heard her name called for ninth place too. Team Sunnabis was stoked. “It was a great year,” she says, “We had amazing stuff.”

  Kornberg, a Southern Humboldt County, California native, is a second generation cannabis farmer who grew up hiding her association with weed — literally. When she was a kid, her parents told her, “Okay, if you see a helicopter, you go find the biggest tree you can and sit underneath it and stay still, because they follow movement.”

  Helicopters still fly on anti-cannabis missions around Southern Humboldt, but it’s a different ball game in 2017. Kornberg and her partner Cook aren’t hiding — they are compliant cannabis farmers with a 158 acre-farm on the South Fork of the Eel River. They share their sungrown cannabis with the world because cannabis farming is pretty much legal, even though, on some levels, it’s really not.

  It’s another paradox of our times, but at least today, there is a way for farmers to openly share what they do, “to meet other people and put their face behind it and to be able to say, ‘Yes, this what I do,’” as Kornberg said to me.

  When asked for her thoughts on being a woman in the cannabis industry at this time, Kornberg said, “It’s really interesting, because when I go into a room full of men, and if my partner Doug is with me, I totally get talked over. They look at him,” she added, “There’s this inherent sexism that is prevalent in this industry, and from the most surprising people. People that you’re like, I know you’re not sexist. I know you’re not, but yet little quips come out, little things where I’m like, ‘Oh wow, you actually are.'”

  “And not all men are like that, of course,” she continues. “But somehow it’s really just become this male dominant thing.” She sees the tide turning, however. “More and more women are [standing up and saying], ‘Look we actually do this extremely well. This is a nurturing plant. This is what we’re all about.'”

  She says connecting with other women growers and women in the industry at the Emerald Cup was an amazing experience. “We all support each other. The walls are breaking down, and we’re able to connect on a different level. It’s not this hidden thing anymore.”

  She went from growing up in this hidden culture to being a winner at an event like the Emerald Cup, “where I’m screaming and yelling and jumping up and down and getting my picture taken… and it’s on the internet and it’s on Facebook and it’s on Instagram. […] it’s really different.”

  Congrats to Kornberg and Cook for such public, respectable recognition for their top notch strains, Mango OG and XJ-13. And thanks for the bomb samples! Check ’em out:

Mango OG

Mango OG is an Indica-dominant strain that smells as fruity as its namesake implies. It tests out at 20.46 percent THC, and Kornberg grew the plant full-term from clone with the genetics provided by Redwood Roots. “It’s a smaller plant,” she says, that doesn’t seem like an OG. “When you smell it, it’s really citrusy and tropical. It doesn’t have that heavy diesel, but there is that underlying fuel.” It’s a really pretty plant to grow, with huge OG nugs that got “massive.”

  Heck yeah. And the fruitiness is real. The Mango OG has such a strong, piercing fruit smell to it, and its OG-fuel roots give it a complexity that is hard to miss. The surface of the bud is complex too, with bright orange hairs and a smattering of trichomes. The nugs are way dense, in true OG-style, and smoking it made me happy — like a chuckling, chortling, silly and relaxed kind of happy. I really enjoyed it.


The XJ-13 is a Sativa dominant strain, Jack Herer crossed with G-13. It tests out at 22.46 percent THC and was grown full-term from seed. “It grows these huge, massive colas that are just phenomenal,” Kornberg says of the XJ-13 plant. “It took a decent amount of training because they grow so big they’ll start flopping to the side if you don’t tie them up or cage them.”

  The smell of the dried and cured XJ-13 flower is of sweet, sugary grapefruit grounded in earthy funk. That citrus carries over in the flavor, wrapped in an even sweeter quality. The high and vibe is elegant — functional and elevating cannabis. One of the Emerald Cup judges said the XJ-13 gave him “a Kundalini rush.” You want that. It’s got a more muted green color with dark brown hairs, a beautiful outdoor flower that will open your mind.
You can find out more about this organization online at sunnabis.com and on Instagram@humboldtsfullsunfarms.

Emerald contributor since March 2012


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