The Emerald Exchange hosted its second ganja farmers market at a private ranch in Malibu, California on Nov. 12. Our team left from downtown Los Angeles that Saturday afternoon with our 215 recommendations in hand. Our first mission: fight through the mobs of presidential protests. The 101 freeway was gridlocked in both directions. Cops blocked the on ramps. Cars sat surrounded by “Not my president” chanters. Determined to shop this fall’s crop, we skirted through side streets and made our way to the secret location. There it was, above the City of Angels. Heaven-sent like God’s Gift.
There were the familiar farmers market moments: the sun shining on free samples, the smell of fresh-cut flowers, and homegrown, handcrafted goodies for sale. The best addition to the mix, of course, was all that weed. Buds, dabs, rosin, shatter, salves, bath bombs, vapes, infused beverages, edibles, clothes, and direct connections to small farmers in Northern California were just some of the treasures.
In one beautiful location, the Emerald Exchange gathered the best of the best of Northern California’s organic, outdoor growers to connect with Southern California’s cannabis community in a farmers market setting. The event also included a speaker series, cocktail hour, three-course cannabis infused dinner and dessert, and dancing until midnight to celebrate recreational legalization. Portions of the proceeds were contributed to CannaKids, a consulting group dedicated to helping patients find medicine and proper dosage. Every detail from the outdoor decor to food, refreshments, informational materials, and parking was organized and fun, with thought provoking designs and delicious flavors around every tree.
Tables were full of fresh harvest. True Humboldt represented with jars of top shelf nugs, generous Girl Scout Cookie samples and classic packs of Indica pre-rolled joints. Chrystal Ortiz, Operations Manager for True Humboldt, confirmed they also have several CBD dominant strains this season, like Sour Tsu and Trident. Big Rock Farms set out jam jars full of take-away samples. The Golden Strawberry called to me with trichomes glittering in the sun, too pretty to smoke just yet. Mendocino County pride was strong with StarSong Farms and Shine On Farms. Honeydew Farms’ beautiful branding made their crystalline and dense ganja even more inviting and memorable.
Also from Humboldt, Emerald Gate doled out free samples and discussions about their unique dry-farming methods. Mendocino Generations showed off Arcanna Flowers with names like True Berrymore and Keep Tahoe Blue for their artisan, proprietary strains. Opening jars and breathing in the pungent pot smell, I imagined those buds in my possession, the way I have imagined tomatoes or sunflowers at food farmers markets.
My sweet-tooth was pleased to find Peace Pops, 100 mg THC cherry lollipops that taste like real cherries. The candies have five simple ingredients, and last long enough to be saved for smaller dosing. A standout product for my candy pallet was Sensi Stars, Blue Dream hybrid infused, star-shaped gummy candies. The pack of five stars contains 100 mg THC made from shatter, with a poignant candy watermelon or key lime flavor, and this subtle aftertaste of dank herb.
Absolute Xtracts shared their 40mg THC honey straws, made with just honey, cannabis oil, and coconut oil, and perfect in tea. Fruit Slab had a healthy alternative with tasty cannabis infused fruit leathers.
Wholesome, good-for-you beauty products can be hard to find in stores, but The Emerald Exchange had some gems. Count on Fleurish Farms from Sonoma County for a moisturizing, marijuana-based face cream made from their own rosin. Infuzions had CBD and THC infused bath bombs for a medicated bathing experience, as well as infused essential oil roll-on fragrances. For the females, Foria Pleasure provided cannabis suppositories and sensual sprays for healthy, sexy times.
Down to dab? This is the place. Vape and dab setups accompanied many of the flowers from whence they came. Evoxe Laboratories featured vapes with combo cannabis and essential oil infusions. Terravida Farms made happy campers with free dabs, smiles, and knowledge drops. For the couture dabbers, check out Deviant Dabs — their rosin, shatter, and wax will keep you high in mind, body, and fashion.
Many of these farmers and products will be at the Emerald Cup, December 10th and 11th at Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California. Some of the other incredible companies attending were; Terroir, Legion of Bloom, Green Goat, Papa and Barkley, Canna Sierra, Jetty Extracts, Pacific Wholesale Network, @PopMedia, Malibu Gold, Care By Design, Greenwise consulting, MBox, Merry Jane, and Dessert Medicine.
The experience was as therapeutic and educational as it was fun and freeing. All the reps are nice and knowledgeable, the products are all organic, and everyone there is uniting under the same green flag. For those of us concerned about Prop 64 passing, this event proved to me that legalization can be positive and profitable, even for small, organic farmers.
Written by Shannon Perkins