The view at the entrance, including the hoop house

What is Humboldt’s Marijuana Legacy? Inside Mecca Cup


Avalon Jones

The Humboldt Marijuana Legacy and Mecca Cup joined forces for a cannabis combo event this weekend at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds in Eureka, California. Two days of live music, expert talks, and tons of Humboldt weed were available for Prop 215 patients. I visited July 29th and 30th to review the event for The Emerald Tribune.

Are two weed events better than one? Can we save Humboldt cannabis by teaming up together to share each challenge and success? That was the idea that united two visions for the cannabis industry this weekend.

Saturday saw the return of the Humboldt Marijuana Legacy to Redwood Acres. Sunday was the Mecca Cup celebration, which was last held in September of 2015 at the OG Lounge in Trinidad.

The view at the entrance, including the hoop house

The view from the entrance, including the shaded vendor hoop house

These events were both previously held at later points in the year, closer to the end of harvest. This year’s changes of venue and season may have negatively impacted attendance.  

“In true Humboldt fashion, the second panel of the day kicked off around 45 minutes late.”

The Humboldt Marijuana Legacy on day one showcased some of Humboldt’s finest local talent. Live music in the evening followed two expert panels on branding and genetics during the day.

An expert panel spoke on genetics, while listeners stayed out in the sunshine

An expert panel spoke on genetics, while listeners stayed out in the sunshine

Both panels featured some last-minute drop-outs, substitutions, and surprise appearances. In true Humboldt fashion, the second panel of the day kicked off around 45 minutes late. Some of Humboldt’s best growers came together onstage. They shared a wealth of irreplaceable knowledge and experience between them. Their thoughts were mostly wasted on a field of empty chairs.

“The only thing missing was the patients.”

The Mecca Cup on day two was somewhat more populated. It could be that it took some people a little while to get the memo about the change of location from Trinidad. Instead of informational discussions, Sunday featured live music all day and all night. There were a variety of performances that tended towards hip hop.

 

Rappers used the same stage to entertain on day two at Mecca Cup

Rappers used the same stage to entertain on day two at Mecca Cup

Since they shared a venue, Legacy and Mecca naturally drew comparisons to Cannifest. That event had sprawled across the entire Fairgrounds, only a few months ago. There, the 215 area was enclosed under one very large tent.

The Legacy and Mecca event made a more economical use of the Fairgrounds. Most of the vendor area was spread across the lawn in front of the racetrack. Another group of vendors was arranged under a long hoop house near the entrance. The outdoor stage and vendor section felt comfortable, ringed by tall redwood trees.

There were a handful of non-215 vendors, such as glass artists

There were a handful of non-215 vendors, such as glass artists

A compact layout may have made better use of the same landscape, but this event suffered from many of the same audio/visual problems as Cannifest. Live music next to vendors meant that it was sometimes impossible to have normal conversations near the stage. There was a brief moment when a sound check from another stage drowned out an expert panel on genetics.

“The deserted feeling could be explained by a lack of publicity.”

From an industry standpoint, it was a great day to casually network with other vendors. The vibe was an ultra low-key smoke session with a dash of commercial enterprise sprinkled in. There were free dabs galore, and most vendors came ready to impress with lots of freebies and great deals. The only thing missing was the patients.

Chairs arranged in front of the stage didn't get much use throughout the weekend

Chairs arranged in front of the stage didn’t get much use throughout the weekend

The deserted feeling could be explained by a lack of publicity. Relative to other events, this one did not get a lot of press coverage and social media attention. When asked a few days prior if they planned on attending, many people in the local industry had not heard about the event.

“This weekend helped illustrate some of the problems that Humboldt cannabis is facing.”

In exchange for privileges for reporters, many event organizers will request promotional coverage. Before this weekend, several of my emails about press credentials went unanswered. Approaching the event directly as a reporter was unsuccessful. In the end, I only got on the list through a connection.

Vendors arranged in front of the racetrack at Redwood Acres

Vendors arranged in front of the racetrack at Redwood Acres


As always, these events give us a moment to reflect on the Humboldt cannabis industry at this moment. This weekend helped illustrate some of the problems that Humboldt cannabis is facing. We saw a collection of legacy cannabis farmers speaking to an absent crowd of empty seats. Precious information is getting bottlenecked and lost, due to a lack of communication.  

“All the teamwork and beautiful bud in the world won’t make a difference if nobody is watching.”

Expert growers on Saturday spoke sadly about a loss of cannabis genetic diversity, due to overwhelming market pressure to grow certain strains. It’s easy to see how phenotypes get lost in the mad scramble for cash, but it’s the same way with ideas and culture.

The event got more popular after word got out on the second day

The event got more popular after word got out on the second day


All the teamwork and beautiful bud in the world won’t make a difference if nobody is watching. Reaching out and communicating our unique value in an open legal market is Humboldt’s only hope. Otherwise, we run the risk of losing these remarkable legacy genetics altogether.


The Emerald Tribune is dedicated to thoughtfully reviewing events that represent Humboldt cannabis. We want to give insider access to people who can’t make the event. Were you there and saw something that we missed? Is there something special you want us to report on next time? Drop a comment below and let your voice be heard! 

Comments

  1. Please don’t lump Cannifest in with these guys. Yes, they have vendors close to music, but the music there on the Humboldt Green stage is never very loud or electric, and always at a level where you can talk to vendors.

    1. Author

      Hi Seer!
      Thanks for commenting. We’re not trying to lump anybody! We understand and appreciate all the hard work that goes into producing these local cannabis events. Our goal is only to report on them fairly. I mention Cannifest only to compare and contrast the use of the same space by different event producers. I did the same thing for two events which shared the Sonoma County Fairgrounds further south!

      You’re right that there were no A/V issues at that particular stage, but other stages at Cannifest suffered from A/V malfunctions this year. You can see my full event review here: http://emeraldtribune.com/2017/04/cannifest-2017-review-humboldts-homegrown-weed-weekend/

      Thanks for reading and commenting! We really appreciate your honest feedback! 🙂

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