Emerald Cup cannabis community and farmers come together in Santa Rosa to celebrate Northern California's finest weed

We LOVE The Emerald Cup!

The Emerald Cup is an annual event that celebrates cannabis in Santa Rosa, California. It is a competition that recognizes the best cannabis growers and producers in the state, arguably, the world. It also features live music, educational seminars, art, delicious munchies, and a variety of vendors selling cannabis.

The Emerald Cup marketplace represents a broad range of cannabis producers, from the smallest family farm to multi-state operators. The intimate booths feature fresh and innovative cannabis products. Shared booths often feature regional farmers who cross-promote their cannabis highlighting their terroir.

Emerald Cup craft cannabis

The Emerald Cup also hosts an annual competition where farmers, manufacturers, and concentrate producers submit their finest in a variety of categories to the esteemed Emerald Cup Judges. Judges are selected based on their experience, dedication to cannabis, capacity to consume copious amounts of cannabis within a short period of time and their ability to discern quality, flavor, nose, and feeling. For each category, there are a group of judges who go through multiple rounds of competition to unanimously agree who are the best of the best. When you speak with judges, you’ll find their knowledge on certain strains, tastes, smells, and feelings are on point and freely shared. The Emerald Cup isn’t just all about the marketplace: there’s also learning sessions and music!

Moon Made Farms and Swami Select at Emerald Cup

3 Reasons to Love The Emerald Cup:

  1. Celebration of Craft Cannabis
  2. Affordable Prices Direct from the Farmer
  3. Cannabis Community & Culture Rooted in Medicine & Wellness

1. Celebration of Craft Cannabis

The Emerald Cup started as a way for cannabis farmers from the Emerald Triangle to share their annual outdoor harvests, connect with fellow cultivators, and engage in competition for the best flower in the state. At the time, many cannabis cultivators were still operating in the shadow of prohibition and reluctant to otherwise advertise their identities; as cannabis legalization progressed from the Prop 215 days of Medical-use collectives, later expanding to Adult-Use with the passage of Prop 64, farmers eventually emerged to a legal market with a broader patient and customer base. Producers now widely brand their farms, flower, and products. Still, when you open a jar of fresh cannabis at the Emerald Cup, it’s obvious that craft farming—harnessing the unique climate of Northern California and utilizing regenerative soil practices—remains the focus in producing quality flowers.

Craft Cannabis Emerald Cup Santa Rosa

We come to the Emerald Cup with a sense of appreciation for the farmers who work tirelessly all year for a successful harvest, often navigating natural disasters like wildfires and drought. Remember it’s not just about the growing cycle—cultivators often select seeds and strains years in advance of the intended growing season. They must balance hearty genetics for the best yield, while also attempting to predict the market for certain flavors and strains in the upcoming years.This involves choosing the best cultivars from pheno-hunting, R&D, and testing. Many farmers bring smaller batches and test runs to the Emerald Cup in addition to the best of their current year’s harvest. Be enthusiastic about trying new strains, giving feedback to the producers, and celebrate the tireless work growers put into their product.

Emerald Cup craft cannabis in the Emerald Triangle

2. Affordable Prices Direct from the Farmer

The Emerald Cup marketplace offers some of the most competitive prices for cannabis products. Farmers partner with dispensaries to offer their products at lower prices than what you’d find in the store. Often times, you are meeting these cultivators directly who give you first hand knowledge of the flowers, genetics, feeling, and nose. It’s the closest a consumer will come to buying direct from the farmer within the current legal framework. Farm cut herb and market cannabis flower

Exhibitors are incentivized to sell out of the inventory brought to the show; the attendees represent a robust customer base armed with buyer enthusiasm. We love coming to the Emerald Cup knowing that we’ll find the best deals on the best cannabis.

Bonzai Caruso cannabis and CAM cannabis at Emerald Cup

3. Cannabis Community & Culture Rooted in Medicine & Wellness

The Emerald Cup is all about fostering community—even amidst challenging times with cannabis legalization roadblocks and the continuing global pandemic, it remains an uplifting affair that reminds us why it's all worth it to keep supporting this potent plant. The Emerald Cup is a culturally-rich event that encompasses everything we love about cannabis and the greater cannabis community: celebrating our diversity and the hardworking folks building a sustainable and just industry, and providing a venue for cannabis culture at large.

Cookies cannabis dome at Emerald Cup event

One encouraging takeaway from the Emerald Cup 2022 is that cultivators and manufacturers really care about the medical market—it’s in their roots and why many got into cannabis in the first place. As cannabis enthusiasts, we must continue to support patient access, compassion programs, low-cost cannabis, and continued legalization efforts.

Cannabinoid research is continuing to expand outside of THC & CBD—take THC-V, for example. Strains and products with THC-V are still hard to find in dispensaries—but you’ll find THC-V at the Emerald Cup! (We loved finding this Cosmic View pink boost tincture from cannabis grown by Emerald Spirit Botanicals, crafted by this mom & daughter boutique team who also won topicals in 2019. As the cannabis market broadens, we’re excited for producers to continue to cater to medicinal cannabis patients and different segments of customers. The event remains rooted in the cannabis community by connecting cannabis enthusiasts, celebrating cannabis brands, and highlighting our cultivators from across California.

Emerald Cup California Cannabis Community


There is still time to get your entry in to the 2023 Emerald Cup!

This week is the final week to get entries into one of SIX intake partners located from San Diego to Mendocino.

You can find all of the information and the Emerald Cup entry form on their website at TheEmeraldCup.com.

Key dates to keep in mind:

  • Wednesday, March 1st - Intake window closes in San Diego (March and Ash / Mission Valley), Los Angeles (Bread Farms), Santa Barbara (Canopy Club), and Mckinleyville (Satori Wellness / High Grade Distribution)

  • Friday, March 3rd - Intake window closes in Cloverdale (Seed 2 Soul) and Ukiah (Heritage Mendocino)

Reminder: All entry drop offs require an appointment set with the Emerald Cup first at contest@theemeraldcup.com

Competition Guide and Rules

Enter the Competition

Interested in Selling Cannabis Directly From Your Event Booth?

Meadow offers compliant point of sale software and iPad-based hardware packages at licensed cannabis events. Get our Cannabis Events Guidebook and contact events@getmeadow.com to learn more about our cannabis sales event rentals and our support services.

How to sell cannabis at licensed events

Read more on the Meadow blog:

What It's Like to Judge the Emerald Cup Contest

What its like to Judge the Emerald Cup contest

Sell More Cannabis with Less Work

Book a Call
An iPad running Meadow's Point of Sale system