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Saturday April 16, 2022

By Shirley Ju

Image of one of The Farmer's Cup judges doing an interview in the back of a van with a camera. News

For cannabis smokers, consumers, and lovers all around the world, April 20th serves as the ultimate holiday. 4/20 symbolizes so much more than meets the eye, it brings the cannabis community together to celebrate the flower in the most positive light. With the ever-changing evolution that is the cannabis industry, this is a celebration for brands and companies within the space, oftentimes choosing 4:20 p.m. as the preferred time to toke up.

In fact, former editor of High Times Steven Hager spoke with the New York Times to reveal the holiday was actually birthed from a group of high school students in the 1970’s, who habitually smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. The ritual would then spread across to beyond just California, as 420 became the universal code for smoking marijuana.

Celebrating 4/20 at the Farmers Cup

To celebrate, it’s only right that Farmers Cup host their highly-anticipated annual Cannabis Row at Earth Fair event that will take over Balboa Park in sunny San Diego, California. Hosted by San Diego native Chris Cantore, the festivities are expected to draw in over 60,000 guests, which seems fitting with Balboa Park being one of the most beautiful parks in the county. With endless arts, culture, entertainment, hikes, and sights to see, (including the San Diego Zoo) the environment itself paves the way for this monumental day.

Green flyer with cannabis leaves embedded of the Cannabis Row Earth Fair that lists the list of events including announcements, performers, and the Farmers Cup award ceremony.
The Cannabis Row Earth Fair 2022 is an all day event that is full of art, music, and cannabis. photo credit

With the success of the 2022 Cherry Blossom Festival at Japanese Friendship Garden, Cannabis Row at Earth Fair expects to have a similar reception with audiences from all walks of life — encouraging attendees to walk, skate, bike, or take the bus versus driving with Earth Day arriving just 4 days later on April 24. With the disclaimer that there may not be parking any way!

Following the success of Farmer Cups’ previous edible competition, which took place over Valentine’s Day of this year, this 4/20 event will undoubtedly be one for the books. Joshua Caruso, Farmers Cup Founder, states:

We keep the cannabis community engaged and educated while having a unique people’s choice experience with California’s best cannabis products. We aim to preserve California Cannabis Culture through cannabis events. Cannabis is more than a business, and we continue to educate its history and values for the community. For the San Diego Cannabis Farmers Market, we hope to keep planning cutting-edge cannabis events.

For Farmers Cup, the goal was always to use cannabis to change our communities from “a toxic desperate state socially,” commenting that “the elephant in the room has always been green.” Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, cannabis was finally viewed as more than recreational, but rather medicinal with the power to improve your life in every aspect. The exciting shift yielded positive economics from cannabis, career and educational programs from state universities as well as general community-facing events with a cannabis niche.

Judges at Farmers Cup 4/20

Those who plan on attending can reference the schedule above, with the main awards ceremony taking place at 4:20 p.m. PST. Below is the competition’s all-star lineup of VIP Judges.

Alexia Bullard

A picture taken above a group of green bags filled with cannabis products to be judge by the judges.
Each judge got a giant bag of cannabis product samples to be judged for The Farmers Cup. photo credit

Alexia Bullard a SoCal cannabis content marketing expert who has a passion for home grown and cannabis culture. She recently hosted a huge home grow meetup via Grow Cast in Vista of San Diego County where 250 home growers visited to exchange seeds, meet and also consume! This local cannabis enthusiast also wrote a bit about Farmers Cup, you can read more from her here on her blog. This is just part one as we are told to expect a review of the Farmers Cup Judge Experience from Alexia soon after the cup.

Jackie Bryant

Jackie Bryant, a SoCal journalist who knows more about cannabis than the average cannabis scientist, joins Farmers Cup back again as a VIP judge from a previous Harvest Cup. Jackie is a San Diego-based freelance journalist. These days, her focus is almost entirely on cannabis. She also covers other lifestyle and culture topics, particularly travel. Jackie writes a cannabis culture newsletter and produces a podcast, Cannabitch.

She is a regular contributor of cannabis stories to MJBizDaily, Uproxx and Previously, she was a restaurant reporter for Eater San Diego, a cannabis columnist for San Diego CityBeat, the film festival reviewer for The San Diego Union-Tribune, the lifestyle editor at JustLuxe, and the editor of Luxury Living International. We hope she will be covering our San Diego Cannabis Cultural events this 420! You can keep up with Jackie here.

Big Casino

People standing in line to pick up their judge kits at a dispensary
This year's judges will be tough as they are versed in cannabis knowledge. photo credit

Big Casino is the host of the Podcasts, "Weed Between The Wines" and "Quick Sesh with Big Casino". With years of experience in the Wine and Spirits Industry, Big Casino pairs his favorite wines together with all things cannabis, heavily considering Terpene profiles in the process. In episodes of Quick Sesh, BC sits down with guests from all walks of life for long format interviews where he picks the brains of weed and wine insiders and gets a peek behind the scenes, while partaking in the best offerings of both industries.

Christine Smith

Christine Smith is a radio host from Cannabis Talk 101 will be a first past Playboy model on the roster as a judge for the Farmers Cup. After learning Christine’s passion for cannabis activism, her professionalism as a media host and back story of cannabis healing with having brain surgery, this VIP Judge packs a punch! We cannot wait to hear what she has to say about her Farmers Cup experience and what brands are BEST in Southern California! Christine will also be presenting Farmers Cup awards on stage at Cannabis Row.

Wrap Up

Caruso concludes, “Education is the key and with our competition, you are forced to educate yourself with the entries/products to properly judge. Looking at the label for details becomes a vital part of our competition and equally as important for consumers to know what they are ingesting.”

These brands that are coming into town play a significant role as San Diego County moves towards advocacy for cannabis. Soon, they will be permitting an additional 80 licenses in the county for cannabis retail, manufacturing, cultivation and events. The mere exposure from getting your brand involved in these competitions is a win itself, as locals are eager to connect and consume.

What’s the goal? National legalization in the long run.

Let us know what your 420 plans are this year in the comments below!


Shirley Ju Shirley Ju

Shirley Ju is a Journalist, On-Camera Host, Publicist based in Los Angeles, who's been writing and interviewing artists in the entertainment industry for over 11 years. Her first true love is music, but cannabis is a close second! She recently started her own show called Shirley's Temple, which has a focus on mental health. A firm believer in hard work, dedication, and passion, Shirley hopes to inspire people with everything she does. Her bylines include Variety, Complex, REVOLT, Flaunt Magazine, and she previously worked at Power 106 doing Digital Content/Artist Relations. She also has a puppy named Slim who she adores with all her heart! <3

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