Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup

Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup

Mark Haskell Smith

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0307720543

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Reporting for the Los Angeles Times on the international blind tasting competition held annually in Amsterdam known as the Cannabis Cup, novelist Mark Haskell Smith sampled a variety of marijuana that was unlike anything he’d experienced.  It wasn’t anything like typical stoner weed, in fact it didn’t get you stoned.  This cannabis possessed an ephemeral quality known to aficionados as “dankness.”
Armed with a State of California Medical Marijuana recommendation, he begins a journey into the international underground where super-high-grade marijuana is developed and tracks down the rag-tag community of underground botanists, outlaw farmers, and renegade strain hunters who pursue excellence and diversity in marijuana, defying the law to find new flavors, tastes, and effects.  This unrelenting pursuit of dankness climaxes at the Cannabis Cup, which Haskell Smith vividly portrays as the Super Bowl/Mardi Gras of the world's largest cash crop.

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plants with what he describes as “love.” He’s not interested in what’s popular or trendy in the weed world, and because he buys small lots, he can get odd and exotic strains, like a rare, and unnamed, equatorial sativa he had recently. “We like to give new strains a run. We like to take risks, take the plunge, and see if it’s something for the future. First we’ll have our idea of what it is and then we put it to the public and see what they think. What helps us keep the weed on a really good

immigration from Muslim nations, a ban on the building of mosques in Holland, and a ban on traditional Muslim clothing like the burka. His logic is simple: Holland, he says, cannot afford to “tolerate the intolerant.” Wilders flatly claims that if the Muslim population in Holland continues to grow and manages to force their intolerant views into Dutch political life, Amsterdam will no longer be the “gay capital of Europe.” I can’t imagine an American politician, Democrat or Republican, seeking

bacchanal, a trade show, and a deadly serious competition all rolled into one. Cannabis connoisseurs, marijuana industry professionals, and people who just like to party, all descend on Amsterdam to sample the entries. Most of them come from the United States, Canada, and various parts of Europe, but I’ve met people from as far away as Africa, Japan, and Brazil at the Cup. It is, truly, a global event. While just being entered in the Cannabis Cup is a big deal for a lot of competitors, emerging

plants and twelve immature plants. But since most patients are either not farmers or don’t have the room, they sign an affidavit allowing a professional cannabis farmer to grow their plants for them. This way, farmers like Crockett and the Guru can grow their crops legally, at least legally in California. We turned off the main road and proceeded to roll through some beautiful countryside, down one canyon into a valley, up another. I couldn’t fully appreciate the scenery as the constant rolling

close-ups of Super Lemon Haze appeared, the silence was jarring. Forty minutes after the awards were scheduled to start, the screen lifted and the emcee began calling for the vendors who’d had booths at the expo and the coffeeshops that had participated in the Cup to “send your representation to the stage” and receive a “participation trophy.” It was the “everyone’s a winner” moment that you see at youth soccer games all across the United States. Everybody gets a trophy! “Send your

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