Organizers, vendors and volunteers are busying themselves with the final preparations for Cannifest this weekend, which kicks off the weeklong Humboldt Green Week.
“This is the third year of Cannifest and the 11th year of Humboldt Green Week,” Humboldt Green founder and event organiser Stephen Gieder said. “It’s a celebration of all things green.”
He said the festival and week of cannabis-related shows and activities have roots in past 4/20 celebrations barbecues at Northcoast Horticulture Supply stores that would benefit local nonprofit organizations.
“Every year it grew and grew and grew,” Gieder said.
Last year, 4,000 people came to Cannifest, he said.
“This year, we hope to see 6,000 people come through the gates,” Gieder said.
More than 400 volunteers, organizers and vendors will make this weekend’s festivities possible.
“Maybe 420 people if I counted correctly,” Gieder joked.
Festival plans include concerts by over 40 artists, marijuana strain competition, other contests, more than 100 vendors, speakers, family activities, a silent disco and a designated area for 215 medical marijuana card holders. Despite marijuana’s recent legalization in California there won’t be a recreational use tent, Gieder said.
“Because it’s on a state fairground and that’s the only way,” he said, stating he’s made sure what will happen at the event will follow all state and local laws. “We’re the organization that makes sure this is done right.”
Gieder said he’s excited for this year’s Humboldt Grow Games in which 13 teams of four people will compete for $20,000 worth of prizes and a grand prize of a Polaris side-by-side off-road vehicle.
“It’s kind of like 4-H Olympic games,” he said if the games were cannabis themed.
On Saturday the teams will compete in three challenges; the re-pot hustle to see which team can re-pot six cannabis plants fastest, the Emerald Triangle irrigation puzzle where teams must take a mess of irrigation to hook a water reservoir up to a tank using piping and a pump and the dirt bag drag.
On Sunday the teams will compete in the final event, the team pallet challenge where teams must move a shipping pallet’s-worth of bags of potting soil through a grow-themed obstacle course and onto another pallet.
“The grow games are pretty fun,” Humboldt’s Om cocreator Sasha Miksis said.
Though she said the grow games are fun, Miksis looks forward most to introducing people to cannabis-infused yoga, which her business specializes in, within the holistic zone and Monday after Cannifest.
“We’re educating enthusiasts on the relationship between yoga, chakras and cannabis medicine,” she said.
Northcoast Horticulture Supply sales manager Gaurav Mehta said he’s looking forward to seeing what the vendors have to offer.
“All the people that make Humboldt what it is come together and show people what we’re all about,” he said.
Mahta added that the industry has changed so much in recent years and continues to change so it will be interesting to see what new items and innovations vendors will offer.
“The hydroponic and horticulture industry is always evolving,” he said. “You can see how (vendors) grow every year and get bigger and bigger and bigger which is good to see.”
And all this is only a small portion of what’s planned for Cannifest and Humboldt Green Week, organizers said. For a full schedule of concerts and events, go to cannifest.com or humboldtgreenweek.com.