Organizers, vendors, volunteers and visitors alike enjoyed a weekend of Cannifest activities and are looking forward to Humboldt Green Week.
A distinctive skunky aroma drifted downwind from Redwood Acres but once inside the pervading odor was that of caramel corn and funnel cakes.
“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.
Over 400 volunteers, organizers and vendors will make this weekend’s festivities possible.
“Maybe 420 people if I counted correctly,” Gieder joked.
Humboldt Green general manager Lori Cosgrove said people lined up outside the fairground gates before they were thrown open Saturday morning.
“Attendance is awesome, totally what we were hoping for,” she said.
Cosgrove added that there were about 50 percent more people and vendors this past weekend compared with last year.
Festival activities included concerts by more than 40 artists, marijuana strain competition, more than 100 vendors, speakers, family activities, a silent disco and a designated area for 215 medical marijuana card holders.
On Saturday the teams competed 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 competed 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.
The winners of the grow games and Cannifest Bowl weren’t announced by the publishing deadline Sunday.
Vendors from all over Humboldt County and the country came to Cannifest to market and advertise in the heartland of marijuana cultivation, the Emerald Triangle.
Fortuna resident and Dr. Earth business development director Maxwell Martin stood behind a table covered in pamphlets and samples of the company’s organic fertilizers, soil and pest deterrents. He said he came to Cannifest last year but this was his first time behind a vendor table.
“Very impactful,” he said when asked what it was like to go from a visitor to vendor. “It’s phenomenal to spread the message of organic farming.”
Martin added that sustainability is important to both him and Dr. Earth.
“It’s not bleeding into waterways and it’s being sourced in an appropriate way,” he said about his products.
From the Ground Up Construction owner Jamie Bucklin said his company is based in McKinleyville and that he builds grow houses and grow rooms throughout the Emerald Triangle.
“I never tried to market it until today, well yesterday,” he said.
Bucklin, sitting at a vendor booth that looked like a grow room with lights and ventilation overhead, said the weekend went well for him.