Collector’s Cup a ‘legal weed exchange party’

Published on June 24, 2022 by Bradie Sparrow

Bradie Sparrow sits with her husband Matt in 100-year-old Pioneer Cabin Photo: Bradie Sparrow
Bradie Sparrow attended the Edmonton Collector's Cup. The event, which is organized by Canna Reps, gives attendees the chance to learn how to grade cannabis flower. It was held in the 100-year-old Pioneer Cabin in Nellie McClung park.

A couple of months ago, I heard about a really cool event happening in Vancouver, called the Collector’s Cup. The event is put on by Canna Reps, an organization that provides valuable education programs for passionate cannabis budtenders and consumers.

After experiencing the worst #FOMO ever thanks to social media, I decided I absolutely must attend a future event. To my surprise, an Edmonton date was announced for May 25 at a fabulous location overlooking our beautiful river valley. I immediately notified my squad and bought tickets. Within a few weeks, the event fully sold out, ensuring the evening was a go.

The whole idea of the Collector’s Cup is to bring your favourite legal flower offering, or the best of your ‘collection.’ The various flowers would go into rotation and each table looks at, assesses, smokes, and grades a few of the offerings. It was literally a legal weed exchange party—think Christmas cookie exchange but you eat all the cookies at the party.

Cannabis in jars for judging Photo: Bradie Sparrow
Cannabis is transferred discreetly to jars only labelled with numbers for blind judging.

My husband, Matt, and I decided to bring four bags of Miracle Valley Landslide to represent BC Black and to fulfill the 14-gram requirement.

The Collector’s Cup was held at the 100-year-old Pioneer Cabin in Nellie McClung park, and we were blessed with beautiful weather. Volunteers awaited our arrival, checking us in quickly and efficiently, adorning each of us with a wrist band. Our flower submissions were recorded in a computer under our name then swiftly and discreetly transferred to a clear mason jar labelled with a number. We were given a choice of three tables to sit at and guided toward the Blind ID Challenge table where three flowers in glass jars were on display. To participate, guesses were entered into a Google form by scanning a QR code. A spread of Domino’s pizza, wings, chips, veggie trays and beverages was also provided. (Well done Canna Reps, managing blood sugar is always wise in my opinion.) I enjoyed a bite while mingling outside with all the other guests.

Photo: Bradie Sparrow
Attendees pose for a photo at the Collector's Cup in Edmonton.

Due to fire hazards and the age of the building, we were quickly ushered off the deck down to the lower patio. About 80-100 people revelled in the sunshine, indulging in a toke or two while meeting all their Instagram friends for the first time. Before long, our hosts Julie Domingo, Adolfo Gonzalez, and Axel Holin, called us to begin. They explained the role of Canna Reps, which is to empower budtenders with valuable cannabis education through their Cannabis Sommelier Program. Next they explained the flower grading and assessment system through a video presentation that taught us to score the flower between 1-100 based upon traits such as appearance, scent, density, etc.

Table mate Carrie recorded our group score and Adolfo entered our results into an online recording system.
The buds were then ground and rolled for the real test, smoke. Most of us remembered to take a dry pull before lighting up and noting the final details like smoothness, flavour and ash colour. Each table graded three flowers.

It’s no easy feat to manage an event, but to keep us on schedule to grade and enjoy three flowers, plus have our answers submitted to an online reporting system? Somehow Julie, Adolfo, and Axel kept us right on time and ushered everyone back into their seats for the results.

Photo: Bradie Sparrow
Cannabis grading in action, as flower is scored based on a number of different factors.

First the Top 3 Blind ID challenge winners were brought on stage and given another flower to identify. The winner of the evening was Armaan Hamir, a local Value Buds employee. The next announcement was a listing of all 33 flowers submitted followed by the top three graded flowers of the evening. Table mate Carrie brought the winning flower grown by her boss and fellow table mate Tim of Alberta Bud Official. Second place went to B Banner from Prairie Grass and third place to GMO from Partake. Our Landslide took eighth place out of 33 flowers with Distinkt Cactus Breath coming in 12th place.

I have to admit, this event was very humbling for me. I walked into this Albertan event with my BC weed expecting to conquer. How wonderful that Alberta processors reigned supreme in a blind taste test among its own residents.

Photo: Bradie Sparrow
The Collector's Cup too place on a beautiful May day in Edmonton.

In addition to trying the different flowers, I truly enjoyed the conversations we had with the other attendees and the hosts. And I took away a strong desire to further my own knowledge and specifically my language about this amazing plant.

Thank you to Julie, Adolfo and Axel for nurturing the Edmonton Cannabis Community. I highly encourage you to seek out cannabis events in your area, or like myself, explore the offerings of the Cannabis Sommelier Program being offered at CannaReps.

About the author

Bradie Sparrow is currently enjoying a Pot Girl Summer while working in sales for BC Black Cannabis. Connect on Instagram (@dopest.mama.ever) and Twitter (@bradiesparrow).