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Northern California cannabis competition celebrates Nevada County winners

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Nevada County only recently allowed legal cannabis grows, but already those growers are gaining statewide recognition.

On Dec. 14 and 15, The Emerald Cup honored several cannabis grows from Nevada County for a variety of competition categories.

Foothill River Farms received second place for its CBD flower; Bloomfield Manufacturing placed second for infused tincture and fifth for distillate cartridge; and Down Om Farms took 11th in the licensed sun-grown category.

“We are so proud of all the members of the Nevada County Cannabis Alliance who won awards at the Emerald Cup,” Nevada County Cannabis Alliance Executive Director Diana Gamzon said in an email. “These farmers and businesses produce the highest quality of cannabis for which our region is known.”

The Emerald Cup took place in Santa Rosa at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, highlighting cannabis growers and manufacturers from northern California for their performance in a slew of different categories. Nevada County winners didn’t win money, but did receive trophies from the competition.

Foothill River Farms Founder Sebastian Gotla, who entered the competition as a last minute decision, said the competition is a nice way to allow appreciation for craft cannabis culture.

Down Om Farms Owner Daniel Fink said it’s important to highlight the great work happening in Nevada County.

“We have to put Nevada County on their radar,” he said, “and we did pretty well.”

Thousands of individuals attended the Emerald Cup in December, according to Fink, who competed with about 1,000 others in the sun-grown category.

He appreciated the competition’s theme of regenerative agriculture — which includes importing few materials, avoiding pesticide use and keeping all farm resources in a closed loop system — as well as the cup’s culture of encouragement.

“I use every bit of material to increase the fertility and sustainability of my project,” said Fink.

Back in Nevada County, Gotla said he’s been impressed with how receptive the county has been to the cannabis industry.

Fink agreed.

“I’m extremely grateful for Nevada County for giving us this opportunity,” he said.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email scorey@theunion.com or call 530-477-4219.

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