Cultivation Classic wants you.
Now entering its fifth year, the state's most scientifically rigorous organic cannabis competition—organized by Willamette Week—is looking to expand its pool of judges. That's right—between now and Jan. 17, you can apply smoke a ton of weed like it's your job.
Don't get it twisted, though—this is serious business.
Go to cultivationclassic.cc/judge for the particulars. But before you apply, we asked some veteran judges what to consider. Here's their advice on the best ways to get high with intention.
Yvonne Perez Emerson
Owner and founder of Make & Mary
NUMBER OF YEARS AS JUDGE: 3
WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL SMOKING ENVIRONMENT? I like to roll a joint and smoke it in the evening after dinner.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE MINDFUL OF WHILE JUDGING? Visuals are important to me, and I rely on my senses first. If the sample I get doesn't look good, then it's not going to rank well. I want something dense or fluffy, not loose. If it's brown or too white, that's definitely a turnoff. I like them green with undertones of purple. And then there is the smell, of course. It can't smell like dirt.
WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU BECAME A JUDGE? Be ready for anything. I usually judge the CBD weed, and last year I got pretty stoned off a sample. I wasn't prepared to be that stoned at that given time.
DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE: When it's time to judge, be sure to consume just the sample before you partake in any other infused pleasures. Be present with what you are doing. It's hard to judge if you are high on something else first.
Fox Hollow Flora
NUMBER OF YEARS AS JUDGE: 1
WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL SMOKING ENVIRONMENT? Either outside in nature or with a small group of friends.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE MINDFUL OF WHILE JUDGING? When judging cannabis, it is very important to go into the experience sober. Also, give the sample a fair shake, and give the high the credit it deserves by not consuming any other cannabis until the experience has run its course.
WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU BECAME A JUDGE?
I wish I had a better understanding of terpene modulation—otherwise known as the entourage effect—going into my first year. Since then, I have read as much as I can on the emerging science.
DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE: Do not think all cannabis is the same—or that high THC percentage will always equal the "stoniest" high.
NUMBER OF YEARS AS JUDGE: 4
WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL SMOKING ENVIRONMENT?
At home, where I have a number of different tools at my disposal: grinders, vaporizers, different types of glass smokeware. This helps as I break down the nuanced characteristics of each strain.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE MINDFUL OF WHILE JUDGING? To me, the cannabis experience all comes down to flavor. If the sample has good flavor, it is hard not to enjoy. Cannabis is very subjective, to the degree that not everyone enjoys the same flavors or feelings, but well-grown cannabis is hard to ignore.
WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU BECAME A JUDGE? Drink water.
DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE: Don't pick out your favorites to judge first. I've learned to grab samples blindly and in random order. It helps me avoid any bias I might have if I see or catch a whiff of something attractive.
Freelance graphic designer
NUMBER OF YEARS AS JUDGE: 2
WHAT'S YOUR IDEAL SMOKING ENVIRONMENT? Somewhere quiet where you can really unwind and listen to your body.
WHAT SHOULD YOU BE MINDFUL OF WHILE JUDGING? Always keep in mind how you feel before you start smoking. To pinpoint how a strain makes me feel, I'll focus on any tension or anxiety I have as I smoke. Once I feel the effects, I'll check back in with that original pain to see if there has been any improvement.
WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE HAD TOLD YOU BEFORE YOU BECAME A JUDGE? Don't mix strains during the day. Instead, smoke one strain in the AM and the same strain again in the PM.
DON'T MAKE THIS MISTAKE: Always, always log or write down your judge's score before you get too stoned. It's an easy mistake to make.
GO: For more information on Cultivation Classic and how to apply to be a judge, visit cultivationclassic.cc.