Source: Redheaded Blackbelt

On May 13, the 19th (almost annual) Emerald Cup celebrated cannabis cultivators, manufacturers, and retailers. Though the legal cannabis industry has faced growing pains and economic collapse, farmers from arguably the hardest hit county, showed up and showed out, taking home several top honors.

man holding up a clear tear drop shaped award

Jason Gellman holding up awards for his Ridgeline Farms cannabis.

Southern Humboldt’s prodigal son, Jason Gellman of Ridgeline Farms, took home 1st place for Mixed Light and Mixed Light Breeder’s Cup, with Ridgeline Farms new Lantz strain. He also placed 13th and 17th in the sungrown category.

Forbes quoted Gellman in a recent article talking about the Breeder’s Cup win, “Winning with Lantz and winning the Breeders Cup is definitely the highlight. It took my pops and me four-plus years crossing strains. I spend the summers growing them out to look for the winner. It’s a lot of work, but keeps my lifelong profession and passion exciting.”

display screen showing a picture of a bud with details net to it.

Ridgeline Farms awards displayed on the big screen at the Emerald Cup Awards 2023

However, Gellman didn’t celebrate his wins alone, instead championing his fellow Humboldt County cannabis producers, stating, “We showed up big this year. It was pretty amazing.”

Huckleberry Hill owner, Johnny Casali, took home three 1st place honors in the CO2 Cartridge, Icewater Hash, Preroll – Infused Solventless Extract categories as well as 2nd place in the Preroll – Non Infused category. Casali said, “We had a Whitethorn Rose runaway,” talking about Huckleberry Hill’s signature strain.

man on stage behind podium with 1st place displayed behind him on a screen.

Casali’s Whitethorn Rose strain was the top winner for his farm, Huckleberry Hill.

For Casali and Gellman, both legacy farmers that have watched the rise and fall of the cannabis industry over the span of their lifetimes. “This year’s Emerald Cup took on a special meaning for many of the farmers out of southern Humboldt. Too many farmers to name …took home first place trophies. …One thing that seemed consistent with the winners was [that] family legacy strains dominated the podium,” Casali told Redheaded Blackbelt. Like Gellman’s Breeders Cup win that was bred with his father, Huckleberry Hill’s award-winning strain, Whitethorn Rose, was a true family collaboration. “This was a strain I bred to one I grew with my mother over 40 years ago,” he stated.