The Headies: Winners Gallery and Reflections on Our First Cultivators’ Cup
Nearly one year ago, on January 22, Gov. Phil Scott signed Vermont’s landmark bill that legalized limited cultivation, possession and consumption of cannabis in the Green Mountain State. As of writing this article – for better or worse – we still don’t have a way to legally purchase THC cannabis. However, the passage of Act 86 allowed all Vermonters over the age of 21 to legally cultivate two mature cannabis plants. In response, we announced our intent to coordinate The Headies, our first-ever Vermont Growers Cup.
Like – literally – every single one of our other legal cannabis events, the Headies was a first-time project, and a trailblazing event for the cannabis industry in Vermont. We took what we liked about cups we had participated in ourselves (Rhode Island, Jamaica), studied a bunch more of ’em, and customized the expectations, rules, and details to best fit the laws and culture of Vermont in 2018.
We also received, considered, and incorporated tons of great feedback from the community of Vermont growers, medical patients, attorneys, judges, business partners and sponsors. That feedback was, and will be, the way that we continue to evolve this event while staying true to the whole mission of The Headies: To celebrate and share the best cannabis and the Vermonters who provide it.
The Good Part: Nobody had ever participated in/attended a better legal Vermont cultivators cup, so this was going to be the primary default experience.
The Bad Part: If we messed it up the first time or there had been drama, chaos, controversy, and/or arrests, it would have been that much harder to convince people it can be done right in the future.
Behind the scenes, organizing the competition aspect of The Headies was the most logistically and organizationally difficult thing we’ve done.
Don’t get us wrong: Setting up a 1500-person trade show or a farm-jam-music-festival on a 100-degree day are also really hard, but knowing how much time, energy, and love that each competitor put into every submission, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to respect the growers’ efforts by matching them with hundreds of human light cycles spent making sure each sample was collected, tested, photographed, distributed, and ready for the Awards Party.
Edibles presented another special challenge: How the fuck do we get this medicated vegan cheesecake or this ice cream tested, photographed, and re-tested within 72 hours?? That’s a real sentence which was
yelled spoken several times…
Screening and selecting the judges, providing instructions, creating scorecards and forms, and distributing the actual judges’ kits, all with a legal amount of samples were all other processes that had their own respective problems and solutions. To be clear, with all of these aforementioned parts of organizing this thing, we didn’t do all of them perfectly, and some of the aspects were only passable at best.
None of this is a complaint. Having the trust of such a diverse, fun, and faithful group of cultivators, chefs, and artisans was an honor. So, ultimately, we learned a lot. We’ll be surveying our competitors, judges, and sponsors over the next week so we can learn even more.
The inaugural 2018 Headies culminated in the Awards Party at The Barns at Lang Farm this past weekend, which was one of our favorite get-togethers to date. The vibe was beautiful, the people were kind, and folks had a great time. The Heady team sends its deepest gratitude out to the competitors, judges, sponsors, volunteers, and everyone who came together to make this an unforgettable experience.
SO! Without further ado, here are our WINNERS from the 2018 Headies Vermont Growers Cup! We’ve shared first and second place winners from each category, complete scores, and lab results from all entries below.
Oh, one more thing…
Signups are already open for the 2019 Headies, so get your game on today!
I just wanted to say thank you for putting on another great event! I know how much effort it takes to do things like this and your efforts certainly showed. I had a great time, as did everyone I saw there. The judging was fun and hopefully I met your expectations. I can’t wait for next year.One telling note about the people who attended is that for a few hours you had multiple samples of quality bud sitting out in the open in easily grabbed jars, and yet from what I saw, there was no pilferage. That says something right there!– Scott Sparks, Vermont Hempicurean
FLOWER – Sativa
1st: Homegrown Health with The Temple
2nd: John Eylar with Amnesia Lemon
FLOWER – Indica
1st:Homegrown Health with Maui Sour
2nd: Dirty Boys Cultivation with LA Kush Cake
FLOWER – Outdoor
1st: Ryan Podd with Forbidden Fruit
Celebrity Guest Judge Danny Danko on Ryan Podd’s Forbidden Fruit:
I gotta tell you, I didn’t want it to be this one because I know how some people can hate on purple cannabis strains, and it’s not the trichome-covered fuel people love these days, but I gotta go with #6. It’s unique, tasted good and burned clean, and has a pleasant but not overpowering effect. Having grown up in New England, it’s the Vermont outdoor I know and love. Dark purple nuggets with that sweet and spicy Aghan funk. At the end of the day, it’s the stuff I’d be happiest to take home to show and share with friends as an authentic representation of Vermont farm-grown outdoor.
25 years ago, we used to drive up to Vermont, within just a few miles from the Canadian border, to pick up pounds of purple outdoor that looked and tasted very similar. Really loved that stuff and thought maybe it was just cause I’m being old and nostalgic but it still holds up.
Let them kids know that THC level and frosty trichome gland coverage isn’t everything. Unique sun-grown cultivars “contain multitudes” to paraphrase poet Walt Whitman. And regional craft specialties are one way to usurp the corporate cannabis that’s coming for all of us.
FLOWER – CBD
1st: Vinnie Mulac with CBDurban
2nd: Juniper Gardens with Ceiba
Judges Choice: CBD Flower
Gossamer with CBD Diesel
1st: Vermont Extracts with Grease Monkey
2nd: Homegrown Health with Lemon Sour OG Live Resin
EDIBLE – Sweet
1st: Vermont Green Products with Vermont Products Bon Bons
2nd: Green Mountain Hydro with Chocolate Cups
EDIBLE – Savory
1st: Wake & Bakery with Beef Jerky
1st: The Flower Ladyz with Balm Stick
Tied for 2nd: Crystal Brunton with Roll-On Stick
and Dakota Hanke-Led & Justin Decatur with Skin Salve
Concentrate – Rosin
Lab Results: Overview
[pdf-embedder url=”http://headyvermont.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Headies-Data-Summary.pdf” title=”Headies: Vermont Growers Cup Lab Data Summary”]