Times-Standard by Will Houston
The air was filled with fog and smoke in Redway on Saturday afternoon as the Humboldt County Cup cannabis competition and trade show kicked off.
Hundreds of cannabis cultivators, marijuana enthusiasts, medical patients, college students, veterans and business owners, both local and out of state, coalesced at the Mateel Community Center to celebrate — and partake — in all things cannabis.
As California and Humboldt County move into a new and uncertain era of regulation and legalization, cup founder Matt Smith-Caggiano touched upon the importance of the entire community — cannabis-related or not — to work together rather than against one another. For him, the cup’s fundraisers and partnerships with local organizations and businesses outside the marijuana circle is one example of how this can be achieved.
“That’s what makes this special because we are directly giving back to our community, which is depressed,” Smith-Caggiano said inside the “Proposition 215” tent. “We’ve lost our logging industry. Our fishing industry is gone. Now we have to use that eco-tourism and embrace not only the medicinal value of cannabis, but also the social and economic benefits of it. That’s what we can bring to this community.”