Cannabis competitions are not created equal. Some competitions are more fluff than substance. Some events attract less-than-earnest participants, too. You can tell by how many of their entrants fail a simple lab test for banned synthetic nutrients or solvent residue. But some cup-type events are exceptionally well designed, attract the best growers and deserve the respect rained upon them. The Golden Tarp Awards is just this type of cannabis event.

You probably already know of the Emerald Triangle, but if you are new to it, it is the region encompassing Humboldt County, Mendocino County and Trinity County in Northern California. It is the heartland of American heritage cannabis. The hub of cannabis genetics for the region is the country’s most important cannabis nursery, Wonderland Nursery. Through those doors go a significant share of the cloned cannabis starts that will become beautiful smelling cannabis flowers enjoyed by cannabis enthusiasts everywhere. The visionary behind this influential and prosperous community business is Kevin Jodrey. Jodrey thought there was something important missing in the cannabis cup scene, so he created his own competition.

The Golden Tarp Awards cannabis flower competition, now in its fourth year, is solely for cannabis grown with “light dep” techniques. These plants are deprived of light earlier in the season than would naturally occur in nature so they bloom earlier in the summer. They are the first of the new season’s plants to be finished, trimmed and cured. It is only these flowers that may enter the competition.

The categories of competition are entirely unique. All entries fall into Fruit, Floral, Earth or Fuel categories. Even more impressive is the probiotic growing nature of this event. Testing prior to judging will disqualify an entry for any contaminant or pesticide. For many, because of the impressive field of probiotic, all-natural growers who enter, the Golden Tarp is sometimes considered California’s probiotic cannabis cup. The judging is top notch too but also not just performed by the industry elite. Jodrey invites professional cannabis folks and cannabis luminaries certainly, but he also invites regular cannabis enthusiasts and 10 lucky attendees will be whisked away to join the judging panel on the day of the event.

Many consider this the most relevant and important cannabis competition in the country. Not only do the competitors come from the most astute region of growers, but because light dep takes not only exceptional skill in cannabis horticulture but also extensive planning, time dedication and technique to incorporate the light dep aspect, many consider the friendly competition to be the apex of cannabis cups. The Golden Tarp is the first light dep competition anywhere.

The speakers during the event are every bit as exceptional as the competition itself. You can find the full list here, but some standouts include Mowgli Holmes from Phylos Bioscience, Fiona Ma of the California State Board of Equalization, Dominic Corva from CASP, Samantha Miller of Pure AnalyticsEric Brandstad from Forever Flowering Greenhouses, MMA Pro Fighters Pete Williams and Mikey Burnett, and event originator, Kevin Jodrey.

This year the entire event is being streamed live online. You can enjoy the grower interviews, top-notch speakers and inside jokes from the comfort of your own home. Not only that, but there will be a special judge’s feed that will include interviews with past Golden Tarp winners.

Of these past winners ,founder Kevin Jodrey says, “(Over the) last couple years, Zkittlez took California by storm and was made famous by NorCal breeders and growers, and from there it launched into the rest of California. Some of the top, funkiest, fuel-y kushes come from Humboldt County and Mendocino. Genetics of old and new that people come to demand — these are typically from breeders like the ones in the hills of NorCal, Oregon, Washington and even British Columbia’s Kootney and Vancouver Island regions. Supporting the small farmer is supporting diversity of cannabis strains and entrepreneurs. Diamonds aren’t discovered at Tiffany’s all polished up and in blue little boxes….they are dug up from the rough. Your next favorite strain of cannabis might very well come from the people you meet on The Golden Tarp Award’s live feed November 18th.”

In the evening, you can enjoy musical guests, Finn GruvaWalterUGPCutthroat Mode ClicJohn StreetzDirty Rats, Grateful Dead cover band Hardly Deadly and more. All of these performances are available to be watched online!

If you decide you want to check out the festivities, you can pick up the free live stream on Saturday, November 18th starting at 11am PST and running all day long. If you are down for a road trip, show up in person and have the full-on experience. Tickets to the entire event are only $20. Speakers will be live on the stream and in person at these times. In addition to the great speakers, there will also be vendor booths and cannabis products available for those with California 215 medical authorizations.

For more information, to stream, and to buy tickets, visit

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