Emerald Cup set to celebrate exciting milestone in Oakland

20th emerald cup

One of the world’s most esteemed cannabis contests is about to celebrate its biggest accomplishment yet—and it’s been two decades in the making.

The Emerald Cup organizers told cannabis aficionados to mark their calendars for a 20th anniversary bash May 4th and 5th. Set to take place at the Henry J. Kaiser Center for the Arts in Oakland, Calif., the festivities will include a sprawling Craft Cannabis Marketplace, panel conversations, performances from big name artists, and of course, the official Emerald Cup Awards.

The Emerald Cup offers an air of excitement, fun, and community amid the continued uncertainty in the California market. As founder Tim Blake said in his announcement, “The Emerald Cup 20th Anniversary is more than an event; it’s a landmark in the history of cannabis culture.”

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The crown jewel of the Emerald Triangle

The event’s humble beginnings in the Emerald Triangle as a way to mark the harvest season quickly evolved to become a California cannabis institution. The competition now boasts over 40 unique categories, covering all sides of the market. 

Dispensaries, cannabis photography, and social justice accolades are also given out at the annual gala. The “Willie Nelson” Lifetime Achievement Award is another highlight, with previous recipients including “hash queen” Mila Jansen, actor and activist Woody Harrelson, and the Red Headed Stranger himself.

The Emerald Cup was held at the Santa Rosa Fairgrounds for several years. After a stint in Hollywood, the 2023 contest traversed back up the coast with a seaside soiree at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, Calif. According to Blake, attendees should consider the Bay the new ground zero for future Cups.

“We’re thrilled to announce that our 20th anniversary Emerald Cup will take place at the historic Henry J. Kaiser Center for the Arts in Oakland next May 4th and 5th,” Blake told GreenState. “After years of looking for a permanent venue for the Emerald Cup, we’re honored to be calling the Kaiser and the Bay Area home.”

Tickets for The Emerald Cup 20th Anniversary are currently available, and judges applications are open. Competition submissions are welcome through February 9th and hundreds of hopefuls are vying for a custom Ryan Fitt x Puffco trophy. And with twenty years of evolution prior, this year’s contest could be one of the most meaningful yet.


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of GreenState.com. She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter