“The city was amazing, it was my first time really experiencing the East Coast and I really loved it.” says Jeremy Norrie. “The people seemed pretty conservative but very liberal with their social values and were easy going for the most part.”
The city Norrie is talking about is Providence, Rhode Island, where he helped organize and execute the first East Coast marijuana concentrates competition. Known as “The Secret Cup: Beast Coast,” the event mirrored similar competitions that have been happening in Colorado and the West Coast for several years now.
“Are you excited to be covering a historic event?” Excited residents of Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and even Maine asked this question on learning I was covering the event. I explained that I had covered the first day of recreational sales in Colorado as well as the numerous events in Denver last Easter weekend. Still, it was an important moment and one that signifies the turning of America’s tide–even on the East Coast.
Marijuana culture isn’t the same on the East Coast. While many revelers at events in Denver wear marijuana-themed shirts from dispensaries or cannabis companies, the traditional tie-dye was still pervasive in Rhode Island. With dispensaries either keeping a low profile to avoid police or DEA targeting, these figures have less incentive to advertise.
“What number do you want?” asked a pretty girl named Kait at the dab bar, an area for judges, VIPs and qualifying medical patients. There were 30 entries in the competition for connoisseurs and new consumers to enjoy. While the names were kept confidential for fair voting, attendees discussed their favorite numbers and suggested others to friends.
“There was a decent mix of solventless, budder and shatter.” says Norrie. Extraction artists use butane to made the shatter and budder. Solventless is often called water, or bubble, hash as it does not use a chemical solvent to extract. So how do consumers decide their favorite?
On the East Coast, you often take what you can get for concentrates and flower, but as marijuana legalization expands, the culture grows. It’s important for consumers to learn to be discerning.
“What separates the good from the bad with buying concentrates is most importantly the overall appearance (coloration, cleanliness, texture) and the scent profile.” says Bobby Nuggz, an organizer for the RI Secret Cup and Connoisseur’s Choice Award winner at last December’s Secret Cup National Finals in Denver. “If it looks clean with beautiful colors, no visible fibers and smells very attractive you will be in for a treat.”
The culture exists in a legal gray area due to restrictive laws in the more populated states. Lawmakers only recently made medical marijuana legal in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire—2012 for MA and CT and 2013 for NH. Regulations and framework for practical needs, like dispensaries, slowly materialize.
The Cup’s host state, Rhode Island, passed MMJ laws in 2006. Their allowance for reciprocity for out-of-state MMJ patients and decriminalization for adult use allowed most attendees legally consume. According to Norrie, the marijuana enthusiasm is alive and well in New England.
“This was our second most popular show we have ever done, it was bigger than both shows we’ve done in Seattle and bigger than all of the shows we’ve done in Colorado.
“There is going to be a huge scene on the East, and it’s only beginning.”
Here are the winners from “The Secret Cup: Beast Coast”:
High CBD – Coastal Concentrates #15 Meltdown x Tangie Shatter
High THC – Anchor Extracts – #10 East Coast Pure Kush Shatter
Best Budder – East Coast La Nostra Family – #3 Tennessee hawgsbreath x chem #4 Budder
Best Non Solvent – High Grade Extracts – #16 Jack the Ripper Fullmelt
Connoisseur’s Choice – #6 cannaissuer extracts – Cataract Kush x Jesus OG x Real Sour Diesel x Hemlock Full Melt
First Overall – Rhode Island Red Extractions – #9 Orange Tangerine Kush Shatter
Second Overall – Something Better Concentrate Company #14 – Mother of Shatter
Third Overall – Diesel Extracts – #13 L.S.D x Medflight Shatter