History Made With Anchorage’s First Outdoor Cannabis Festival

For the first time ever, the Cannabis Classic was held at the Sullivan Arena outdoors “Under the Midnight Sun,” as the event tee-shirt says. It was the year’s biggest pot party in Alaska, drawing about 1,000 people over two days. The past two years, the Classic was held in downtown Anchorage at the Dena’ina Center. This year, though, the magic flower fest was held outdoors where people could pack bowls, spark spliffs, socialize and soak in some of Alaska’s springtime sun.

Cannabis Classic

Many of Alaska’s best cannabis vendors were in attendance, showcasing their finest products, including flower, concentrates, and edibles. Dab*Stars got the partying started each day as frontman Jonah Tacoma dabbed-out attendees and celebrated 4:20 pm with giant joints each day. The other vendors kept the party going with more dabs and joints, and the smell of weed was everywhere.

Among the many seminars at the event, we managed to check out “Cannabis + Hops: How They are Related and How the Industries Can Work Together.” This particular seminar was hosted by Elan Walsky and Phil Boyle of Coalition Brewing based out of Portland, Oregon. They highlighted some ideas the cannabis industry can borrow from the craft beer industry, and how they are growing their business where their newest line of CBD-infused beer. Another seminar I caught was “Pesticide Use on Cannabis Crops in Alaska.” This seminar really piqued my interest because I am against pesticide-use on cannabis crops. It’s one thing for a farmer to use pesticides on food because our bodies can filter it through our kidneys and liver. But with marijuana smoke, it goes directly into your blood. There isn’t a filter. The theme of the talk was: we don’t have enough information about pesticide use on cannabis crops. In addition, pesticides are approved at the federal level; and since marijuana is still against federal law, the federal agency that approves of pesticide use cannot approve the use of them on cannabis. Moreover, using a pesticide on any crop other than what it is approved for is a federal crime.

Unlike past Cannabis Classic events, where “pot sharing” and dabbing were off limits, this year’s Classic was more in-tune with what attendees expect when they come to a cannabis event.

In addition to the cannabis tradeshow, product showcases and instructional seminars, the Cannabis Classic featured an industry award show recognizing the industry’s best businesses, professionals, and growers. The best businesses were chosen by the public at-large, while the awards for the best growers were decided by a panel of 25 judges. Here is a list of winners:

Best Glass Shop – Dab Lab AK
Best Garden Supply Store – Southside Garden Supply
Best Cannabis Reporter – Sarah Dubowski (KTVF, Channel 11, Fairbanks)
Best Branding & Packaging – Pakalolo Supply Co.
Best Testing Lab – CannTest
Best Retail Product – Alaskan Greenery Buds (flower)
Best Budtender – Lisa Glazer (Herbal Outfitters)
Best Retail Store – Pakalolo Supply Co.
Best Edible – Berry Cake, Michelle DeLa Pena, Bombshell Bites
Best Concentrate – Slim Hash, Andrew Campbell, Cheeky Monkey
Highest THC – Arctic Blue, Dave Nyberg, Arctic Blue Farms
Best Hybrid – Key Lime Pie, Steve Voth, House of Green
Best Indica – PurpleFrost Monster, Brandon Gomez, Swamp Donkey Seeds
Best Sativa – Strawberry Fields, Evan Levinton, Enlighten Alaska
Best Overall – Strawberry Fields, Evan Levinton, Enlighten Alaska

About Aaron Waters 73 Articles
Aaron is a cannabis writer living in Eagle River with his wife and two dogs, Indica and Sativa.