The stakeholders within Jamaica’s Cannabis industry continue to demonstrate their dedication to getting it off the ground. The sensimillia cup is another step down that road. The event was held to showcase “the best Jamaica has to offer” locally and on the international scene. Additionally, it gave the stakeholders a chance to educate interested parties on some the intricacies of cannabis and how the industry works.
The sea softly doused the beach while the harmony of drums and bass guitar surrounded us like the cool ocean breeze; unseen and soothing. Pearly Beach St Ann mirrored a sanctuary, along Jamaica’s north coast. The booths sitting along the shore scented the air with a light, earthy fragrance that reminded us all why we were here. We listened carefully to emphatic conversations on art, history, politics, civilization and business as strangers became quick friends in a round of chilled coconut water and jelly. It was a ‘high on life’ picturesque filled with meaning and purpose. This was Sensimilla Cup.
Of course there cannot be a Ganja Growers competition without the VIP (Very Important Product). Ganja was the star of the show, while the growers networked and imparted some of their wisdom to the younger generation of growers. Some High Profile strains were showcased and entered into the competition: Gorilla Glue #4, Bali HaI, Sting-a-ling, Bobo Dread and Amnesia to name a few. Chalices, steamers, Vape Pens, and beauty products made from cannabis were also on display. Tents clad in the traditional red, gold and green housed Ital Empresses and Rastafari who displayed Natural Herbs, Jewellery, Clothing and wines of their making.
Indeed there was no shortage of culture on the North Coast beach even the menu had its ital components: patrons had their choice of steamed fish, Ital stew, jerk chicken, all served with rice, bammy and festivals; washed down with some sweet coconut water or a variety of other juices to the patron’s choosing. Dashikis, shorts, slippers and beautiful flowing dresses produced an informal dress code. The whites popped, the reds, green and gold were demanding of your attention.
Energy filled describes the second half of the event as the guest speakers chimed in the atmosphere became more serious. Jay Mills provided a very charismatic and somewhat improvised yet entertaining performance with her and Andre Hill’s aptly named OG workshop. Donned in a full blank with red, yellow and green highlights woven into her braids, against the backdrop of waves dousing the sand, her words stole our attention as her speech bolstered our Jamaican pride. Many of you readers will be familiar with strains dubbed “OG”, the most known of which might be the OG Kush. Jay explains that the OG or Ocean Grown status has to do with the plant’s environment, namely those grown near the ocean. Such an environment offers a higher concentration of nutrients and much growth control hence making the plant more potent. Jay explains that Jamaica has been blessed with an abundance of coastal landscape perfect for the growing of richer and higher grade strains.
The audience looked on in anticipation as Andre Hill of INI Genetics then took to the stand. Andre is a staunch man, confident and well composed; his brown embroidered dashiki very well captured the spirit of the event. Andre’s words complemented Jay’s introduction, and gave us the sense that yes we can achieve something great but there is a lot of work to do. Jamaica needs to take the cannabis industry seriously. It would be a shame if we let our rights to the legacy be bought out by foreign interests. It would be a shame to let this blessing slip through our fingers. Andre made clear the importance of educating ourselves, so we can continue to compete on the global market and make the most of our blessed land before someone comes and sets the standard for us instead.
The audience waited with anticipation and eyes fixed to the podium as four chairs were placed in front of us. At the moment, the sun was at rest behind the horizon and the lights under the tent made looking outside seem as if you were seeing through tinted glass. As our eyes began to stray from the empty chairs our focus went to a group of women walking briskly towards the tent. Our attention was brought back to the podium as Jay announced them to be the next presenters – they were The Women in Cannabis. A panel comprised of Kimberly Ford, Dr Lakisha Jenkins, Dr Chanda Macias, Wanda James and Jamila Milis. The women addressed the business of cannabis, supporting Andre’s speech about the necessity of keeping in the loop and getting Jamaica brand products produced by Jamaicans into the global market. Dr Chanda was especially optimistic about what Jamaicans can accomplish in this industry if we work together. The discussion naturally transitioned into a Q&A before the evening transitioned to the stage show.
Like moths the live performances attracted the crowd as persons gravitated from all corners of the venue to stand before Jay Milis, Azizi Romeo, Azizi Gibson, Pinky and a host of other artists. During the show the awards were given out for best grower, and best strain with Tristan for Kya farms collect both on behalf of the company. The concert went on into the early hours of the morning as the music moved the crowd with a rhythm that only reggae music can. Lighters blazed, and the scent of liberation filled the venue as we celebrated another successful cannabis event in Jamaica’s progression towards an internationally recognised cannabis industry.