Tenth Annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards A Success

The tenth annual Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards (OMCA)
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Brought together medical cannabis growers, patients and caregivers from all over the state. The Holiday Bazaar included local vendors from the Pacific Northwest with a wide variety of wares that ranged from functional glass art to custom made teas, and vintage jewelry.

Highlights throughout the day included a legal panel featuring attorneys Paul Loney and Lee Berger, a grow seminar featuring Danny Danko, Senior Cultivation Editor for High Times and surprise guest Dru West from the West Coast Masters with John and Bob’s Grow Green Smart Soil Solutions. Nickie Gates’ Sustainable Fashion Show brought panache and style as the finale of the day event.

Winners did not have to wait long for results thanks to David Bram, creator of the scoring method used by the OMCA. Using a bar code system that ensures anonymity, Dave is the “Price Waterhouse” of the Awards and the first to know the results. First Place went to a strain called “Mad Scientist” grown by Ray Bowser, a first-time entrant. Second Place saw the return of David Verstoppen for his strain, “Medicine Woman.” Third Place went to last year’s winner, Jessi James for their “Blueberry” strain.

Ribbons are also awarded for Appearance, Potency, Taste, Aroma and Smoothness. Complete results are available atwww.rainbeaux.net/omca. Green Leaf Lab tested entries for THC and CBD for the first time this year. David Verstoppen’s Medicine Woman had the highest THC level at 23.9%, and Lloyd Kern’s “Williams Wonder” had the highest CBD with1.06%.

The OMCA also recognizes activists in the medical cannabis movement with the Freedom Fighter of the Year and Dr. Rick Bayer Awards. When the DEA started raiding medical cannabis gardens in Southern Oregon, Lori Duckworth and SO-NORML exposed the tactics of law enforcement and founded the RADICAL team, a collaboration of Southern Oregon groups. RADICAL team members detail the raids and report them via the internet, local news reports and drug policy forums. At harvest’s conclusion, a total of nearly 300 patients had lost their gardens. The RADICAL team donated nearly 75 pounds of medicine to those in need, making Lori and Southern Oregon NORML the Freedom Fighters of the Year. Paul Loney received the Dr. Rick Bayer Award for his years of service to the medical cannabis community. Paul Loney has served as Oregon NORML’s Legal Counsel for twelve years. He also has a private legal practice with offices in Portland and Ashland. He developed the legal blueprint for the first American cannabis café, “Oregon NORML’s Cannabis Café;” his practice runs the gamut of legal issues associated with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.

The evening ended with one of Portland’s hottest bands, Hot Tea Cold, who provided an excellent party groove. Special Guest Diane Fornbacher, Managing Editor for SKUNK Magazine came to cover the event and reported on facebook, “ Superb times, amazing strains, delicious banquet, out of control talented bands, hilarious comedian/host, caring business owners, green flea market, lots of laughter and sharing. Can’t wait to come back.”

Courtesy of Anna Diaz, Board of Directors, Oregon NORML