Emerald Exchange 3 Soothes in the So-Cal Sun

Photo by A.J. Herrington

A healing vibe was in the air last Saturday, as Emerald Exchange returned to Malibu, California. The event brought growers and medicine makers from Northern California’s famous Emerald Triangle cultivation region to the SoCal medical marijuana community for the third time.

Emerald Exchange is not your average cannabis trade event and takes great pride in that fact. The setting, a beautiful private ranch in Malibu Canyon, helps create an experience that just can’t be found in a convention hall. The sun, fresh air and natural surroundings provided an environment refreshingly conducive to wellness and community.

Justin Calvino, of the Mendocino Appellations Project and owner of reserve cannabis brand Green Goat Farms, is the co-founder of Emerald Exchange. He explained that while the setting was stunning, it was only the beginning of the experience.

Photo by A.J. Herrington
Photo by A.J. Herrington

“It’s beyond just environment in this, it’s cultural,” he said. “This event encompasses an entourage of components that make for a full expression of a high-end cannabis event.”

The daytime activities kicked off at noon, with a farmers’ market that featured more than 40 Emerald Triangle craft cultivators and manufacturers who use their flowers. Concentrates, vape pens and cartridges, edibles, topical applications and amazingly fragrant buds were all available to sample, or take home in exchange for a donation to the sponsoring collective.

Medical marijuana patients attending Emerald Exchange had the opportunity to learn about the products offered, from the people who grow and make them, so they could better understand their use and effectiveness.

Live music, roaming performers, and more than a dozen purveyors of healthy food and drink added a festive, carnival-like atmosphere to the afternoon. Those seeking a respite from the sun or commotion could retreat to a Temple of Hash to elevate or a Sacred Space tipi to come down. Therapeutic treatments at a wellness spa and yoga in a Healing Yurt were also available to round out the holistic experience.

As the sun sank behind a brush covered ridgeline at 6 p.m., the focus shifted to fun. A mixer allowed friends both old and new an opportunity to network, and a trio of female DJs took their turns spinning tracks.

Despite being limited to qualified medical marijuana patients in order to comply with California law, Emerald Exchange 3 attracted a sellout crowd. The success has organizers looking to the future. Jessica Cure, of wellness event creator Cure Designs, produced the affair in association with founders Calvino and Michael Katz of Evoxe Laboratories.

Photo by A.J. Herrington
Photo by A.J. Herrington

She noted that plans are in the works to invite the Southern California medical cannabis community to Northern California to tour Emerald Triangle farms and meet the cultivators and manufacturers on their home turf.

Cure believes the experience will give SoCal patients and the businesses that serve them a deeper understanding of the consciousness, care and craft that go into producing Emerald Triangle medicines.

The new Emerald Exchange concept will allow visitors to “really get to understand what goes into regenerative farming and why people are doing it, where the roots come from and the sustainability factor… to bring them onto some different farms and do some farm tours,” Cure said.

The date of the first Northern California edition of the Emerald Exchange will be determined soon.

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