The inaugural Missouri Growers Cup is just two weeks away
Missouri is in good hands when it comes to the launch of the inaugural Missouri Growers Cup.
Since becoming recreational, the state has been a hotspot for marijuana sales.
That includes a surge of new brands and products entering the space in an effort to keep up with consumers demand.
Now, Smokey River Entertainment District has partnered with Oregon Tek to launch a new cannabis event, the Missouri Growers Cup, taking place on September 23 at Smokey River Entertainment District just outside Kansas City.
Oregon Tek has been organizing and presenting grow competitions for nearly a decade, launching the first Oregon Growers Cup in 2015.
CEO of Oregon Tek Nathan Marsh has been with the company from the start and talks about what led them to branch out to the Midwest.
“Because we’ve been doing it for so long, we kind of know what works and have a little bit of a leg up because we’ve kind of massaged our sculpture for nine years as far as how to do these events. So I think that was part of it, and just wanting to expand in a new market and with a great partner (Smokey River),” Marsh said.
Oregon Tek has been a big part of promoting cannabis culture for nearly a decade, hosting other events and launching the Netflix cannabis cooking series, Cooking On High, starring Ngaio Bealum. That relationship brings Bealum to Kansas City this month to serve as host of the first Missouri Growers Cup.
Despite an extensive resume, Missouri Growers Cup will be the first cannabis cup event Oregon Tek has helped host outside of the company’s home state. That change required making some adapting to and understanding the differences between Oregon and Missouri. Key changes are the ability to include expanded categories available for growers and cultivators to submit products to be judged and include adding a Home Grown option that allows people licensed home growers to able to participate.
“We’re hoping to connect with a lot of home growers because we have a separate home grow category for Missouri. So we’re hoping that there’s a vibrant community of people that are jumping into that and doing that and that it will continue to grow as more people get that permit and grow at home,” Marsh said.
The categories to be voted on include flower, concentrates, edibles, cartridges, and more. There are a total of 12 categories, with people’s choice awards being added at the event for participants to vote on.
In the first year of hosting the Oregon Growers Cup, Marsh and team received more than 100 entries and now get an average of at least 300 each year.
With Missouri’s expanded home cultivation rules, the homegrown category may end up being one of the biggest draws on the 23rd.
Those who choose to get VIP tickets may get to help vote on some people’s choice awards.
The competition entry fee is $250 and entries must be submitted before September 9.
On the day of the event judges from a variety of backgrounds will be on panels to judge the entries. When asked what went into the selection process for judges, Marsh said the Cup strives to pick open-minded people.
“Really we try to find people that don’t have a bias because even though it’s blind judging, we try to not get people that could be in the competition, basically. So really looking for industry people and activists and just industry peers that have respected opinions about the products and then try to have a good, diverse lineup,” Marsh said.
Judges have already been selected for this year, but people interested in judging can send their bio or Instagram contact for review and consideration ahead of the 2024 Growers Cup.
Each item will be provided to judges in uniform packaging in order to ensure blind judging. This helps to ensure judges arent able to distinguish brand submissions and promote integrity in judging.
Flower judging will be based on taste, smell, look, and effects. judges may award up to five points per category with a perfect score earning 20.
In categories that get more than 10 entries, the top three selections will be named at the event.
Smokey River Entertainment District will have plenty of other activities planned for attendees during the event, including a beer garden, various consumption spots, and the Missouri Growers Cup Music Festival.
The Festival will be headlined by Paul Wall, and will feature a slew of other live bands and artists from a variety of genres with sets from local favorites Silent Ave, If I Die In Iceland, and MAVRK before Making Movies, 77 Jefferson, and Soul Rebel and The Beast take the stage.
The partnership between Oregon tek and Smokey River means that the Missouri Growers Cup hits the ground running, guaranteeing the most successful cup possible in its first year.