If you believe in karma — the cosmic principle according to which each person’s deeds in a previous incarnation are rewarded or punished in the next incarnation — are involved with marijuana, and have been very good, prepare to be rewarded.

The third annual The Karma Cup, the brainchild of award winning grower and entrepreneur Sarah Sunday, is fast approaching. The event that is set to take place in Toronto, Ontario on October 22 and 23, 2016 is considered by many industry experts to be the must-attend event of the year, and Sunday makes you work for it.

The Karma Cup hashtag #areyouelite doesn’t just apply to those competing for the beautifully crafted Karma Cups — custom creations by BC glass-artist, and all around amazing guy, Patrick Vrolyk aka Redbeard — it also applies to judges. They must fill out an application to purchase their judges’ passes. Those that are accepted must commit to taking their judging duties seriously: anyone who does not complete their ballot will not be invited to apply for the next year. Because judges’ passes are limited, the country’s top cannabis producers can truly showcase their best not just their most abundant; the lower weight needed for total samples also allows both large producers and smaller craft growers to compete side-by-side.

As part of the volunteer team during The Karma Cup 2015, I was delegated the amazing job of handing out the judges’ packages weeks before the actual event. The weekender-style bags weighing over 4.5 kg each were jammed so full of samples and swag that we didn’t have room to add T-shirts. The looks of disbelief as people realized the whole bag was in fact just for them made me feel like a fairy ganja-mother.

A fairy ganja-mother in her natural habitat at The Karma Cup 2015. (Photography by Nick Merzetti)

Over the weeks between the handout and the actual cup, social media exploded with photos, videos, and invitations to sampling parties as judges geared up for the dinner and awards ceremony. The hashtags #cuptober #areyouelite and #thekarmacup reigned supreme in the cannabis social-networking sphere.

Amazing food, entertainment, and a chance for attendees to check out some of the city’s premiere lounges made for such a successful event that many vowed then to save their pennies to attend this year’s upcoming festivities.

Those who have already purchased their passes will not be disappointed. Sarah has used her downtime wisely, travelling and attending other cannabis events worldwide to bring the best ideas and exhibitors to The Karma Cup 2016.

The third annual The Karma Cup is creating a festival space from scratch in over 87,000 ft² that will include live music, DJs, glassblowing demonstrations, vendor and exhibit booths, live art show creating cannabis-positive art, speakers’ stage, food vendors, awards ceremony, and an after-hours VIP Gala. Plus there will be notable Canadian cannabis legends as surprise guests.

The 2015 The Karma Cup judges received samples of sativas, indicas, hybrid flowers, edibles, extracts, topicals, and solventless extracts. Last year’s event also added two glass categories, one for competing glass artists and the other for heady glass collectors. This year, judges will have three weeks to judge fifteen categories, the most in Canada: five bud categories, three shatter categories, budders, disposable vape pens, edibles, solventless hashes, THC distillates, topicals, and functional glass.

A sample of the 2015 judges’ samples. (Photography by Nick Merzetti)

Already known for running an above-and-beyond event, Sarah Sunday has promised this year to bring a production value never before seen in the Canadian cannabis scene. And due to popular demand, judges wanting a plus-one, potheads that cannot commit to judging, and the simply curious will now have the ability to purchase general admission passes to this elite event.

General admission attendees won’t be disappointed with the music, vendors, food trucks, a full medicating area on-site, and plenty of live demos and performances. However, judges will still be treated to many perks from free entry to local vapour lounges to the after-hours VIP party and gala dinner.

Having the inside scoop on this event, all I can tell you is if you are a business, book your booth and sponsorship soon — this will be the event of the year.

Weed Woman USA (Adela Falk) and Weed Woman Australia (Ajia Mae Moon) hard at work judging The Karma Cup 2015. (Photography by Nick Merzetti)

If you are an avid cannabis consumer, apply for your judge’s package now! Space is limited, and outside of the Emerald Cup in California you will not see a larger, more impressive showing of cannabis and cannabis products anywhere in the world.

If you are interested and would like to learn more, the general admission ticket will provide an education and access to experts unparalleled by any other event in the country.

You can find more information on how to participate at thekarmacup.com and can follow the festivities on Instagram at @thekarmacup or through the hashtags #areyouelite #cuptober #cuplife and #thekarmacup2016.

Hope to see you all there.

Feature Image photography by Nick Merzetti, @Merzetti.