The Emerald Cup began as a friendly contest and has always been a reflection of societal acceptance of the cannabis plant.

From the early years of low-key, insider-only competitions where many farmers still concealed their identities for fear of prosecution, to the epicenter of loud and proud cannabis culture it has become today, the Emerald Cup remains a steward of authenticity, a celebration of the farmer and the harvest, and a destination for all those who seek the finer things in life.

Rooted in the rugged mountains of the world-famous Emerald Triangle in Northern California, the Emerald Cup proudly carries on an 19-year tradition of celebrating the cannabis plant, the culture surrounding it, and the farmers who bring it to harvest each year with the iconic Emerald Cup Awards.

The California cannabis market is the largest and most diverse on the planet and the Emerald Cup has long stood as the premier competition, celebration, and direct-to-consumer marketplace for the best that Cali has to offer.

At the beginning of each year, we take in hundreds of entries spanning more than four dozen unique categories for the Emerald Cup Competition. Over 100 thoughtfully selected official Emerald Cup Judges spend over a full month analyzing samples and lab tests to determine who brought the best of the best to the table and to the marker.

In May of each year, we tally those results and present all of the winners at the Emerald Cup Awards, a live in-person stage event rightfully dubbed as “The Academy Awards of Cannabis”.

In the fall toward the end of each year, we reconvene once more for our consumer blowout event the Emerald Cup Harvest Ball which encompasses two full days of great food, great music, great community, and of course, great cannabis! The world-renowned Emerald Cup Craft Cannabis Marketplace is always a bustling attraction and Emerald Cup Sessions speaker panels fill the room with curious connoisseurs.

What are the Emerald Cup Awards?

The Emerald Cup Competition & Awards is the foundational aspect of our annual events, offering a transparent and trusted chance for California’s best cultivators, extractors, movers, shakers, and cool-product-makers to put their best head-to-head against the rest.

The world-renowned Emerald Cup Awards presented by OCB is excited to announce that our highly anticipated 2023 awards ceremony will be held in the iconic Craneway Pavilion right on the bayfront in Richmond, California on Saturday, May 13, 2023.

Now in our 19th year, the Emerald Cup continues to pursue our goal of creating a memorable and unique entheogenic experience for our competitors, judges, speakers, and guests.

When do the 2023 Emerald Cup Awards take place?

The 19th Annual Emerald Cup Awards show presented by OCB will take place on Saturday, May 13th, 2023 at The Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California. This is a private, invite-only occasion due to capacity restrictions.


4:00pm: Doors
6-8:00pm: Emerald Cup Awards in Main Theater
8-4:00am: Emerald Cup Awards “After Dark” – Music, Cannabis, Small Bites & Drinks in and outdoors.


Where do the Emerald Cup Awards take place?

The 19th Annual Emerald Cup Awards presented by OCB will take place at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California, on Saturday, May 13, 2023, right on the waterfront overlooking the Bay.

The venue address is:
Craneway Pavilion
1414 Harbour Way S, Richmond, CA 94804

For more venue information, visit:  https://www.craneway.com/

What are the Competition Categories that are represented at the 18th Annual Emerald Cup Awards?

A full list of Emerald Cup Competition Categories can be found here, along with definitions.

Why do I keep hearing about Terpenes in regards to the Emerald Cup Competition?

Cannabinoids like CBD and THC certainly matter, but ongoing research has revealed that robust terpene content along with cannabinoid content is the real winning combination. In fact, the Flower entry with the highest level of THC has never won the Emerald Cup! We have long known that proper flavor and aroma are required to achieve desired effects, but now we have the science to prove it. Beginning in 2022, The Emerald Cup joined forces with PhytoFacts® and SC Labs which resulted in the Emerald Cup Cannabis Classification System based on PhytoFacts® powered by SC Labs. Learn more about it here.

Why are the Emerald Cup Awards separate from the traditional Emerald Cup post-harvest celebration (festival)?

In December of 2022, the Emerald Cup Harvest Ball served as the first stop on the “road to the cup” to the 19th Annual Emerald Cup Awards.

This 19-year tradition dates back to the days well before recreational cannabis sales were regulated when a few dozen folks from the most secretive corners of the Emerald Triangle would gather as anonymously as possible to compare the best samples from their annual outdoor cannabis harvest in a friendly competition.

Today, the 2023 Emerald Cup Awards will recognize winners from 50+ categories covering the full spectrum of the cannabis marketplace. Their entries were scrutinized by more than 100 of the most diverse crop of expert judges ever assembled who tapped into their wealth of experience with the plant, along with in-depth testing results from SC Labs, to determine who really has the best of the best in California cannabis.

This human element is at the root of the Emerald Cup and it is our contestants, our judges, and our attendees that continue to inspire our commitment to cannabis culture preservation.

Our reasons for changing up the December tradition for the competition were two-fold:

  1. By pushing the intake date and the competition itself back on the calendar, farmers had more time to properly harvest their outdoor cannabis crops, giving them ample opportunity to dry and cure their samples before entering them. This is a direct result of feedback in action – we hear you.

  2. Since the Emerald Cup’s roots run so deeply in the cannabis culture, everyone from CEOs to connoisseurs are keeping a close eye on which brands and products take home Emerald Cup Awards. With the stakes higher than ever, this new timeline allows us to be more deliberative in the testing and judging processes, ensuring a fair and accurate competition.
Can I purchase tickets to the Emerald Cup Awards?

Unfortunately not. As we continue to raise the bar for what a cannabis awards show can look and feel like, we run into capacity issues with the top venues available. By the time we invite all of our competitors and their guests, all of our judges and their guests, all of our previous year’s VIPs and their guests, plus sponsors, media, and our staff and crew, we are maxed out. Remember, all Personal Use / Homegorw entries receive free invitations to the ECAs so plant a seed for tomorrow!

If the Emerald Cup Awards are invite only, then how do I get on the invitation list?

The invite list for The Emerald Cup Awards in May includes only our judges, contestants, past Harvest Ball VIPS, sponsors, and media this year. If you fall into one of those groups you will be getting an invite. No invites will be made available to the general public.

Age Restrictions? How old do I have to be to get into the Emerald Cup Awards?

You need to be 21 & over with a valid state issued ID and/or passport to gain entry to the Emerald Cup Awards show.

Getting to the venue, parking options, hotel info, and ground transportation near the Craneway Pavilion

Paid parking through the Emerald Cup ticketing link is advised but spaces are limited.


  • $35.00 Per Standard Vehicle (Vehicles parked must fit within the 8.5’ x 16’ spot)
  • $100.00 Per RV (*No Power or Water Hook Ups)
  • Event day parking is first come/first serve
  • No vehicle ins & outs
  • Park where instructed by parking personnel
  • Remember where you park by taking a pic of the lot number sign or drop a pin!
  • Separate ADA parking lot available

Disclaimer: USERS OF THIS CAR PARK DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK. MANAGEMENT DOES NOT ACCEPT LIABILITY FOR ANY ACCIDENTS, DAMAGE, OR LOSS INCURRED. Event Producers, Staff & Venue will not be liable for loss or damage to any vehicle or other property or damage or injury to any person or for the prevention of ingress to or egress from the Parking Lots. Do not leave valuables in the vehicle.

You can also take the ferry! More details here: https://www.sanfranciscobayferry.com

Consider ridesharing. Uber / Lyft / Taxi services operate in the area but the cost is dependent on the time of day and traffic.

Discounted hotel rates courtesy of Marin Suites Hotel can be found HERE.

Will there be an afterparty at the Emerald Cup Awards?

Yes of course – It’s not the Emerald Cup unless there’s a party! That said, the Emerald Cup After Dark afterparty is invite only and not open to the general public. This is a private event.

Is there a dress code for the Emerald Cup Awards?

We realize that our cannabis community represents the full spectrum when it comes to style sense and so nobody will be turned away due to their fashion choices but this is an upscale event rightfully dubbed as “The Academy Awards of Cannabis” so we encourage you to show off your finest threads!

Please note that there will be several outdoor activations at the Emerald Cup Awards and it can get windy and/or chilly as the sun goes down in the Bay, so layer accordingly.