BY MONIQUE FRIGARD
As I blazed my way through the American Royal Banquet Hall July 13, my only thought was getting my hands on a cold bottle of water. As usual in July in Phoenix, it was hot. My husband, Bobby, and I half heard the winners announced over the loudspeaker, so we made our way toward the stage. We were at the 4th Annual Errl Cup Awards.
They were announcing the winners for Best Edibles for the CBD categories. When he finished announcing those winners, we cornered him. We asked about the winners for the THC entries and he said yes, they had announced them. So, we asked him about our category, Patient Class Best Edible.
He read us the third and second place winners first and we didn’t hear our company, so Bobby looked at him and said, “who won?”
“Some guava gummy.”
“YES! Really?!” He looked at the sheet to double check, checked my nametag once more, then turned to me and said, “Sweetie. You won.” It really was an awesome moment, even if we missed the actual reading of the winners.
I also forgot I was thirsty.
The excitement for the rest of the day was palpable. People asked me what I won for and I got to respond, “Guava Gourmet Gummies – Patient Class.” Which would turn into “Mmmm, those sound delicious!” And laughter would ensue.
People were genuinely happy for me even though most don’t know me, and no one has heard of Kick AZ Infusions. It felt like the community was issuing a collective sigh of relief the competition season was over for a moment, and everyone was just having a good time.
I hadn’t let myself think about it. I had never submitted before, so I wasn’t familiar with all the technicalities that went into the judging, or the number of entries I might be up against. I’m certainly lucky for that. More than 550 entries total into this year’s Cup–the most to date. The only thing I have ever thought of is making the best treats.
I have truly grown to love infusing. This may sound strange but the pungent smell of distillate and wax in its many forms is comforting to me. I had worked as a wax cutter, so it didn’t take long for me to understand you can’t be afraid of the wax; always be mindful of its state, handle it when you can and know when to leave it alone if you can’t.
But my favorite part was figuring out the strains that were dominating the room as the day or days went by. Girl Scout Cookies? Red Raspberry Kush? Tangie?
It motivated me. I have always found cooking therapeutic, and I really enjoy making things people love to eat. So, of course, between my husband and I, we had many, many edible ideas by the end of the night.
As I learn more about this industry every day, I look forward to continuing our mission to create the highest-quality best-tasting edible treats in Arizona … and maybe beyond.
LOL, and the next Errl Cup.
–Tucson writer, Monique Frigard, has worked in the AZ cannabis industry since 2012.