Weeding Thru the Weed, How to Judge Emerald Cup Cannabis Contestants | Swami Chaitanya & Nikki Lastreto – EN16

Swami Chaitanya, aka “The Swami of Pot”, is a radical classical: he started his life as an East Coast intellectual and now in his early seventies is a West Coast Cannabis Holy Man. Swami moved to San Francisco in 1967 and calls himself “an original hippie.” He went on to live in South America, Europe and India for many years, settling in Mendocino County, California in the heart of the Emerald Triangle. Swami is a well-known figure on the music festival scene and offers teachings and discourses on spirituality.

Nikki Lastreto was born in the right place at the right time to be a flower child in San Francisco in the sixties. After years of being the ultimate city girl, working at The San Francisco Chronicle and KRON-TV, she dropped out and traveled the world, living primarily in India for several years. Nikki then returned to San Francisco and made her way up to the hills of Mendocino County. As proprietress of The Sacred Treasure House, she creates sacred spaces and celebrations.

Together they make a team of expert judges in The Emerald Cup since it began in 2003 and proudly present the awards at the annual Cup ceremony. They are the co-directors of Ganja Ma Gardens Collective and are actively involved in forging future legislation for speciality cultivators in Mendocino County. They have known one another since 1969 in various incarnations as friends, spouses, spiritual brethren and business and land partners.

In today’s episode, you will learn about:

  • [4:45] How Swami and Nikki engaged with the art of cultivating high end Marijuana for medical purposes.
  • [5:50] The difference of the Indian and Western perspective of cannabis
  • [8:00] How they discovered the medical benefits of cannabis by accident
  • [11:30] A story of a woman with stage 4 cancer who was healed by the “Simpson Oil” from cannabis.
  • [19:02] What “The Emerald Cup” is all about and how they judge the cannabis contest
  • [38:48] Benefits of making cannabis legal nationwide
  • [43:26] The future of the marijuana industry
  • and much, much more!

Medical benefits of cannabis:

Mentioned in this interview:

Where to find Swami & Nikki:

Medicine music for the soul

Mama Night’s Tune by Outersect


Deepest gratitude to these artists, for allowing us to use their music in our podcast branding.

To know more about these artists, visit our Gratitude page.

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