I went out to the High Table: From the Earth event in Nonthaburi last Saturday with the express purpose of interviewing 66Zombies and Craftsman. My expectations were high considering I would be sitting with two of Thailand’s most prolific growers, chatting and smoking their weed. However, what I found at the event blew my mind, exceeded expectations, and re-adjusted my understating of where our Thai cannabis community is today. We are in a very good place.
The event, a friendly competition of growers surrounded by a flea market of local growers, dispensaries, food, and music, felt like a school reunion. Old faces—friends of HighThailand, including the Ganjana crew and the folks from Highland, were milling about. They casually chatted amongst themselves and other growers with new faces but familiar names like: Kush Maniac (Taste and Terps Thailand), 22 BabyFace (The Budtender Pattaya), Yoda Can Grow with Obi Can Roll and completely new friends like Prachum Premium Kush. The one thing which was consistent amongst friends old and new, amongst folks who took booths or the growers just showing up as spectators, was they brought some of the best buds I have tried in Thailand to date. I will try to give justice to these buds in subsequent reviews but hope to focus on the people now.
High Table may be the first event, or at least the first cannabis event which I have attended, evidencing that the ice has broken. We, the Thai cannabis community, have moved into a different phase. We are no longer feeling each other out—but rather we are working within set relationships. Working within a familiarity with one another. Time after time that Saturday night I found myself surrounded in an environment which feels native, natural. There were no strangers at this event, instead—as cheesy as this may sound—friends introduced other friends to each other.
Craftsman introduced my partner Nick and I to Kush Maniac—one of those new faces who is nonetheless a name we are very familiar with. While smoking an immense joint of his Red Velvet Runtz, AOG Mhuenaekkoko walked by, started chatting with Kush Maniac and then introduced himself and dropped strains of four samples right into my trusty notebook. These were our first encounters with each grower—but it felt like seeing old buddies—folks from the old neighborhood. We came together through and from common points in our community—points which we at HighThailand trust and cherish.
At another point in the evening, I shared a 22 BabyFace’s Big Ripper joint with the grower himself, Underground Grower and Power Puff—an almost surreal experience of new generation phenom mixing, learning and benefitting from the presence of the grizzled veterans. 22 BabyFace is a name that many of my trusted contacts have been singing the praises of—meeting him and then seeing him with two of HighThailand’s favorite growers was natural. The professional respect, the caring, the understanding and value of the craft and the people was evident. This was not business. This was not a discussion of profits and losses. This was pure appreciation of a common passion, art, history, and aspiration. (As a side note, 22 Babyface would go on to win the High Table 2023 Local Grower Award).
The gents from Highland moved in and around the event. Enjoying the evening—enjoying their guests—enjoying the success of it all. At one point Khun Max (of Highland) asked me what I had been smoking with 66Zombies—the answer was Obi Wan OG Kush—but I was a bit too stoned to verbalize the thoughts dug deep in my brain. All I could think of was, wow—none of this would have happened without you guys. Not legalization, not normalization, not this natural sense of belonging to a native environment. This did not come about by accident or without a lot of hard work from a lot of good folks out there.
I would be remiss not to mention one of my favorite parts of the night when I met the gents from Warp Guide at their booth. Warp Guide was my go-to source for high quality cannabis back in those dark days. They were the first high quality growers I came across in Thailand and my first major departure from the days of brick. Coming across them at High Table felt like I had come full circle—I am incredibly happy to see these guys are in the swing of things—in the community—part of the ecosystem.
I hope that the High Table event is a turning point for our community. A point where we can move past the ugliness of smuggling and other unfair trade practices. We have grown and gravitated to each other. It is clear who is passionate about the plant, about the community and about the culture and the people. Whatever happens tomorrow—we have achieved success today by building a positive, nurturing and accepting identity and community. Legalization was important and key—but we have now moved past legalization and closer to normalization. We are far from perfect—but we are something to pay attention to—something positive—something which was built on the dreams and hard work of veterans, many of whom attended High Table, and which is being carried forward by a new generation of elite growers in attendance.
We at HighThailand make no secret of our love for the community and Thai cannabis culture. The High Table event highlighted the strengths of both. Now that we know and understand each other—let us not be shy about meeting, sharing, presenting, and enjoying each other. Last weekend’s event has inspired us to add a New Event page to our website—we hope that this page and calendar will fill up with similar and novel events from our friends in the community. See y’all soon!
A few snapshots from the HighTable: From the earth