Chalice California is coming this weekend. It’s Christmas in July, except our Saint Nicholas’s sack is full of glass, hash and art, and he wears a ballcap and soul patch instead of the season and climate inappropriate red velour and six-inch thick white beard. And like a child too giddy on cookies and eggnog to sleep, all we can do is count the wonderful things we hope to find waiting under the tree and in our mantle-hanged stockings

  1. A heartfelt celebration

If you talk to Dougie, you get the sense that everything he does, whether it’s Hitman’s newest project or the Chalice Fest, comes from the excited state of mind of a kid who got to open his own candy store. The flavors of the festival – the competition, the live glass blowing, the mind-blowing line-up of musical talent – isn’t just about anticipating what will sell tickets; it’s about what he wants to see. It might as well be his birthday party. And that’s why it’s exciting, that’s why it’s got more energy and enthusiasm pumping into it then all the years’ Cannabis Cups put together. And that excitement pushes pros from all corners of the industry to do their best work.

  1. Innovation and greatness from vendors

Over the course of our Dabs Mag investigations, interviews, and travels we talk to a lot of extractors, growers, and glass makers. Since January, the one word that pops up again and again is “Chalice.” Usually, as in, “Getting’ ready for Chalice.” Usually followed up by a, “I can’t tell you. It’s top secret.” Then we promise secrecy and then (sometimes) they tell us.

We aren’t going to betray any confidences right now, mostly because we don’t like to be surprise spoilers, but there is a tsunami of concentrate innovations coming to San Bernardino this weekend. Every extractor is trying to top everyone else with something tastier, louder, brain-burstier, eye-catchier than what everyone else has going. That (mostly) healthy spirit of competition is going to result in fest-goers getting to be some of the first cosmonauts to explore certain uncharted dab-expanded headspaces.

The sheer variety of awards given out will let every kind of cannabis professional and extract artist have a moment or two in the sun. 20 trophies overall will be handed out just for extract and bud products, meaning there’s glory to be had by all and no one product will be unsuitably matched against another from an incomparable genus.

  1. I’s dotted, T’s crossed, P’s and Q’s minded

“Safe” ain’t exactly the key word at a fest expected to be as cool, edgey, and rad as Chalice. But if you’re going to let your hair hang down and freak flag fly, it’s good to know neither are gonna snag on some figurative stray rusty nail left sticking out of the festival walls.

Dougie himself recently interjected himself into an Instagram beef between extractors after one had hinted at a Chalice rumble, saying that anyone who threatened anyone else at the fest would be banished from it. SC Labs will be testing all hash in competition to make sure the meds are more terp and less tane. There’s even going to be doctors on site to issue recommendations for those who want to get in on the fun but aren’t yet technically legally medically allowed to.

  1. Action Bronson & Peanut Butter Wolf & Busta Bust & a whole lot more

This year’s Chalice is probably the only cannabis festival in the country that would be worth attending even if you were a straight edger with a THC allergy, just based on the musical lineup.

There are scene mainstays like Lil Debbie, acts to rival South By and Coachella such as Peanut Butter Wolf, Beats Antique and The Pharcyde. Then just to prove they’re not fucking around, Chalice also booked Busta Rhymes, Curren$y, and our nomination for man of the year Action Bronson. Mr. Wonderful will also be judging the solvents category to lend of his culinary knowledge to the deciders’ table.

Only problem is: how do you top that next year?

  1. Best glass in the world on display and made right in front of you

Trying hard not to sound like a sycophant or a schoolgirl with a crush as we write this, but we can’t stop ourselves from being excited. Almost all the big names are set to be there: Darby (he’s also a judge), Jason Lee, Hoobs, Matt Robertson, Evol. Some of theses dudes and dudettes are also going to be giving live glass blowing demonstrations, but no official word yet on which ones is and which ones ain’t.

Not much else to say, but we can’t wait. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Image via Hitman Glass IG