Southern California hosted yet another medical version of the High Times Cannabis Cup this past weekend in San Bernardino. The event was California’s eighth time to hold a Cannabis Cup in the Golden State, which requires its own medical marijuana license to fully participate in all of the cannactivities.
For those who do not know, the Cannabis Cup is a multi-day celebration hosted by High Times Magazine. The very first Cup, including over 25 of them since, was held in Amsterdam at a time when cannabis prohibition had escalated into a full-on war on drugs in the United States. It quickly became THE gathering for marijuana growers, venders, and smokers from around the world.
Indeed the festivities have always included smoking as much of the primo weed or hash as humanly possible. But the liberating gathering gives stoned attendees plenty of entertainment including seminars, concerts, demonstrations, giveaways, and, of course, the highly anticipated closing award ceremony.
A lot has changed since the first ever Cannabis Cup in 1988 including the introduction of new Cup-winning categories for each type of bud – Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid – as well as prizes for edibles and new concentrates. But the biggest change has been in setting. For over 2 decades the High Times Cannabis Cup was (and still is) an annual event held every November in the drug-lenient country of the Netherlands. But when the United States, and especially the state of California started to really show progression in its cannabis legalization movement, High Times decided it was time to introduce the Cup to American soil.
So, in the summer of 2010, San Francisco hosted the first ever Cannabis Cup in the U.S. Granted, the event was a medical version meaning only those with state medical marijuana cards could participate; even so the event turned out to be a great success. The next year brought another Medical Cannabis Cup to San Francisco as well as one in Denver. In 2012, the Golden State decided to move the event to LA and they did so without disappointment. The city of “Las Ganjales” welcomed the Cup with open arms so in 2013, High Times began setting up in California twice a year – once for its So-Cal audience in February and one every June in San Francisco.
Finally in 2014, Colorado became the first state to host the first ever come-one-come-all recreational Cannabis Cup in the nation. In the American fashion, the Cannabis Cup is now considered to be the mecca for businesses in the cannabis industry with Cup winners understanding the rise in monetary value of their Cup-winning strains and products.
Today the annual Cup in Amsterdam continues, but it is no longer THE Cannabis Cup. Along with the two in California and one in Colorado, states with at least some form of legal access to cannabis such as Washington, Oregon, and Michigan also proudly blow down, judge, and award the best that their areas have to offer.