Written by Kenzo
Video by PatientPanda Productions
Acclaimed High Times magazine’s annual Southern California Cannabis Cup took place during the 4/21-4/23 weekend, which kicked off the 420 Cannabis Holiday festivities, as well as the celebration of California’s recent legalization of cannabis.
The 2017 Southern California High Times Cannabis Cup took place at San Bernardino’s National Orange Show Event Center located 50 miles east of Los Angeles. Whether you purchased your tickets online or at the onsite ticket booth, attendees were offered choices between single-day admission tickets, 3-day passes, and VIP passes which included gift bags, access to VIP lounge, Concert Grace Pavilion, and munchies & hydration stations, perks that may come in handy during a long weekend.
This particular 420 weekend in Southern California was sunny and hot, with temperatures reaching 90°F. Spring time in full effect and summer right around the corner, festival goers were feeling irie as they made their way through the entry gates of the Cup. Although Californian voters passed Prop.64, a measure that will decriminalize the recreational use of the plant under state law in 2018, Californian’s were still expected to have their Prop.215 Medical Marijuana Recommendation script to gain access to the Prop.215 medicated sections. If you had no clue, or were too stoned during your morning wake ‘n bake sesh to remember to bring the physical copy of your recommendation, not to worry, there were licensed Medical Doctors on site with the authority to issue state medical marijuana recommendation scripts. You’ll soon find that your Cannabis Cup experience could be limited without a formal MMJ recommendation, nevertheless, the non-medicated area presented booths hosted by renowned artists like High Times Renegade Award recipient, Jesus Hands, as well as Denver based Vincent Gordon and brother Isaiah. You could also find ancillary cannabis business Eaze presenting their latest apps and medical recommendation offerings.
Best known for live performances by ganja loving musicians and appearances by ganja celebrity’s advocating the plant, the festival also housed instructional seminars, industry expositions and product showcases by the industry’s leading brands and organizations. Positioned in the center of it all, the main Concert stage hosted an insane weekend lineup with performances by Wu-Tang, The Game, Redman & Method Man, Nas and Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley to list a few. It was at the end of the Redman & Method Man performance where Redman endorsed the legacy of High Times Cannabis Cup and promoted their most recent BlazeNow venture, all the while supplying the crowd with countless t-shirts and promotional items.
Originating back in 1988, the High Times Cannabis Cup tradition first took place in Amsterdam, Holland. It wasn’t until expanding to the US in 2010, before High Times celebrated its last Cannabis Cup Amsterdam edition in 2014. The Cannabis Cup heritage lives on, as the circuit travels through the US, home to 5 of 6 Cannabis Cups in 2017. Beginning the US circuit in Las Vegas in March, Southern California in April, with upcoming shows in Northern California, Michigan, and Rhode Island, the trade show continues to evolve and serve as one of the industry’s most recognized platform for the people, patients and businesses’ celebrating their love for cannabis and its culture. High Times will be taking the Cannabis Cup to Jamaica this year, where cannabis was recently decriminalized to a certain extent at a national level (i.e. 5 plants and/or 56 grams limit before becoming a criminal offense).
Legendary as the Cannabis Cup competition is, it wasn’t until 2010 when High Times began hosting the championship tournament in the US. Along the way, we’ve seen the emergence of California Cannabis brands like ZkittleZ, Jungle Boys, BrealTV, Kush Co., Moxie, Cookies, LA Kush, Nameless Genetics, Russian Assassin Boyz, OG Rascal, CaliPlug, The New Amsterdam Naturals, The Cali Connection, Slactavis, Eureka Vapor, Dab Ave., and Cannabiotix to name a few of the attractions at the 2017 SoCal Cannabis Cup. The Citrus building offered shelter from the sun & heat during the day, but as the sun began to set, the main medicated area located in the Blacktop Farmer’s Market section began to illuminate. Taking you into another ozone, there was a sea of tents and portable stages lined up, giving you the impression that you’d just entered into an EDM Fairground coupled with adult treats from Wiliwanka’s Wonderland. Whether you were interested in flower, concentrates, edibles, or heady glass, the festival showcased the best the industry had to offer. The festival grounds may be difficult for anyone to cover in just one day, especially after visiting a few booths and partaking in free samples, superb.
The festival hosted category competitions between cultivators, producers and manufactures. Cannabis product submissions made their way from all parts of the State of California to be entered into the formal Cannabis Cup competition. A complete list of 2017 Cannabis Cup winners can be found on their website: Cannabis Cup
The next stop for High Times will be the NorCal Cannabis Cup on June 3rd and 4th, held in Sonoma County Fairgrounds: 1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, California. Musical performances by 311, The Wailers, Fortunate Youth, Arden Park Roots, and The Tahoes. Cannabis Cup NorCal will also be hosting the High Times Legalization Celebration Pavilion where you find a rally stage for activists, panels on legal and veterans issues, job fair and the opportunity to hear from government representatives about their views on the cannabis movement. There’s still much work to be done.