Instead of attending the Gramys in Hollywood or worrying about who won, hipsters from all over Southern California hit downtown Los Angeles to attend the First Annual High Times Cannabis Cup. The last buds have been smoked and the winners are basking in the cloudy glory for their hard work of growing the very best cannabis in So Cal. The First Annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is all but a smoky memory now. High Times should be proud of the revenue this event brought in for the city and also by successfully proving that not all Marijuana/Cannabis users/consumers are stinky, lazy, uninspired hippies so many have stereotyped us to be. The two day event held downtown at the Los Angeles Center Studios went off without any major complications which hopefully means Los Angelinos deserve another one next year!
The event’s focus was obviously medical marijuana/cannabis. A panel of eager judges was given the envious task of sampling the best buds, edibles and concentrates local legal dispensaries and collectives had to offer. Awards for first, second and third were given in: Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, edible, concentrate and even for the best booth at the show! The judging criteria incorporated High Times’ new scoring system first released at the first ever Denver Cannabis Cup last April. The goal is to keep judging fair and accurate. For the flowers Indica and Sativa the entries were limited to genetic lineages greater than 70 percent for both categories. Hybrids included any combination of Indica/Sativa percentages.
The five categories on the qualitative score sheet are on a scale of 1 to 5 were: Visual Aesthetics, Aroma, Taste, Stone/High and Flush & Burnability. The quantitative categories were: Potency(THC), Medicinal Value(CBD)and Storage/Cure(CBN). Tests for harmful chemicals and molds were also run. The judges had their work cut out for them considering Southern California is home to some of the best cannabis cultivators and growers in the World and there were so many entries.
The event was divided into two main outdoor booth/vending areas: The main area had booths for vaporizers, glassware, hemp clothing, grow/cultivation equipment and food trucks. If you weren’t a valid patient before attending the event, there was a Doctor’s booth giving physicals and recommendations out on the spot. The other was the 215 Area where all patients that had a valid California Medical Marijuana recommendation could sample flowers, edibles and even take “hash hits” at the collective booths there! If you felt like taking a break from all the smoke, there were two full days of seminars to listen in on. High Times expert cultivation editors Danny Danko and Nico Escondido, Kyle Kushman of Kushman Veganics, Andrew DeAngelo from Harborside Health Center made up the growing/cultivation portion. The legal seminar featured business and transactional attorney James Devine and Debby Goldsberry who was awarded High Times Freedom Fighter of the year. The activism panel featured NORML’s Russ Belville (@RadicalRuss), and Kandace Hawes who founded Orange Country NORML in 2003.
The first evening wrapped up with a VIP-only party outdoors that featured a smoky night of reggae, rock and a lil dubstep from DJ Jacques, Seedless and EOTO. It was a very mellow evening of people just chilling, smoking out and listening to some great beats. Sunday evening closed the event with the Awards ceremony held on the main stage. Comedian Rob Cantrell kicked off the event with hilarious stoney humor. Also on hand to present some of the awards were: Bone, Thugs and Harmony who diddied up a lil rap on the fly. Dennis Peron – father of Prop 215 was on hand to announce Jack Herer’s Lifetime Achievement Award that Herer’s son Dan accepted on his Father’s behalf. Buds and Roses Collective cleaned up walking away with five wins including Second place Kosher Kush strain for Best Indica. Hitman Glass won for best glass and 2nd for best booth. The complete list of Winners Here.
Overall, Los Angeles and High Times can be proud to have sponsored this much needed event. It brought in a little extra revenue for the city, proved to the naysayers and doubters that cannabis/marijuana users and supporters ARE here and don’t plan on going anywhere. We are the person standing next to you in line at the bank. We are your children’s teachers. We are your doctors, lawyers and accountants. We are responsible and productive. We are legitimate. We are you.