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High Times’ Cannabis Cup is one of the most recognized cannabis competitions in the world. Since 1987, High Times has hosted Cannabis Cups worldwide to celebrate cannabis with an event full of fun, celebrities, competition, and plenty of weed.
The High Times Las Vegas Cannabis Cup made its arrival in Southern Nevada in 2017, right after the state legalized recreational cannabis. The Cannabis Cup Las Vegas brings everything you love about the event to the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Cannabis Cups are a global phenomenon featuring instructional seminars, product showcases, expositions, concerts, competitions, fun activations, celebrity appearances, and much more. Cannabis Cups are held in legal cannabis states.
Cannabis Cup competitions determine the best product in various categories, including Indica Flower, Sativa Flower, Hybrid Flower, Pre-Rolls, Concentrates, Vape Pens and Cartridges, and Edibles. Customers can sample various products and companies can get feedback and exposure.
Cannabis Cup Las Vegas
On March 4 and 5, 2017, High Times brought its legendary Cannabis Cup to the Moapa River Indian Reservation to celebrate the legalization of adult-use marijuana. Anyone 21 and older could attend the event full of entertainment and education.
The Las Vegas Cannabis Cup featured grow experts Nico Escondido and Danny Danko to give attendees tips and tricks to improve their cannabis growing methods. The event also included seminars and panels on various cannabis products and industry trends.
Attendees could enjoy rosin press demonstrations, a dab rig exposition, and glass blowing. The event also introduced a new competition: the Cannabis Chef Competition. Eight chefs prepared cannabis-infused dishes in a timed competition where the hosts randomly selected a regional cuisine. Chefs had 30 minutes to prepare six plates.
Cannabis Cups are known for their end-of-night concerts. In Las Vegas, Ludacris and J Boog headlined Saturday and Sunday. B-Real and Chief Keef also performed at the event.
Normally, the event allows users to consume cannabis they brought from home or buy from vendors at the event, but this year was different. The federal government was threatening to shut down the event if it didn’t follow strict guidelines.
On-site cannabis consumption was taken out of the event. For the first time ever, a Cannabis Cup did not include cannabis. All products showcased must be THC-free. Attendees would not be able to sample items across different categories.
However, some cannabis companies still provided samples of their products despite potential federal intervention. For instance, Gorilla Wax provided attendees with a sample dab.
Sunday’s event was canceled due to wind gusts reaching as high as 60 miles per hour.
In 2019, the High Times Cannabis Cup was held at the Vegas Tasting Room, the only legal space where users can light up in public. High Times partnered with NuWu Cannabis Marketplace and the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe to host the event.
Since the event took place in a legal public consumption venue, attendees could buy and consume cannabis at the event.
NuWu is the state’s largest retail cannabis store with nearly 16,000 square feet featuring 1,000 cannabis products. The dispensary features a drive-thru window and serves thousands of customers per day.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, High Times’ famed event lived on by allowing locals to be a part of the judging. For the first time ever, the hosts opened up the judging process to members of the public.
Traditionally, 28-35 expert judges determine the rankings, but the pandemic prevented in-person events from taking place. This time, anyone could buy Cannabis Cup Judge Kits at participating retailers in Las Vegas and across the state.
Users could choose between different product categories such as Sativa Vape Pens, Indica Vape Pens, Edibles: Non-Gummies, and more. For example, the Indica Flower kit came with 21 samples (21 grams) of indica flower, a market value of $264 for $180.
The first Cannabis Cup was in 1988 in Amsterdam. Since then, the legendary event has spread to the U.S. and beyond as more states and countries have passed medical and recreational cannabis laws. Cups have been held in California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Michigan, Oregon, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Jamaica. New locations are added every year.
Can You Smoke Weed at a Cannabis Cup?
Cannabis Cups are usually weed-friendly events, except for the first Cannabis Cup Las Vegas. In recreational states, Cannabis Cups can be attended by anyone 21 or over. Smoking is permitted. In medical states, the medicating area is open to patients with a valid medical card.
All Cups are BYOB (bring your own bud). Attendees can bring their own flower, concentrates, edibles, or other products or check out a wide range of vendors to try a new strain, extract, and more.
High Times’ Las Vegas Cannabis Cup faced a rocky start on its first event in 2017 but came back stronger in 2019. While the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industry’s in-person events, the future looks bright for the Las Vegas Cup.