High Times Cancels Permit Application for Cannabis Cup in Pueblo
An image from the 2014 High Times Cannabis Cup. Additional photos below.
Photo by Brandon Marshall
The High Times Cannabis Cup may not be coming to Pueblo after all. According to a spokeswoman for the Pueblo County commissioners, the magazine has pulled its Special Events Permit application for the annual cannabis festival.
After getting the boot from the Denver Mart by Adams County Commissioners in February, thanks to law enforcement concerns over the abundance of attendees and the amount of public marijuana consumption expected to take place around the venue, High Times announced that the Cup would be moved to Pueblo in time for 4/20. Several media reports said southern Colorado entrepreneurial couple Tom and Anna-Marie Giodone would host the Cannabis Cup at their venue: the Yard at 23344 U.S. Highway 50 East — 122 miles south of the Denver Mart.
But after a clunky application process that kept ticket buyers in the dark, the chances of a Cannabis Cup anywhere in Colorado this April are getting slimmer.
"This morning, High Times requested Pueblo County cease processing its special event permit application for the High Times US Cannabis Cup 2016," Pueblo County Community Information Manager Paris Carmichael said in an e-mail sent Sunday.
The possible shift to Pueblo was hazy from the beginning. Despite announcing that the Cup would move to Pueblo and be held April 16-18 just a few days after Adams County denied its permit, High Times didn't put tickets back up for sale on its website or make an official announcement on the Cup's new venue. Shortly after High Times announced the move, the Pueblo County commissioners issued a statement saying that the Giodones' son, Tommy, and his production company, Tommy G productions, had applied for a Pueblo County Special Event Permit for the Cannabis Cup — but because High Times was the event's promoter and not Tommy G Productions, the permit had to be resubmitted by High Times.
The 2015 High Times Cannabis Cup at the Denver Mart had nearly 35,000 visitors each day.
Then, another hurdle appeared: Pueblo County regulations require that a Special Events Permit application be submitted at least 75 days prior to the date of the event. According to Carmichael, the event's application was submitted on February 4, which did not meet the 75-day minimum, forcing the Cup to be tentatively pushed back to April 22-24.
After continuing to struggle with application submission dates, Cannabis Cup organizers requested that Pueblo County stop processing its permit, Carmichael says.
Neither High Times nor the Giodones responded to multiple requests to comment on the earlier move and weren't available to speak as of this posting. An announcement on the High Times website says that organizers continue to work for a Cannabis Cup in Pueblo this April.
"HIGH TIMES continues to push forward with securing all approvals for our 2016 U.S. Cannabis Cup in Pueblo, Colorado on April 22-24. As has been true for 41 years, hurdles and obstacles have continued to be put up, but we are going through every possible channel, meeting with officials and amending forms to make sure we can celebrate and educate people on cannabis in Pueblo. We should have clarity in the coming days, and we will update you in real time with our status," the statement reads.
Even if it gains approval from Pueblo County Commissioners, the Cup could face more problems. According to the Pueblo Chieftain, Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk Taylor told the newspaper that if the Cup's permit is granted, he will file an appeal with Pueblo County commissioners.
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