High Times Cannabis Cup Moves to Cali, Colorado Gets Consolation Prize

The High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup, which was rejected in Denver and ensnared in bureaucracy after an announced plan to move to Pueblo, will be skipping Colorado entirely this year.

High Times magazine has announced that the event will instead be taking place at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, California — a venue that recently hosted the SoCal Medical Cannabis Cup..

The dates: April 15-17.

But Colorado hasn't been entirely forgotten. It's getting a consolation prize just in time for 4/20.

Our Thomas Mitchell has documented the mag's struggle to win approval for a Cannabis Cup in Colorado.

"The Cup was originally scheduled to happen at the Denver Mart," he wrote last month. "However, High Times saw its permit denied by Adams County commissioners on February 16 after concerns raised by law enforcement over the abundance of attendees in the industrial neighborhood and the amount of public marijuana consumption expected to take place around the venue. Just a few days after having its permit denied, though, High Times announced on its website that the Cannabis Cup would be held in Pueblo on April 16, 17 and 18 — only it didn't say which venue would become its 2016 base."

However, the Pueblo plan fell apart over recent days, with the magazine pulling its Special Event Permit application after some paperwork and deadline snafus.

Then, earlier this week, High Times issued this graphic announcement on its Facebook page.

The website still has a prominent photo and link for a Colorado Cannabis Cup, which is said to be "coming soon."

However, clicking on it leads to an elaboration about the Colorado-centric judging and concert mentioned above.

Here's the text under the dual headings "A Note Regarding the US Cannabis Cup" and "High Times Celebrates 4/20:"
Our national holiday is here again! And we're pulling out all the stops with two epic events.

The U.S. Cannabis Cup has been moved to San Bernardino, California on April 15-17. Once again, the NOS Center will host this special event. It's a three-day festival featuring educational seminars, cannabis industry booths and a medicating area.

The best cannabis in America will compete in eight categories for the ultimate prize — the U.S. Cannabis Cup! Be there and experience this cannabis carnival with rides, games and a stellar lineup of musical guests. And, of course, it all culminates in the U.S. Cannabis Cup awards on Sunday evening, April 17th.

Then, on April 19th, get yourself to the Rocky Mountain State and join the cannabis community for the HIGH TIMES Concert Series and the Colorado Cannabis Cup awards. The Colorado Cannabis Cup competition will take place, but will not feature an expo and adult-use area.

As always, strains will be judged by a panel of experts. Winners will be announced at our Colorado Cannabis Cup awards ceremony at our massive concert celebration featuring Cypress Hill, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Action Bronson and Chronixx & Zincfence Redemption. And be sure to check out a private exhibit of the leading Colorado cannabis companies!

Come to the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield on April 19th for super music and a whole lot of marijuana merriment! It's all part of a special 4/20 celebration,w hen we honor the top products of the Colorado [sic] at the HIGH TIMES Colorado Cannabis Cup.
This message makes it clear that High Times isn't ready to abandon the Colorado market. But there's no telling if the U.S. Cannabis Cup awards will ever make it back to the state, especially with California so ready, willing and able to take over.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts