High Times has been hosting the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam since 1987. What started as a small, private competition among that city's legendary marijuana coffeeshops and seed breeders has since grown into a truly global event, drawing pot pilgrims from six continents to help judge the finest cannabis in the world's most tolerant city.
In 2002, I attended my first Cannabis Cup as a High Times staff member. Since 2010, the increasing legal acceptance of marijuana has allowed High Times to host Medical Cannabis Cups in states with laws that permit its use (including California, Washington, Colorado and Michigan).
As an event designer, my responsibilities have included creating promotional materials, guidebooks, merchandise and decorating the venue, as well as shipping and logistics, organizing booth placement and rentals, and manning registration and product booths. I've now worked more than 25 of these events in various cities and venues.
I've also led seminars on edible cannabis preparation and safety, as well as moderated a well-attended series of educational panel discussions with leaders in the edibles industry, including Scott Van Rixel from Bhang Chocolates, Julianna Carella from Auntie Dolores, Tamar Wise from Dixie Elixirs, Alison Draison from Ettalew's, Kenny Morrison from Venice Cookie Company and many more.
The High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver on April 20, 2013 became the biggest event in our history with over 40,000 attendees.
“There is just tremendous interest. Last year, you could barely get a flight, and all the hotels were booked. This year will be even busier,” said McDonough, noting that Denver hotels are slowly warming to the idea of pot tourists. “In a couple years, they will be more likely to accept us. I think the potential for cannabis tourism is just going to grow... People are telling me this is a trip they have dreamed about for a lifetime.”—the Cannabist