About the High Times Cannabis Cup
The HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup is the world’s leading cannabis competition, festival and trade show, celebrating the world of ganja through competitions, instructional seminars, expositions, celebrity appearances, concerts, product showcases and more, not to mention fun activations like tie-dye paint-dipping your arms or riding a big slide stoned. Hosted in states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, the Cannabis Cup stands as the foremost gathering place for the cannabis community to network and celebrate. The competitions identify and award the best brands and products around the world, helping to shine a light on the people who have put their hearts and souls into their craft.
Founded in Amsterdam in 1988 by former High Times editor Steve Hager, The Cannabis Cup has evolved into a globally recognized championship of the best cannabis products in the world. A competition judged by industry experts, newcomers to cannabis, and everyone in between, the competition ranks entries as measured by the judges’ scores, and crowns the top three products per category, with the top spot earning the coveted Cannabis Cup trophy.
Although it’s evolved many times—from in-house underground judging in Amsterdam in the late 80’s/early 90’s, to the first American Cups focused solely on medicinal products, to the limelight-driven expert-led competition of today—the Cannabis Cup has moved through the ebbs and flows of the industry, and from prohibition to recreational legalization remains the title prize for producers in the game.
Typically these awards would culminate in one of the brands high-profile Cannabis Cup events—a touring festival type celebration that brings hundreds of cannabis brands in to provide attendees a deep dive into the magical world of marijuana, as well as performances from world-class musical talent like the Wu Tang Clan or Nas, to celebrate the winners of the competition, as well as rally around the communities favorite plant. These events have helped spread legalization and fight the ‘stoner’ stigma for decades, and have helped open the minds of millions.
The past three decades of these awards have created lasting economic impact for it’s winners. Receiving the Cup has propelled brands into the stratosphere, and taken strains from the unknown into household names—simply put, the most commonly known strains in the world have generated their reputation from winning this contest.
Notable Judges Have Included: Tommy Chong, Snoop Dogg, Patti Smith, Wiz Khalifa, Joe Rogan, Damian Marley, Kid Cudi, Method Man, Redman, Rita Marley, B-Real, B.O.B., Alex Grey, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, and countless other icons of the underground.
People’s Choice Edition
In the face of COVID-19 with events being forced to shutter across the globe, High Times once again proved it’s resilience despite state-wide lockdowns across the country, and has reinvented it’s renowned competition to let all those at home get in on the fun and crown the region’s best.
For the first time ever, High Times is opening up it’s judging process to members of the public via exclusive kit drops in participating retailers. While normally 28-35 expert judges would alone determine the rankings, the competition has pivoted into crowdsourced rankings, offering 228 kits per category to consumers in state-wide competitions across the country.
This is the Oscars of Cannabis and now YOU get to be part of the Academy!
For more information on what the judging process is like, check out this article from frequent judge Jon Cappetta, our VP of Content. You can also find stories of the Cup tour from our Competition Director, Mark Kaz. If you think you’ve got what it takes, apply to judge here.
If you’re a cannabis brand and you’d like to enter the competition and get your shot at taking home the gold, register here.