High Times, the most iconic brand in marijuana, has received government approval to hold the nation’s first legal, licensed cannabis consumption event in the US. The Central Valley Cannabis Cup, taking place this weekend May 4-5 at the Cal Expo fairgrounds in Sacramento, will be a community celebration of this historic step forward in the fight for legalized access to marijuana-related products and services. Anyone attending the Cannabis Cup, age 21 and over with a valid ID or driver’s license, can freely buy up to an ounce of marijuana as permitted by Proposition 64.
“This has been a long process but we’re proud to say that we’re finally licensed and 100 percent legal,” says Adam Levin, CEO of High Times.
“It has always been important to us that our events comply with all local laws while providing the best possible experience for our many thousands of attendees. With this week’s state and city approvals, we’re thrilled to announce a history-making event on the road to complete legalization.”
Hosting the groundbreaking recreational cannabis event serves as yet another milestone in High Times’ fight to legalize marijuana and de-stigmatize cannabis culture.
“This is a huge win for freedom and a massive dent in the folly of marijuana prohibition, I’m excited and honored to be a part of this historic first-ever adult-use event,” says Danny Danko, Senior Cultivation Editor of High Times and longtime Cannabis Cup judge.
“I can distinctly remember thinking at my first Cup in Amsterdam in the 1990’s—‘How awesome would it be if we could do this back home?’—and, since 2010, we have ‘done it back home’ at Medical Cups, but this is something entirely different.”
At a council meeting held on Tuesday, the city of Sacramento approved the permit for on-site consumption and sales of marijuana at the Cannabis Cup by a 6-2 vote. This will be the first fully permitted event for on-site cannabis consumption via Prop 64 in the state since recreational use has been legalized.
“This is a big moment in the evolution of legalizing cannabis,” says Joe Devlin, Chief of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement for the City of Sacramento. “In Sacramento, we’re early adopters of cannabis policy and we set a very high standard—hosting this Cup is another step in the right direction and shows other cities across the state, and the nation, how events with responsible consumption can be done.”
The Central Valley Cannabis Cup is expected to generate more than $200,000 in local tax revenue according to Devlin. High Times has also addressed safety concerns with a comprehensive security plan approved by the California Highway Patrol and has organized a rideshare program for those in attendance.
This weekend’s Cannabis Cup is the first event to be granted a temporary cannabis event license by The Bureau of Cannabis Control. It also marks the first time that both state and local regulators have approved an event that would legally allow all adult attendees to receive and consume cannabis. The approval comes as the major stepping stone in legal adult-use cannabis events since 2013 when Denver hosted the first Cannabis Cup with legalized recreational marijuana supported at state level, but not yet at the local municipal level.
In the past, High Times events in California have focused on Prop. 215, the 1996 initiative that legalized medicinal marijuana in the state. While allowing Cannabis exhibitors to provide samples to medicinal patients at these events, attendees without medical marijuana prescriptions were blocked.
On top of Prop 64 recreational pot sales, the event will feature live performances by Lauryn Hill, Ludacris, Gucci Mane, and more. Fans will also have access to cultivation seminars, live podcast recordings, culinary experiences, and an exhibitor village showcasing new products from dozens of cannabis brands. Tickets for the Central Valley Cannabis Cup are available at CannabisCup.com and at the box office.