High Times Cannabis Cup
The High Times Cannabis Cup is the world’s foremost cannabis festival. Founded in 1988 by Steven Hager, the High Times Cannabis Cup is held each November in Amsterdam. The event allows judges from around the world to sample and vote for their favorite marijuana varieties. These judges-at-large decide the Cannabis Cup (overall winner in the cannabis variety competition), best new product, best booth, best glass, best hash and best Nederhash.
A team of VIP judges decides which seed company has grown the best indica, sativa and hybrid strain and which company has produced the best Neder hash (hashish that is produced only in the Netherlands) and best imported hash. The High Times Cannabis Cup also includes live music, educational seminars and an expo for marijuana-related products from cannabis-oriented businesses.
In 2010, High Times mounted its first Cannabis Cup in the United States. The magazine now holds Cannabis Cups in Northern and Southern California, Denver, Michigan, Seattle, with plans to hold a Cannabis Cup in Portland in 2015. The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup celebrates medical marijuana in states that have passed medical marijuana laws. The U.S. Cannabis Cup celebrates marijuana in states that have passed laws that legalize marijuana for adult, recreational use. Like the High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, marijuana strains are judged and Cups (trophies) are awarded in a number of categories. Teams of expert judges vote on best indica, best sativa, best hybrid, best concentrates, best edibles and highest level of CBD in cannabis products. Attendees vote for best booth, best products and best glass of each Cannabis Cup expo.
All cannabis products are additionally tested for THC content and CBD content by independent cannabis testing laboratories.
In 2014, Amsterdam saw its last and final High Times Cannabis Cup, after 27 years of the cup in Amsterdam. This was partly due to the growing uncertainty about Dutch cannabis laws, the now available warmer, legal cannabis locations in the United States and various other countries, and the ill-fated and first ever police raid on the 2010 Amsterdam Cannabis Cup location.
In 2017, the Cannabis Cup returned and High Times celebrated its 30th anniversary in Amsterdam. The festival featured an award show hosted by Danny Danko.