Even though it was a Monday afternoon and not the weekend, you couldn’t tell by the sheer volume of people at what appeared to be the busiest day yet for the U.S. Cannabis Cup at the Denver Mart.
With the awards portion of the event wrapped up Sunday, the atmosphere was jovial as the signature cloud of smoke rose from the crowd at 4:20 p.m. Then, like a game at Coors Field that the Rockies were firmly in control of, people fled to the parking lots to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Or like a salmon run with less spawning.
While much had been made of sampling and the legality surrounding it, that didn’t stop even more vendors from jumping on the bandwagon and offering marijuana concentrates in exchange for donations. These highly potent forms of hash accounted for a vast majority of the offerings, with cannabis flower almost impossible to find outside of someone willing to pass you a joint. Colorado dispensaries didn’t puff, choosing to pass on the opportunity to entice more attendees over to their space for the third straight day.
Magical Butter, the company that makes a botanical extraction appliance and is headquartered in Port Richey, Florida, drew huge crowds around 4 p.m. as they gave out non-cannabis-infused items from Mary’s Medicinals as well as sheets of gummies they medicated themselves.
Then, as the clock hit 4:20, joints, pipes and vapes were pressed to the lips of the thousands in attendance, as even the modest wind didn’t have much of an effect on the amount of smoke rising from the crowd. An email query to High Times organizers for attendance estimates for the Cup had not been returned as of Tuesday evening.
Inside the Denver Mart, four members of the Broken Lizard comedy group were doing a Q&A about their upcoming sequel, “Super Troopers 2.” For the first time all weekend, the hallway was filled with a cloud of its own as fans ignored the indoor smoking ban and lit up. At one point, staff members turned on the air conditioning in the conference room in an attempt to clear the haze. Despite some technical difficulties that resulted in a longer questioning period than anticipated, the crowd was eager to talk all things related to the original film and their future plans.
Crowds died down around 5:30 p.m., with many vendors choosing to pack it in early after the long weekend.
The crew manning the booth for Boulder-based Black Dog LED began dismantling their setup in a very unconventional way, handing cuttings of the live plant they had on-site to anyone who wanted one. Other vendors simply left their area intact, opting to come back later and deal with it then.
While the event may have been a slight disappointment for Colorado companies — and those expecting to try Colorado cannabis — very few vendors or attendees seemed to mind the restrictions. And like the salmon, they’ll be back again next year.