A man passes a joint during the High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver, on April 19, 2015. (Seth McConnell, Denver Post file)

High Times Cannabis Cup leaves Colorado for greener lands in 2016

After regulatory snags in two Colorado counties, the world's largest High Times Cannabis Cup is headed west

Editor’s note: On March 8, 2106, High Times magazine editor-in-chief Dan Skye shared this statement — titled “Our Cannabis Cup in Colorado” — with The Cannabist.

In 2011, HIGH TIMES held its first Cannabis Cup in Colorado. Last year, we hosted our fifth consecutive event in the Rocky Mountain State and over 53,000 cannabis fans entered the gates of the Denver Mart to celebrate Colorado’s cannabis scene.

So far, HIGH TIMES has held 21 Cannabis Cups in the US. Our events have taken place in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Sonoma County, in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Detroit, Seattle and, of course, Denver.

However, the process of securing permission from city officials and local police to mount a HIGH TIMES Cannabis Cup has never been without hurdles. HIGH TIMES has always encountered a variety of requirements and standards that must be met in order to move forward. The simple fact is that, regardless of the tremendous strides that our community has made in legalizing cannabis, there’s still a long way to go.

It is imperative that we work with city officials to satisfy all their requirements so that we can host the best Cannabis Cup experience possible. Over the past two weeks, HIGH TIMES worked closely with city officials in Pueblo, Colorado to secure a permit for a Cannabis Cup in that city. Our negotiations were friendly and progress was being made. However, our busy calendar of upcoming events persuaded us that the better decision was to host a full Cannabis Cup in Colorado at a later date. Our goal is to make sure that every Cannabis Cup is a quality event. We will still be honoring the Colorado cannabis industry with a cannabis competition and a special awards ceremony on April 19th at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield.

It’s been said: “Legalization of cannabis is a marathon – not a sprint.” Only four states currently allow adult, recreational use of cannabis. And although more states are placing the issue of legalization before voters in November, there is still a great deal of education necessary in order to make cannabis truly a part of mainstream American life.

The Cannabis Cup is ultimately a trade show and a celebration of our industry. And we are committed to making sure that every one of our events lives up to the high standards we’ve set.