This year’s High Times Cannabis Cup in Seattle – the 2nd annual – was something to be experienced. Much larger than last year’s event in terms of size, booths and attendees, the most drastic change was that anyone over 21 could enter the heart of the event – where countless dabs (hits of cannabis oil) were given out, and numerous cannabis products were sold – which was secluded to authorized Washington State patients last year.
If you were at the event, and could show an ID to prove you were over 21, you could walk through a plethora of cannabis-related booths, dozens of which were either giving out free dabs, selling cannabis edibles (such as chocolate bars, slushies, gummies, etc.), sampling bud that was grown from seeds they were selling, demonstrating new cannabis-related products, etc.. For two brief days, those who attended the event got a chance to feel what it was like to experience legal cannabis.
Unfortunately, this event isn’t quite indicative of how legal cannabis might play out under Washington’s new recreational cannabis industry (unless, of course, changes are made); for example, the booths which were giving out dabs or selling cannabis products to those who weren’t patients were all committing felonies, given that sharing, and distribution (when not through a state-licensed store) wasn’t legalized under Initiative 502.
Despite this, High Times put on a successful event that let those who were lucky enough to attend feel what a legal cannabis future might look like, where cannabis consumption, purchase, etc., is done in the open, without fear and without stigma. This event was an example of how far the movement has progressed in recent years, and exemplifies the Seattle Police Department’s pledge to base their enforcement on the “intent” of Initiative 502, rather than the exact language (for example, Seattle Police now, in most cases, give cannabis street-dealers warning letters, rather than arresting them).
In addition to the dozens of booths – which also included political organizations such as NORML and Students for Sensible Drug Policy – there were multiple seminars, ranging from a legal seminar to a cultivation seminar. And, of course, awards were given out for a range of categories (12 in total), such as Best Sativa, Best Indica, Best Concentrate and Best Non-Edible Medically Infused Product. The winners can be found by clicking here.
It would of seemed unimaginable just a couple years ago, but the U.S. now has not one, but two (Denver being the other) High Times Cannabis Cups to rival, if not surpass that of Amsterdam’s.