For the third year in a row, High Times is throwing its 4/20 celebration in Colorado, returning to the EXDO Event Center for the annual Medical Cannabis Cup. This year’s event still carries the “medical” tagline on to it (so far), but High Times editor Dan Skye confirms that the previously patient-only medicating area will be turned into an Amendment 64-friendly, BYO bud, private free-puff zone.
He added that an additional medical-patient-only section will be added this year.
“As far as I’m concerned, the High TimesMedical Cannabis Cup has never been just about medicine,” Skye wrote yesterday in an e-mail to Westword “We certainly stress the importance of basic rights to use pot freely and for whatever reason in our seminars and during our stage presentations.”
Last year, the Cup offered more panels and discussions, most directed toward the then-upcoming vote on Amendment 64. Yours truly also took the stage incognito for a panel on traditional hash making and butane extractions. In addition, there were a lot of booths from local and national head shops and paraphernalia manufacturers, plus your usual sales-pitch booths from dispensaries and grow-supply stores.
But the event’s real attraction (in a carnival sideshow kind of way) is the privately-run “Amendment 20 Compliant Zone” in a large warehouse about a hundred yards out Exdo’s back door by way of the alley. In the past, the location has meant hundreds of people milling around in a circle created by the different vendor booths, all smoking copious amounts of cannabis and hash in bongs, vaporizers, oil rigs and the newest, most innovative smoking contraptions. While dispensaries on hand during the first Cup sold or gave out herb, that wasn’t the case last year — although there was plenty of sharing going on otherwise.
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The actual cannabis competition will remain only for medical marijuana dispensaries, a move that likely will ruffle a few basement growers itching to show off their legal work. Skye said keeping it dispensary-herb only “allow[s] us to have a high assurance that the entries will be healthy and contaminant-free.”
Skye says it was an easy choice to come back to Denver for a third time. “Our events here have been so successful, and we love the small-town atmosphere of Colorado. Even though the Denver metro area is populated by millions, there’s not that urban feel to the region. And people really care about their cannabis. In a state that always tops the list of ‘States with Highest Fitness Levels,’ we love the fact that cannabis is embraced as much as exercise. It blows up the myth of unmotivated stoners.”
No word on tickets yet, but last year a two-day wrist band ran $50.