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Why The Denver Cannabis Cup Was Rejected This Year

Cannabis is legal in Denver - but that doesn't mean you can light up with impunity at the world's largest 420 celebrations. Earlier this week, the 2016 Denver Cannabis Cup ran into another serious snag. Adams County officials rejected a permit for the event, citing concerns about the large numbers of people sampling products.

The sheer size of the pot-loving crowds who show up in Denver for 420 can present problems: in 2013, celebrations were marred by a shooting; the following year, increased security measures included a fence around the Civic Center and pat-downs for attendees, as well as obligations for vendors to discourage public marijuana consumption.

Although the 2015 celebration, which drew an 3,000 people to Lincoln Park, went off without much of a hitch, the U.S. Cannabis Cup in Denver looked a lot different from the party of years past, with narcs strolling around the venue and the enforcement division of Colorado's state marijuana department sending out an industry-wide bulletin warning those in the business to "diminish the potential for improper conduct."

cannabisdestiny / Flickr

And now, they're not will to host the event at all. "From a safety perspective, I have serious concerns about this event and this venue," Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh told the commission.

The rejection came after organizers tried to ameliorate concerns by capping the number of attendees at 15,000, compared to the 35,000 that attended each day last year. Organizers had promised to fix issues that arose during the inaugural cup in 2014 - an effort which clearly left county officials and law enforcement unimpressed.

Scuppering the Cannabis Cup is far from the end of 420 celebrations in Denver: the protestors, giddy tourists, and cannabis aficionados will simply find other venues to enjoy their legal high.

But the rejection of the Cup application is another illustration of Denver's conflicted relationship with legal marijuana: while county officials might love the tax revenue, disorderly, in-your-face public manifestations of the culture are still, even for America's cannabis capital, a bit too much.

h/t The Cannabist

Click here to read about the Denver Cannabis Cafes.


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