Despite Colorado's cannabis-loving reputation, one of the flagship events for North American cannabis consumers has been effectively barred from taking place within state lines - at least for this year. It looks like Colorado's loss is California's gain, with the High Times Cannabis Cup scheduled for April being relocated to San Bernardino.
Last month, Adams County officials rejected a permit for the event, citing concerns over massive crowds and open sampling of cannabis products. The Cup is one of the world's premier marijuana trade shows, featuring competitions, lectures, concerts and - of course - tens of thousands of people smoking, vaping, and eating top-shelf flower and other marijuana products. The sound of that didn't sit well with lawmakers, as High Times editor-in-chief Dan Skye told The Cannabist:
"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'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."
After officials in the Denver metro area blocked the event, organizers launched a bid to move the event to Pueblo, 114 miles south - but continued legislative hurdles, according to emails obtained by The Cannabist, have scuppered the Colorado event altogether:
"There will not be a Cannabis Cup in Pueblo, Colorado, but we will be hosting a one-day Colorado Cannabis Cup award show in Denver on April 19th. There will be 7,500 people in attendance from across the spectrum, consumers, producers and business owners. Cypress Hill, Action Bronson, Cronixx and Parliament Funkadelic will be performing at this event.
As of Wednesday, the 2016 Cannabis Cup has been relocated to the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino from April 15-17.
While Colorado legislators weren't gratified by the prospect of hosting the event, the cannabis community begs to differ: crowds as large as 25,000 are anticipated, bringing tourist dollars to hotels, bars, and restaurants that, um, aren't in Colorado.
banner image: Cannabis Culture / Flickr