Last weekend I attended the U.S. High Times Cannabis Cup in Denver, Colorado and although I’ve been to every Cup held in Los Angeles, this was my first one in a different state.

High Times always puts on a great event but I was even more excited to see what it would be like in a recreationally legal area, especially on the weekend of 4/20. However, although I had a great time as usual, it was not the cannabis carnival free-for-all that I was initially expecting.

While its true that I may be a little spoiled when it comes to these events, I did leave feeling slightly disappointed and it took me a day or two to figure out exactly why. After some careful consideration, I realized that there were a couple of factors that contributed to this feeling but what it all boiled down to was… I want the High Times 4/20 celebration to be held in Los Angeles.



Let’s just talk about the weather for a minute. Basically, it was freezing during the first day, not much better on the second and then suddenly warm on the actual day of 4/20. I know what some of you are thinking: “Listen to the weak California girl complaining that 50 degrees is cold.” You’d be entirely correct if that was the only thing that made me uncomfortable; I fully admit that I am a thin-blooded valley girl who needs a jacket when its below 65 degrees. But it wasn’t only the cold, it was the fact that the weather was completely unpredictable.

On Saturday, within a matter of hours, it went from cold but sunny (and totally tolerable) to a thunderstorm. Not a thunderstorm as in “Its cold and rainy with some thunder,” a thunderstorm like “We’re going to ask you all to shut down now so you don’t get struck by lightning.” Yeah, I was out as soon as I heard that. On the other hand, during the Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino this past February, there was a light sprinkle that lasted about 20 minutes before drying up. Other than that, both days were pretty sunny and comfortable, even during winter. So… can someone please explain why we don’t celebrate 4/20 in the beautiful Los Angeles sunshine?

I would assume that the main impetus behind holding the 4/20 Cup in Denver is simply because of the recreational aspect of cannabis in that state; and that’s a pretty big deal.

However, with recreational use comes stricter regulation. With very little warning prior to the event, MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) proclaimed that all businesses with a license would not be allowed to sell or give away any cannabis products at the risk of losing their license. (The groups selling or giving away product – like the Vader/Paris group – pretty much saved the day. And did I mention they’re from California? You’re welcome). That meant that all of the local businesses that had purchased booth space at the Cannabis Cup were there for…

What exactly? That’s thousands of dollars spent just to hang out; something that they could have gotten just for the price of admission. Possibly this is why I noticed that there were so many vacant booth spaces. (Or, you know, the thunderstorm just blew the booths away. Yes, that actually happened to quite a few people).


Since Colorado does allow for recreational use, people flew in from all over the country, something they would not be able to do in California (which requires a medical recommendation to get into the consumption area). Yet somehow I don’t think that holding the Cup in Colorado during a different time of the year would really affect the amount of people who fly in to attend.

In fact, it might even be better. How many of us were reluctant to ask for those days off of work, knowing that our bosses would look at us in that condescendingly knowing way when we did? I can’t imagine that it would be that difficult to change where they hold the event during different times of the year, particularly since they just announced in Colorado that this coming November they will be holding the first ever Cannabis Cup in Jamaica.

I would love to be able to celebrate 4/20 at the High Times Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles and travel to Colorado during a different time of the year. Like, maybe the middle of summer. And actually, that’s what I think High Times should consider. Most people recognize that dabs are the new big thing in the cannabis community, so why not hold the Colorado Cup on… 7/10?!

We could celebrate both holidays, people would still travel to attend during a new holiday in a recreational state and we could all enjoy the events in relative comfort without the threat of electrocution. Think about it, High Times.