High Times has held its Medical Cannabis Cup events in Denver and San Francisco, with the most recent being in San Fran in June. One thing you notice right away is that the marijuana is very much different than what you get overseas.
For one thing, the North American version of the Cannabis Cup has the burgeoning North American medical cannabis industry to provide the meds. This also means High Times is giving Cannabis Cup awards at its medical events that are more specific and varied than in Holland.
Consider the “Edibles Cup,” but don’t get too hungry eating the winning baklava, chocolate bars, or chocolate-dipped peanut butter truffle. Marijuana food is tricky. It tastes so good, and you can eat a lot of it without realizing how much THC you’re scarfing down, and then an hour later it all hits you and you fall into San Francisco Bay.
At the San Francisco High Times Medical Cannabis Cup, you see that instead of the usual Amsterdam coffeeshops and strains that dominate the Dutch competition, you’re seeing North American ingenuity with special cannabis hybrids, Sativas and Indicas that include strains you rarely, if ever, see in Holland.
These include Alaskan Thunderfuck (couchlock time with incredibly high CBD content), Alpha Blue (a Sativa cross of Blue Dream and Sour Diesel) and several Kush and near-Kush varieties that are probably closer to whatever authentic Kush is than the “Kush” you see in Holland.
You also see innovation in smoking accessories, such as the “Incredibowl” smoking device that High Times awarded a Medical Cannabis Cup to, even though it took me half an hour to figure out how to actually use the device.
One of the coolest things about the San Francisco event is that you could smoke up, buy edibles, and sample marijuana from so many top-rank dispensaries. In North America, dispensaries are the equivalent of marijuana coffeeshops in Holland, although you have to get a doctor’s assistance so you can participate in the marijuana dispensary world.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are often managed with more professionalism and customer-orientation that Dutch coffeeshops, which after all are meant to be basically a “bar” for marijuana users. Please note that a percentage of Dutch shops, such as the Dampkring, the Green House, and the Willie Wortels shops are absolutely primo and you can get amazing weed and hashish from them.
But in general, the types of dispensaries that participate in the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup are a model for how marijuana distribution organizations can provide potent cannabinoids in a respectable, classy setting.
It’s no surprise that a pioneering dispensary like Oakland’s Harborside Health Center won first place in the Indica category at the San Francisco Cannabis Cup.
Harborside Health Center offers dozens of strains and all of them are scientifically tested so they can be labeled with the specific ratios and percentages of THC and other cannabinoids. You don’t get that at Dutch coffee shops, except at Arjan Roskam’s Green House shops.
The San Fran High Times Medical Cannabis Cup also showed the entrepreneurial side of the marijuana industry, with companies like Ferrari 420 Tours explaining how it can give you a medical marijuana vacation that includes visits to the top clubs…or how about a medical marijuana wedding?
High Times is wise to bring its Cannabis Cup magic to North America, and not a moment too soon. Because if the dumbass “Christian” Dutch government has its way, the High Times 2011 Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam might be the last High Times Cup in Holland.
But so what? Other than the fact that Amsterdam is an amazingly beautiful and sophisticated city (I especially love that you don’t see morbidly obese people like you see in the USA: almost everybody walks or rides bikes), North America out-Cups the Dutch High Times Cannabis Cup.
And when you go to a USA Cannabis Cup, you don’t have to worry about trying to get all those new marijuana seeds and other cannabis goodies past airport security for a flight home from Holland across the Atlantic… you just drive back home and grow the Cannabis Cup winners you saw at the High Times event!