Ice Cube to headline first licensed Cannabis Cup marijuana festival in Southern California
High Times magazine gets OK to bring event back to San Bernardino.
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Ice Cube is set to headline High Times Cannabis Cup SoCal 2019, which the magazine is billing as a “triumphant return” of its iconic cannabis festival to Southern California.
Last year’s Cannabis Cup almost didn’t happen, after organizers failed to land permits that were newly required in 2018 for all California events with marijuana consumption and sales. The confusion led to a steep drop in attendance from previous years, as vendors bailed and critics took to social media to blast the chaos.
That also turned out to be the norm. Not a single sanctioned cannabis event was held in Southern California last year, as festival organizers struggled to navigate the newly legal cannabis scene.
But High Times has already secured a permit from the city for this year’s festival, which is coming to National Orange Show Events Center on Memorial Day weekend, according to San Bernardino officials. And a state permit is in the works, paving the way for adults to legally buy and smoke marijuana during the two-day show.
“I’m happy to say that the promoters of this event have gone above and beyond to ensure compliance,” Mayor John Valdivia said via email. “We look forward to a safe and successful event.”
High Times magazine launched its Cannabis Cup circuit 30 years ago in its counterculture heyday. The festivals thrived during the era of California’s gray medical marijuana, with thousands of people flooding NOS Events Center and other venues a few times a year to listen to music and smoke weed.
The events were always dubiously legal, though, with organizers finding protection in medical marijuana laws by forcing attendees to get doctor’s recommendations for cannabis as they entered the gates.
California law that took effect Jan. 1, 2018 legalized recreational cannabis, and said cannabis festivals could let anyone 21 and older buy and smoke weed. But the law also required festival organizers to get permission from state and local agencies.
That turned out to be a problem for Cannabis Cup. Less than 48 hours before the 2018 event was scheduled to start, the San Bernardino City Council voted not to issue a permit for the event, setting off rumors that the event was canceled or would be weed-free.
High Times insisted via social media that the show would go on, but that no cannabis sales would take place. The company encouraged attendees to to “bring their own.” But the last-minute controversy kept people away, with festival tickets offered for sale online eventually sold for steep discounts or not at all. As a result, publicly traded High Times reported that it lost $1.2 million on a 12 percent decline in revenue during the first half of 2018.
The Los Angeles-based company adapted. It agreed to file detailed site plans, pay thousands of dollars in licensing fees and submit to strict state and local regulations – such as blocking alcohol sales and only allowing state-licensed vendors. All was done with an eye toward hosting future events in California.
The company’s leadership also made campaign contributions to local elected officials, including $10,000 in August from High Times CEO Adam Levin to Valdivia’s ultimately successful campaign for mayor.
High Times landed the first state permit for a festival in Southern California earlier this year. In March, it promoted the High Times Dope Cup High Desert in Adelanto. And the company recently landed a permit from San Bernardino for Cannabis Cup.
It’s not clear what the rules will be on buying cannabis. An event website doesn’t yet say whether marijuana will be sold during the festival, and under frequently asked questions the organizers tell prospective guests to bring their “personal stash” of up to an ounce of marijuana.
But High Times is also promising “more weed, more vendors” and more music acts to be announced soon.
Guests must be 21 years and older to attend the festival, slated for May 25 to 26.
Ice Cube to headline first licensed Cannabis Cup marijuana festival in Southern California High Times magazine gets OK to bring event back to San Bernardino. Share this: Click to share
Marijuana Cannabis Cup Moves To San Bernardino After ‘Opposition’ In L.A., Glendale
This joint has been passed around more times than a blunt backstage with Snoop Dogg.
High Times magazine has announced a last-minute move for its now-annual L.A. area Cannabis Cup weed competition and convention: It’s headed to San Bernardino after it was apparently rejected in both L.A. and Glendale:
The show must go on, and it will do so at the National Orange Show Events Center starting tomorrow (tickets).
In a statement the magazine blames “local opposition” to the event and expresses particular ire for the LAPD, arguing that its L.A. Center Studios convention went off …
… successfully last year with the knowledge and cooperation of LAPD.
Credit: High Times
Its plans to return to L.A. Center Studios thwarted, the Cup headed to Glendale but was met with a temporary restraining order.
That city said there were no permits for the party at Glendale Studios and that multiple code violations would have been the result as 3,000 people each day were expected, according to the Glendale News-Press.
On, then, to the National Orange Show Events Center, which is well known for raves hosted there by Insomniac Events, which recently moved a forthcoming festival following noise complaints and threats of legal action from that city.
The cup is a reflection of the magazine’s legendary cannabis competition in Amsterdam in which strains are evaluated based on potency, high and flavor. The magazine’s latest issue celebrates the 25th anniversary of that event.
In L.A., the medical marijuana capital of the nation, local dispensaries vie for awards that can translate to marketing victories for their brands of pot.
Last year’s event near downtown L.A.; Credit: Nanette Gonzalez for LA Weekly
We reached out to High Times editors, and to Glendale officials, but were not able to speak to them immediately. In a statement, High Times editorial director Dan Skye says this:
Our community has become accustomed to this type of mindless harassment — and that’s never stopped us before. We want everyone to know that HIGH TIMES is not diminished or deterred in the least from continuing our pursuit of legal cannabis. We hope to see everyone come out this weekend.
See also: Los Angeles Medical Cannabis Cup 2012. This joint has been passed around more times than a blunt backstage with Snoop Dogg. High Times magazine has announced a last-minute move for its now-annual L.A. area Cannabis Cup weed competition and convention: It's headed to San Bernardino after it was…