September 29, 2020 4 min read
Festivals honoring the green goddess come in all forms. From medical cannabis events and conferences, to marijuana competitions, stoned video game tournaments, and 420-friendly music festivals, there are numerous gatherings of pot enthusiasts organized around the world each year, so there is bound to be a cannabis event just for you. While legalization in certain countries like the United States has made it easier to hold events, places with more of an underground ganja scene also have cannabis events of their own, though they are often focused on driving awareness to revamping cannabis regulations. These are just a few of the must-visit cannabis events that you should add to your calendar.
Each year, Dope Magazine hosts a traveling cannabis competition and sampling event, drawing the largest crowds in its hometown of Portland, Oregon. The event is a celebration of cannabis culture and a way to bring marijuana enthusiasts together, so get your ticket early because it sells out quick. At the Dope Cup cannabis event, visitors can try out everything from cannabis-infused desserts and tea, to bowls and dabs of the newest cannabis strains. If you pay for a $99 judge pass, you’ll be able to meander the booths and cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award. Categories include the “best topical”, “highest THC flower”, “best drink”, and “best CBD edible”, among others.
Though not the first place to come to mind when thinking about legal pot, Ann Arbor has been organizing this marijuana event every year since 1972. The cannabis event is more of a peaceful protest centered around cannabis reform and activism with live music, speeches, and lots of public pot smoking. Has Bash is always held at the University of Michigan Diag on the first Saturday in April and draws crowds of up to 15,000. Oftentimes, celebrities and prominent marijuana activists make an appearance and join in on the fun. The cannabis event has drawn awareness to Michigan weed laws, which was legalized for medicinal use in 2008 and recreational use in 2018.
Spain plus cannabis, get it? Though one of the newer marijuana events on this list, Spannabis is now the largest cannabis event in Europe. The gathering is described as a mix between a trade show and a conference, with every cannabis product imaginable on offer such as hemp textiles, cosmetics, building materials, seeds, smoking accessories, cultivation essentials, and more. Previous panels have covered a variety of topics from phytotherapy (herbal medicine) and cultivation, to the latest cannabis research. Marijuana is still illegal under Spanish law, however the country has a unique take on pot, with legal loopholes that allow for private cannabis clubs. Here users pay a membership fee, which essentially acts as an upfront cost to save your percentage of each grow. Spain still has a long way to go when it comes to cannabis reform, but Catalonia is leading the charge, especially with cannabis events like Spannabis.
Often thought of as the country of ganja, recreational use is actually still illegal in Jamaica, though it has become decriminalized as of 2015 and medical marijuana is legal. The Rastafari Rootzfest was initiated to support marijuana reform in Jamaica and to legitimize use by Rastafarians as a sacred plant. This festival is special because it is considered ganja-exempt by the government. Over the course of three days, festival goers can experience cannabis products, art, crafts, Ital food (Rastafarian cooking), jewelry, educational seminars, and of course, reggae music. The highlight of the cannabis event is the Ganjamaica Cup, which gives awards to the top growers in the country.
There’s nothing better than some west coast bud and live music, and High Life is one of the best cannabis events in California. The two-day High Life Music Festival brings together the best of both worlds under the Southern California sun. The music lineup leans towards hip hop and reggae with previous artists such as Ky-Mani Marley, Berner, and Rich The Kid. Anyone age 21 and over can smoke bud in the cannabis garden, their take on a beer garden. Besides the music, other activities include a skate park, food trucks, water area, glass blowing demos, auto show, and tattoo village, for the brave.
It’s impossible to talk about 420 festivals without mentioning the High Times Cannabis Cup. If you’re living under a rock and haven’t heard about it before, the Cannabis Cup is the largest and most renowned marijuana competition in the world. The first marijuana event was held in Amsterdam in the 1980s and is now organized multiple times a year at various cities throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Cannabis products are judged by industry experts based on a series of criteria with the top three products in each category such as “best new product”, “best indica”, and “best edible”, receiving a Cannabis Cup trophy. Earning the coveted top prize (overall winner) has taken nearly all of the most popular strains we know today from unknown into superstar status. To draw home the point, just a few Cannabis Cup winners include Northern Lights #5, Jack Herer, White Widow, Super Silver Haze, Willie Nelson, Super Lemon Haze, and Blueberry. The touring festival and celebration of ganja also includes people’s choice categories, and a great music lineup with past artists like Wu Tang Clan and Nas.
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