Global pot contests

The High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam is the oldest annual pot judging contest in the world. Started in 1988 by then High Times editor Steven Hagar, the cup began as a small event with only three judges and five entrants. Now it boasts dozens of bud and hash entries from the world’s best seed breeders and coffeeshops, and draws thousands of paying judges from many countries each year.
Yet the High Times Cup is not the only cannabis competition in the world. Over the past decade a number of other public pot-testing contests have sprouted up around the world. Here’s a summary of some of the globe’s other ganja judging gatherings.

Nimbin Cannabis Growers Cup

The small Australian town of Nimbin blossoms into a thriving potopolis each May, as they host thousands of stoners and fairy-loving folk at the annual Nimbin Mardi Grass and Cannabis Growers Cup.

The first Nimbin Mardi Grass was held in 1993, with a Cannabis Cup being added the next year. By 1996 the event had crystallized into its present form, with the Hemp Olympix, an opening parade of painted VW vans, and thousands of gaily painted freaks having a stoney good time.

Judging at the Nimbin Cannabis Growers Cup is done by a small selection of special judges. Samples are limited, so judge’s passes are only available to the chosen few. Most people’s only chance of becoming a judge is to win a pass in each year’s traditional raffle.

Australia is known for their tree-sized pot plants and soaring Sativas, and the Nimbin Cup is no exception. However, there is always an ongoing debate in Nimbin between the advantages of outdoor bud versus indoor, hydro-grown product.