The High Times Cannabis Cup is returning to Michigan, and wants you to be a judge

Mar 14, 2022 at 3:42 pm
click to enlarge Judging kits with 15 to 35 samples will be available for $100 to $300. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Judging kits with 15 to 35 samples will be available for $100 to $300.

Getting completely stoned to decide which brand has the best weed probably sounds like a dream job for some. Well, that dream could soon become a reality when the High Times Cannabis Cup returns to Michigan this April.

The people’s choice contest is inviting everyday pot smokers to judge the competition. Pretty much anyone who can legally buy recreational or medical cannabis in Michigan can participate.

So other than actually smoking cannabis, how do you become a judge? Here’s the deal. More than 3,300 “judging kits” with 15 to 35 samples of flower, gummies, pre-rolls, vape cartridges, and more will be available at select Michigan dispensaries from April 16. Pick one up, sample the products, and place your vote for each category.

The kits come in discreet, “smell-proof” black backpacks with a huge High Times logo across the front. On second thought, maybe that’s not really that discreet after all.

What’s the catch? There isn’t one, as long as you’re cool with paying $100 to $300 to get your hands on a bag.

Last year’s Cannabis Cup in Michigan featured 76 brands and nearly 300 products, and even more are expected to join this year.

“This April, we are launching the largest-ever Cannabis Cup in Michigan’s history, with 17 unique categories across recreational and medical products for a total of over 3,300 judge kits,” High Times director of events and competitions, Mark Kazinec, said in a press release. “...If this year is anything like last year, we expect lines of enthusiasts ready to purchase their kits at the select dispensaries, which may very well sell out the same day.”

That part about selling out is no joke. Omar Hishmeh of Exclusive Brands told the Free Press that people were lining up outside the brand's Ann Arbor location at 3 a.m. last year. That's six hours before the shop opened.

Exclusive’s Heavyweight Heads took first place in the recreational sativa flower category last year with its Orangutan strain.

There are 12 recreational and five medical categories, including indica flower, sativa flower, hybrid flower, edibles (gummies and non-gummies), and more. Winners will be announced on June 26 during the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan Awards Show.

Judges are asked to give detailed comments on aroma, taste, aesthetics, and effects of each product, so just smoking it up and saying, “yeah, that weed got me so high I thought I was in another dimension,” probably isn’t good enough.

While the Cannabis Cup goes way back to 1988 in Amsterdam, the people’s choice format began in 2021 after the in-person event was canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. Before, famous folks like Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson were the ones doing the judging.

Full contest rules and a list of Michigan’s previous Cannabis Cup winners can be found at cannabiscup.com.

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