Cannabis users in Washington State have one less thing to look forward to this summer. High Times magazine has run into some trouble getting approval for their annual U.S. Cannabis Cup in Washington this year. Due to the stipulation that legal marijuana must be regulated and controlled by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, the event may not be occurring in the Evergreen State moving forward.
In the past, High Times was able to use medical marijuana regulations to more easily gain venue approval for the Cannabis Cup. Today, the Washington State Liquor Control Board is standing by wording in Initiative 502 that states that the substance cannot be used in public, which has made it impossible for High Times to hold their event in Seattle this year. In an email to Seattle PI, a state board representative explained:
“The law states that you cannot consume marijuana in public, and these events are, by definition, open to the public.”
Adding more confusion to the pot are a series of catch-22s that make it nearly impossible for organizations like High Times to establish cannabis-related events in Washington. For example, having a liquor license, even with no alcohol on site, automatically disqualifies marijuana use on the premises. Moreover, the law also restricts the selling and sampling of cannabis to licensed stores, and further complicates things by not allowing it to be consumed where it is being sold.
It is precisely because of this bureaucratic labyrinth established by Washington law in conjunction with the Washington State Liquor Control Board that High Times decided has to cancel its upcoming Cannabis Cup event in Seattle. David Skye, editor-in-chief of High Times reported,
“It got to the point where we cannot find a venue in Washington that will do it so we decided to go elsewhere…as far as I can see the politicians and bureaucrats are completely screwing up your marijuana program there.”
In the end, unless lawmakers have the drive to amend the law so public use of cannabis can be allowed under situations where alcohol, for example, could be sampled and consumed, High Times and other like organizations may have to move their events on to greener pastures.
photo credit: tokesignals
It’s only the second celebration of 4/20 in Colorado since the recreational use and retail sale of cannabis was officially legalized. What activities are available to consumers of cannabis who desire to observe the unofficial holiday with other fans of the culture? After all, this isn’t the first rodeo for Denver and Boulder, progressive cities that have embraced both medical and recreational cannabis and hosted a multitude of well-attended events for years.
Despite a new event moratorium on use of public spaces that has prevented Denver’s official 420 Rally from including April 20, more than 80,000 smokers are estimated to participate in the Mile High City’s various 4/20 celebrations. With so many options, what can residents and visitors attend on this special day in cannabis culture?
The Official 420 Rally
Being conducted on April 18 and 19, Denver’s tradition of the Official 420 Rally is now celebrating its 30th year. This year’s event, headlined by American rappers Rick Ross and Devin the Dude, along with dub-step king Mimosa, will celebrate 4/20 with education, music, and culture. Speakers, vendors, and large crowds of progressive smokers will populate Civic Center Park at East Broadway Ave. and Colfax Ave. in Denver. The event is free and estimated to attract tens of thousands of participants — so get there early if you want space for your blanket and room to play Frisbee. You can thank the cannabis community social media moguls at MassRoots for such this amazing weekend.
High Times Cannabis Cup
The High Times U.S. Cannabis Cup is one of the largest marijuana-related gatherings and celebrations in the country. More than 700 vendors will be available, along with music from Snoop Dogg, SOJA, Nas, and JBoog. Presentations will include “The Future for American Legalization” and “Cannabusiness: How to Get a Top Pot Job.” Tickets are $45 per day or $110 for all three days. Tickets for the music concerts, in addition to the event, are priced from $175 to $2,420, with special behind-the-scenes VIP options available.
Marijuana Investor Summit
Make no mistake, the Marijuana Investor Summit is serious business. Held April 20-22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Denver, the event will feature world class speakers, a trade show, and plentiful opportunities for networking. This unique investor summit and business expo is targeted at entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers. Ticket prices range from $695 to $795, with an investor boot camp costing $195.
420 in the Street
For 420 in the Streets, Denver’s Welton Street will feature food, drinks, plenty of vendors, and music by classic rap artists Cypress Hill, Methodman, and Redman. This event is all about the music, and also includes Collie Buddz, Flatbush Zombies, Dizzy Wright, The Underachievers, Con Brio, The ReMINDers, and Tatanka. Tickets range from $35 for general admission to $150 for VIP access.
Puff Pass & Paint
Hone your painting skills with the one and only marijuana-art revolutionary, Heidi Keyes, at her 420-friendly painting class on the eve of Saturday April 17. Only in Denver are you able to unleash this type of creative canvas freedom. Hurry and sign up, as tickets won’t last long at just $50 a pop. While all supplies are included in the price, the event is B.Y.O.C (bring your own cannabis).
Mountain CannaCruise Tours
If you’d like to do more than simply listen to great music and consume cannabis in Denver, you might want to check out one of the Club CannaBus Tours. These five-hour bus tours, priced at $250 per person, include some of Colorado’s most beautiful mountain scenery, stops at two of Colorado’s most reputable dispensaries, a visit to the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and a smoke-out — at an undisclosed location — at 4:20 pm. Cruise participants can choose from either northern or southern mountain tours (the southern tour reaches an elevation of two miles).
If you’re lucky enough to be in Denver for this week of monumental celebrations, you’re sure to have a grand ole time, no matter what you choose to do!
Photo credit: Official 420 Rally, High Times Cannabis Cup, Marijuana Investor Summit, 420 in the Streets, Puff Pass Paint, Mountain CannaBus Tours