Ever heard of the Cannabis Cup? No, it’s not a container to consume marijuana tea or anything like that. It’s the world’s most famous cannabis festival. Founded in 1988 the so called "Cannabis Cup" held by the magazine High Times is held – where else in this world? – in Amsterdam. The festivity takes place each year in late November, usually at the time of American Thanksgiving. In 2015 the event had to be cancelled, but we are looking forward to it being held again in November 2016! Details about the event as well as schedules are usually announced in October. During the event several prices as well as the Cannabis Cup, the main prize which provides the event with its name, are awarded to the world’s best samples of marijuana.

There are numerous categories that the judges are assessing. These categories include the best new cannabis product, the best booth competing, the best glass, the best hash and the best Nederhash (a specific hashish produced in the Netherlands). At the end of the competition judges choose the overall winner in the cannabis variety competition. The judges are experts in their field and also decide which seed company has grown the best indica, sativa and hybrid strain as well as which company has produced the best Neder Hash and best imported hash.


Aside the awards that are decided upon by internationally recognized experts the High Times Cannabis Cup festival includes live shows, music concerts, educational events and a fair displaying new products commercially produced. During the expo experts for instance talk about cultivation and care of plants or casually give out advice to interested visitors. There are various events taking place around the Cannabis Cup, notably are especially the opening night party and the host parties that are usually a lot of fun for visitors. Different musical and comedic acts are furthermore doing shows throughout the event.The event finishes with the Cannabis Cup Awards – the award show presenting the results of the judges votes across all assessed categories.


Because of its long tradition dating back to 1988 the Cannabis Cup even has a Hall of Fame. Every year a worthy person known for his or her expertise in the field is inducted into the High Times Counterculture Hall of Fame.

All products used and displayed during the three-day event are additionally tested for THC and CBD content by independent laboratories in order to insure safety and quality.

Things to do in Amsterdam around the Cannabis Cup
If you are thinking about visiting the Cannabis Cup, you will definitely be in for a good time. Not only is the event itself an institution with a worldwide repition – you will also get to know Amsterdam, one of the most laid-back, stoner-friendly cities in the world.

With its beautiful setting and its nice coffee shops you can easily have a nice, relaxed time in Amsterdam. Coffeeshops are places where soft drugs such as marijuana are sold and can be consumed with the permission of legal forces. Everyone above the age of 18 – also tourists – can legally can enter, purchase and consume products sold in a coffeeshop. Research show that 35% of the tourists visiting Amsterdam also visit a coffeeshop during their stay in the city – you might even make new friends checking out the local offers at the coffeeshop or chilling outside. Consuming cannabis is even allowed outside in Amsterdam!

Visiting Amsterdam’s Cannabis Cup and checking out the Netherlands‘ most famous city will definitely be a great experience.


Even though Amsterdam is the most famous site of the Cannabis Cup, it is increasingly taking place in other locations, too: Since 2010 spin offs of the Cannabis Cup exist in the United States as well. With an increasing number of states legalizing the usage of marijuana also interest in quality products and their proper use is increasing in the United States. Therefore the High Times Magazine now organizes the Cannabis Cup in Northern and Southern Carolina, Denver, Michigan, Seattle and Portland. Just like at the original event in Amsterdam judges are assessing different products and awarding prizes in different categories. Of course also the Cannabis Cup is awarded for the best Cannabis available on the market. Expert judges vote on the best indica, the best sativa, the best hybrid, the best concentrates, best edibles and highest level of CBD in cannabis products. Attendees of the event give their votes for best booth, the best products and the best glass of each Cannabis Cup fair.

Beside the events held in the United States Cannabis Cup collaborates with a wide range of events in other cities and countries, that are not however directly organized by the High Times magazine. Those locations include, for instance, Uruguay or Canada.

The world seems to become a more cannabis-friendly place all around these days. Browse the web to find out if there are any happenings around you similar to Cannabis Cup – or even a spin-off coming near you!

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