Southern Nevada takes its first hit of the Cannabis Cup

A man smokes marijuana from a vaporizer during the 24th-annual High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 2011.
Photo: Peter Dejong / AP
Deanna Rilling

Grab your lighters, because the crème de la crème of cannabis competitions is coming. On March 4 and 5, the legendary High Times Cannabis Cup will make its first appearance in Southern Nevada in recognition of the full legalization of recreational marijuana statewide. Whether you’re a long-time medical marijuana patient or a newbie to the world of cannabis hoping to learn more about the versatile plant, all adults ages 21 and up are welcome to attend. (That’s assuming the federal government doesn’t shut it down completely, which it began suggesting it might do around the time this story went to press.)

The Cannabis Cup has become a staple in other states with legalized marijuana, with growers competing in various categories to be crowned the best in the business. Now, with advances in technology, the competition will include more than just cannabis flower, with concentrates and edibles also in the spotlight. But you don’t have to be a cannabis expert to enjoy the festivities.

High Times has long been at the forefront in teaching cannabis lovers how to grow the plant, so naturally the Cannabis Cup features a variety of seminars and demonstrations for the novice. Grow experts Danny Danko and Nico Escondido will be on hand to instruct attendees on the best methods and practices for cultivation, and to answer related questions. For those who have already mastered growing marijuana, the event also offers insight into concentrates like wax, shatter, oil, crumble and more, by way of seminars and panels. In addition, rosin press demonstrations, glass blowing and a dab rig exposition will expand your knowledge of the multitudes of medicating methods.

For those who prefer to eat their cannabis, the Cannabis Cup is introducing a new competition in Vegas: the Cannabis Chef Competition. Eight chefs face off Saturday and Sunday in what promises to be one of the weekend’s more intense battles. Chefs will go head-to-head, preparing dishes infused with cannabis as the clock ticks down. And we’re not just talking cookies and brownies. They’ll have access to sponsor MagicalButter’s infusions, plus vegetables, fresh protein, grains, sauces, spices and an array of kitchen appliances. The hosts will randomly select a regional cuisine—say, Vietnamese—and chefs will have 30 minutes to prepare six plates. The edibles village will serve up samples, in addition to providing cooking demonstrations and Q&A sessions with other cannabis chefs.

And it wouldn’t be the Cannabis Cup without a concert to wrap up each night. Expect the air to be dank and hazy when Ludacris and J Boog headline Saturday and Sunday, respectively—attendees will be permitted allowed to bring medicine and smoking accessories to the venue. Just make sure you have a designated driver to get you home safely after partaking in your favorite ganja.

High Times Cannabis Cup March 4-5, $55-$420. Across from Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza (Valley of Fire Highway & I-15, Exit 75), cannabiscup.com.

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