An ‘Oscar’ Awards for the Pot Industry? Los Angeles’ 2014 “Cannabis Cup” Awards:
It’s Academy Awards week in Hollywood, and with all of the parties, receptions and genera l “let’s pat ourselves on our backs again” attitude floating around, there’s sure to be a semi-permanent purple haze cloud hovering directly above Hollywood all week. It’s a safe bet to assume several of our favorite nominees and winners from this year’s ‘Oscars,’ either got high before, during or after (or all of the above) the awards ceremony this year in order to celebrate their achievement of buffer their disappointment or sorrows.
The pot industry and cannabis culture in general has had its best year ever in 2013 with the recent positive upsurge in public opinion and the ever growing tide of pot legalization around the country. California recently has taking somewhat of a backseat to Colorado and Washington state as the leading centers of the pot industry and both medicinal and recreational use, but did you know that California is the home of the industry’s most illustrious achievement awards? – sort of a pot-version of the “Oscars.”
High Times magazine sponsored the Los Angeles Cannabis Cup (February 8th, 2014) which was a trade convention that showed off the latest products as well as presented awards to pioneers in the industry while overall celebrating the huge strides cannabis culture has made in the past landmark year, 2013. Approximately 10,000 people attended the event held in San Bernardino, outside of L.A. This was apparently twice the attendance of any previous year, according to coverage by USA Today.
The industry is unarguably experiencing an all time high with recent legalization achievements, a growing number of states opening up the doors for medicinal use, and a majority of Americans supporting further legalization. President Obama even
Awards recognized different strains of marijuana that were rated by judges. Separate categories for sativa, indica, and hybrid strains and hashish and marijuana concentrate forms were all established and awarded. Other awards went to “best new marijuana-related products,” such things like glass bongs, pipes, vaporizers, etc..
Even though the movie industry’s biggest night for the Academy Awards never has a problem always being welcomed in Los Angeles, not all of California is yet solidly behind “pot culture.” This was evidenced by some difficulty the event organizers had in solidifying the location for this years event following some LA area objections to the event taking place there: In San Bernardino, the event was held at the citrus and agriculture exhibition park basically because it was forced out of a venue in Glendale, CA. Local authorities brought up objections to the event permit citing that the trade show was too close to a local school.
San Bernardino proved to be a much more welcoming location, and event organizers worked very carefully to structure all of the trade show demonstrations and awards, and ceremonies to work within all local laws. “Audience participation” was carefully structured ahead of time as well with restricted pot smoking being allowed at the event but only for those having permits for medicinal use. A special “medicating area” was established outdoors at the event for those wishing to light up.
By all accounts the event was a stunning success, and in general reflects a very “high” year for High Times magazine as well, according to editor and event organizer, Jen Bernstein. Apparently, readership was up 40% in the past year for the magazine that documents all things pot culture related.