The opening of the 10th annual Cannabis Cup saw a line a block long waiting patiently for entry to the Pax Party House. Once inside, the attendees were able to register for the judging of this year's entries. The somewhat disorganized start (we found four versions of the schedule floating around), got it's act together in the afternoon as the expo booths took shape with dozens of companies displaying the latest Cannabis wares.
A display case in the lobby contains the sensimilla and hashish entries for this year's judging. For the first time an entry from Switzerland was included - a bushy red bud the size of a forearm! Each year the seed companies develop new hybrids that combine elements from distinct cannabis strains. This friendly competition rewards the creative work of those innovators who continue to expand the psychotropic potential of cannabis.
The expo highlights include new hemp fashions, from Ohio to Paris. Food from hemp burgers to cheese to condiments are attractively packaged with samples available. The taste of which has improved over the years. The usual headshop products of colorful pipes, bongs, vaporizors, papers, etc. are evident in many booths.
Organizations fighting for liberalization/legalization of marijuana laws around the world, such as the International Cannabis Organization, pass out literature and sign up new members.
At the Press dinner, High Times staff and celebrity judges talked about the continuing need to organize and protest the repressive cannabis laws around the world. Paul Krassner and Steven Hagar
At the dinner, we got to sit with Ed Rosenthal, the cultivation guru. He shared his ideas about new cannabis products including high THC hemp fibers for making clothes and accessories. Thus allowing you to smoke your clothes should you run out of buds. Of course this pales next to his idea to bio-engineer a form of E-coli bacteria that manufactures pure THC. Better check the ingredients of your next carton of yogurt - it might get you high!
After dinner, we took the High Times shuttle bus over to the Milkweg (Milky Way) venue for the musical portion of the evening. After the moving opening dedication by ..... the crowd moved to the big hall where the Cannabis Cup Band performed a number of rousing marijuana themed tunes. A large bong was passed among the band members, and marijuana was handed to the audience.