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About This Festival


NOS Events Center|689 S E St San Bernardino, CA

Roots of the Festival

The festival was founded in 1987 by Steven Hager, an American writer, activist, and strong proponent for the legalization of marijuana. He first conceived the event as a harvest celebration to promote the personal cultivation and use of cannabis. With such liberal drug laws in Amsterdam it came as no surprise when the city was announced as the host venue.

In 1988, Hager took on the role as editor of the High Times magazine, a name now synonymous with the Cup. Hager was also very active in the counterculture movement and by the sixth year he began introducing a spiritual aspect into the event. Each day at 4:20 (the U.S. penal code used for marijuana possession) people gather by the main stage for an open mic session. People are encouraged to exchange ideas and many of the speakers talk about how marijuana brings them closer to God.

In 1997, the Counterculture Hall of Fame was created to recognize those who had helped shape the movement. The inductions are made every year on Thanksgiving as part of the Cannabis Cup awards show. The first person to be inducted was reggae legend Bob Marley. Other notable inductees include Jack Kerouac, Louis Armstrong, and Bob Dylan.

In recent years the festival expanded internationally to the United States, first in the form of the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup, and then as the High Times Cannabis Cup (in states that have legalized recreational marijuana). The first event took place in San Francisco (natch) in 2010, and Cups now take place in Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle, Portland and beyond.

Get Involved

A Cannabis Cup pass includes entry to the expo for the duration of the festival along with admission to all seminars, concerts, ceremonies and a free shuttle from your hotel to all Cannabis Cup-related activities. You also get a gift bag, a special Cannabis Cup T-shirt and program guide outlining the schedule of events. Tickets are available for purchase prior to the festival at

The core of the Cannabis Cup is the expo, which is similar in some aspects to a business convention. There are booths showcasing smoking paraphernalia, cultivation seminars, food stalls and live music performance—reggae being a popular favorite. If you are lucky, you might even bump into a famous celebrity weed-smoker like Snoop Dogg, who has attended the festival in recent years. And festival activities are not limited to the expo. 420-friendly side excursions will be on offer from many hotels and resorts in Negril.

Be sure to take note of the types of cannabis you try. It’s not too often you get to sample real homegrown Jamaican herb! Rastafari Rootzfest is the very first ganja-exempt event to be held since the Jamaican government legally recognized Rastafari Sacramental and Religious Rights earlier this year. Cup attendees will vote to select the People’s Choice Cannabis Cup winner. It’s a special time.

The Awards

The judges don't just vote for the overall winner of the Cannabis Cup. A number of prizes will be handed out across a range of categories for both the Jamaican Cannabis Cup and the World Cannabis Cup, including:

  • Jamaica People’s Choice (voted for by you, the attendee!)
  • Jamaica Hash
  • Jamaica Indica
  • Jamaica Sativa
  • Awards for sativa, indica and hybrid flowers, concentrates, topicals and edibles in the World Cannabis Cup

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Upcoming Festivals

Feb 2017 Dates Unconfirmed
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