From Amsterdam to Negril: The 2015 World Cannabis Cup Sets Down Roots in Jamaica

Article by: Mary Jane Gibson

Tue November 10, 2015 | 00:00 AM

On the Sunday morning of last year’s 27th annual HIGH TIMES World Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, event organizers were informed by Dutch authorities that if HIGH TIMES were to proceed with the Cannabis Cup Expo, the event would be shut down and all participants would be arrested. In the 26 previous years of the Cannabis Cup, there had never been any health or safety issues, or any lawlessness on the part of attendees. It was a sad and difficult ending to the Cannabis Cup for thousands of vendors and attendees who had traveled from all over the world to sample the finest strains of marijuana, mingle with fellow cannasseurs and enjoy the myriad delights of Amsterdam.

HIGH TIMES released a statement to disappointed Cup attendees that laid the blame squarely on the Mayor’s office, stating, “From the onset, we were informed by our lawyers that as long as we remained compliant with local regulations, we would be allowed to proceed. We would never have allowed vendors to set up, nor would we have had opened the doors to the Expo without assurances from the Mayor’s office that we were under compliance.”

Although the high spirits of the event were somewhat dimmed by the Dutch authorities’ refusal to allow the Cannabis Cup to continue, the peace-loving crowd found a way to celebrate their love of cannabis, and insistence on freedom. Hundreds of Cup ticket holders thronged to Amsterdam’s coffee shops instead and smoked to their hearts’ content, toasting the winners of the Cup from shops like the Green House and Barney’s, instead of from the stage of the Melkweg as planned.

In light of the difficulties in Holland last year, for the very first time since the Cannabis Cup was founded in 1988, HIGH TIMES elected not to return to Amsterdam in 2015. Instead, the world’s preeminent cannabis company has partnered with Jamaican authorities to celebrate the herb at the very first World Cannabis Cup in Negril. It’s not your regular tropical vacation—this is a beach holiday hand-in-hand with a world-class cannabis experience.

This week, the first-ever Rastafari Rootzfest, hosting the HIGH TIMES 2015 Jamaican World Cannabis Cup , takes place at the gorgeous Long Bay Beach Park in Negril, November 12-15, 2015. Rastafari Rootzfest is a comprehensive, educational happening celebrating Rastafari ideology and culture. It is also the first-ever event to secure an exemption for ganja since the Jamaican government legally recognized Rastafari sacramental and religious rights earlier this year. Needless to say, this is a historic occasion for the island nation.

World Cannabis Cup Jamaica 2015 Billboard

Leaders in the cannabis cultivation field from both Jamaica and the U.S. will be on hand at the Cup to enlighten would-be growers, offering expertise and wisdom in the quest to get Jamaica’s new cannabis economy off the ground.

Every night during the festival, top Jamaican musical artists will perform: The Mighty Diamonds, Fred Locks, Tarrus Riley, Luciano, Bushman, I Wayne, Janine "Jah9" Cunningham, and Jawara McIntosh AKA Tosh 1 round out the bill. Plus, twice a day during the four-day span of activities, beach yoga classes will get you primed to enjoy this sun-soaked event to its fullest – and don't forget the prestigious awards ceremony, naming the best strains in the world for all to enjoy. It promises to be a week of good vibes, Livity, Ital food, culture, cannabis, peace and love. Get up, stand up for ganja!