The People Have Chosen

The Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Awards are keeping the High Times tradition alive and going stronger than ever.
The People Have Chosen

The Cannabis Cup People’s Choice was born in 2020 and hasn’t taken a break on awarding the best cannabis around the country in 2021 and beyond. Despite the chaotic times we’ve all been having, we knew that cannabis cultivators were still pumping out award-winning products and that people around the country wanted to find the best weed. The People’s Choice concept opened up the Cannabis Cups to anyone who wanted to be a judge. Now with up to 228 Judge Kits per category, Judge Kits are no longer reserved only for the Wiz Khalifas and Jack Herers of the world.

For each competition, we now have 1,500-2,500 Judge Kits available across the state. Judges from all walks of life have lined up before the opening of their local dispensaries to be the first to get their Judge Kits. With categories ranging from Indica Flower to Sativa Flower, Vape Pens to Concentrates, and Edibles to PreRolls, there’s something for every cannabis enthusiast. Each Judge Kit comes with a hefty variety of samples from the top brands in each state, all of which judges can score their products 1-10 on Aesthetics, Aroma, Taste, Effects, Burnability and other criteria.

For example, most Flower kits have (28) one-gram entries for a full ounce, broken down into 28 tasty samples to experience. Each kit is complete with the competition samples and a scorecard that gives each judge an access code to the High Times Judge Portal (CannabisCup.com/Judge), all of it contained in a swaggy High Times Judge backpack that you can rock foryears to come. Ifyou haven’t been a judge in the past because you were never selected, now is the time to get in on the action. Visit CannabisCup.com/ Preregister to get updates.

In just under two years since its inception, the Cannabis Cup People’s Choice has toured from Oklahoma to Michigan, Illinois to California, and has launched the Cups into new States like Arizona and Massachusetts for the first time in the Cup’s 35-year history. As other states have continued to embrace cannabis legalization, High Times will be supporting them along the way, ready to host even more Cannabis Cups.

On April 20,2021 in Michigan, crowds of judges lined up early to be the first to get their hands on their beloved Judge Kits, which varied between 13 different categories. Local community favorite, LocalGrove, came out on top with 1st Place wins for Indica Flower, Hybrid Flower, Medical Flower and Medical Pre-Rolls for their MAC1 and Runtz strains, with culture-driven cannabis company, Heavyweight Heads, stealing 1st Place in Sativa Flower for their Orangutan buds.

For the first-ever launch in Arizona, the Cup brought to light the fact that consistency across states is crucial. Alien Labs, who came off of recent SoCal wins, brought their talents to the state of Arizona and took home 1st Place for Indica and Sativa Flower for their Kryptochronic and Melonade varieties, respectively, plus Gelato 41 Pre-Rolls. Meanwhile, Connected rings in 1st Place Hybrid Flower for Gushers. For all of our concentrate-lovers out there, look no further than Shango’s Alien Cookies Live Rosin or Item 9 Labs’ Black and Blue Kush Vape Pen. Hungry? Snack (carefully) on Baked Bros’ Stoney Gummies or Ediquette Edibles’ Hazelnut Tmffles, which one judge describes as “out-of-this-world indulgent.”

Up in the hills of Northern California where cannabis has a long-standing history, legendary brands and new brands alike took their place on stage. Tenured winner, Sovereign, reigned supreme with 1st Place Hybrid Flower for MAC, while Atrium Cultivation won 1st Place Indica Flower for Juice Z, and Garcia Hand-Picked plucked out 1st Place Sativa Flower for their Super Lemon Haze.

Returning to the wild west of Oklahoma at summer’s end, we saw huge improvements in quality of product from 2020 to 2021. Small family operation, Icy Melts, tookhome 1st Place fortheir Cart Creek Hash Rosin Stix, while Texoma Labs clocked in on top for Pre-Rolls with their Dirty 30’s joints. Desert Extracts’ Slow Burn and Releaf Extracts took home 1st Place Indica Concentrates and Sativa Concentrates, respectively, and none other than Cicada Labs x Jubel Exotics collabing for the 1st Place Non-Solvent Concentrate, DK Smash Live Rosin Batter. To top it off, F5 Farms takes home 1st Place Sativa Flower, Phresh Harvest wins Hybrid Flower, and newcomer Gas Giant wins 1st Place Indica Flower for Oklahoma’s 2021 Cup.

With another inaugural launch into a new state, the People’s Choice Cup found top-ranking products in the OT Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With one of the biggest showings of judges on the day of on-sale, we knew Mass was ripe for the Cup. Priding themselves on pioneering authenticity, Happy Valley impressed the crowds with 1st Place Hybrid and Sativa Flower wins, while Bountiful Farms takes 1st Place Indica Flower, establishing a new standard of excellence in the market. For the Pre-Roll enthusiasts, Nova Farms packs major heat with their Southie Sundae Infused Blunt. Quality concentrates and oils anyone? Rhythm takes 1st Place Concentrates, while Church and Insa bring home 1st Place trophies for Indica Vape Pens and Sativa Vape pens, respectively. See the rest of Massachusetts’s firstever Cannabis Cup winners at Cannabiscup.com. Big thank you to our partner, NETA, for making all of this possible from compliance to logistics.

As the leaves changed colors in Illinois, it was time for the Cup’s 2nd calling to see who’s been hard at work in the past year. Remember when Revolution Cannabis won six out of seven awards in 2020? That seems to be fueling some fierce competition in the State. Backing up their previous sweep, Revolution takes home 1st Place trophies for Indica Flower, Sativa Flower and Concentrates, plus four other awards, but Triple 7 came in hot with 1st Place Hybrid Flower, NuEra with the highest-ranking Pre-Rolls, and Select taking the cake with their Ray Charles Elite Live Resin Vapes. Bedford Grow stole the Edibles show with 1st Place in both Gummies and Non-Gummies categories. We love watching this market develop with new winners every year.

Last but not least of 2021, Cannabis Cup Nevada judges are off to the races on judging at the time of writing this. We’re thrilled to see the results unfold and announce the winners at the end of 2021.

Overall, the Cannabis Cup People’s Choice saw in its second year a total of 1,220 entries across 366 unique brands. 70 Cannabis Cup trophies and 140 medals will have been received by master cultivars, processors, and manufacturers that have earned their stripes and can indulge in the fruits of their labor. Over 12,000 Judge Kits were distributed across all competitions where judges went hard at work to test samples and provide scores and feedback on all products, all of which go back to the competing brands so they can see direct consumer feedback on their products. There is never any tampering with scores or reviews, so judges will always truly determine the winners, and competitors will receive all judge feedback—whether wonderfully positive or brutally negative.

The Cannabis Cups are for consumers to learn about all of the products they have access to and to determine who is the best. They are also for the brands to learn more about their customer base, improve upon their products and to expand the success of their businesses. We will continue to plan and execute Cannabis Cups in territories where it is legal, and continue to shine a light on the Cannabis Cup-winning brands around the world in 2022 and beyond.

To see all Cannabis Cup People’s Choice winners and upcoming competitions, visit CannabisCup.com and email us at Advertising@hightimes.com for more info on competing, or Competition@hightimes.com for more info on judging.

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