Michigan Cannabis Cup Preview: Everything You Need to Smoke, Eat, See and Do at the Auto City Speedway

A user’s guide to Michigan’s largest cannabis community event
Michigan Cannabis Cup Preview: Everything you need to smoke, eat, see and do at the Auto City Speedway
Rick Thompson/ High Times

Nothing says early summer in Michigan like the High Times Cannabis Cup. On June 9 the Auto City Speedway near Flint will once again be jumping with the sounds, smells and tastes of the state’s largest cannabis community gathering. It can be daunting, so we whipped up a guide full of some handy tips and tricks.


Michigan Cannabis Cup Preview: Everything you need to smoke, eat, see and do at the Auto City Speedway
Photos by Rick Thompson/ High Times

Buy Your Tickets in Advance

Although this is always good advice, at the Cannabis Cup, it’s a real time-saver. Each person is searched and metal detected for weapons, so the entry can be slow when you arrive. Have your medical marijuana card and identification with you; although there is an on-site certification service, being prepared beforehand will give you more time enjoying the Cup events and less time enjoying the line outside the venue. And get that High Times gift bag before you walk out onto the Speedway infield- you’ll need something to carry all your freebies and giveaways in!

Be Prepared for Lots of Sun. Or Rain.

There are vendors selling food and water all over the Cup but nobody sells SPF 1000 sunblock (a lesson from personal experience). Bring what you need based on the weather forecast. In Michigan, that could range from a sun parasol to a raincoat on the same day, so plan ahead and travel with a group- that way, there’s always someone to hold your parasol while you get selfies with celebrities.

Live Music on Saturday Night

In Michigan, the High Times Cup has always featured top quality musical acts who frequently toke up on stage. An all medical marijuana patient audience means the crowd is free to engage the blaze, too, and many stage photos of hot musical acts from past Cup events have been ruined (or enhanced) by clouds of cannabis smoke. The man with the most hits performing on Sunday has to be Ludacris; the man with the most local street cred performing is definitely rapper Trick Trick, a pillar of Detroit’s modern music scene. Nevertheless, the fans will all flock to Waka Flocka and the featured performer, Vic Mensa. Fans can get closer to the performers at the High Times Cannabis Cup concert than they ever will at a typical concert venue, making this a very camera-friendly evening experience.

Give Some Love

Several booths in the non-profit section are worth stopping by. Sons and Daughters United are most well-known for their “F*CK CANCER” t-shirts and hoodies, but their real work is providing legal services to the poor. Michigan Medical Marijuana Association just coordinated the submission of more than 100 new conditions to the medical program, more than 10 of which are likely to be added before the end of summer. And no trip to a cannabis event is complete without saying “High!” to the folks at Michigan NORML and MILegalize, who are both part of a coalition bringing a legalized adult use of cannabis proposal to the statewide ballot in November 2018.

Don’t Forget the Beans

Local genetics legends Mota Rebel will have a booth at the Cup event, and their history of winning competitions makes them a big hit at every High Times party they attend. These guys travel all around and make Michigan look good everywhere they go. Likewise, Cup vendor Radicle Genetics from metro Detroit has been making an impact on the cultivation scene since they first started sprouting in the early days of the medical marijuana program. When you want to grow trees, you have to start with the best beans.


Michigan Cannabis Cup Preview: Everything you need to smoke, eat, see and do at the Auto City Speedway

The Blues

DJ Short has traveled across Michigan telling his tale of the Blueberry strain and educating smart cultivators on the subject of genetics and phenotypes. Michigan caregivers have embraced this wisdom and are crafting some very Blue hybrid strains with strong characteristics. Statewide favorites include Blue Dream, Blueberry Headband and Blue Cookies. Take care in evaluating the flower and select only the finest Blueberry crosses, or for a true old school superior experience acquire the original strain endorsed by the inventor himself. You can’t lose with the Blues.

The Glues

Everyone wants to take a good thing and make it better, and with Gorilla Glue, it actually happened. Like the Diesel strain before it, Glue seems to take well to hybrid variants and is a great base strain to experiment with. Purists may like ‘straight’ Gorilla Glue #4 flower but other hybrid strains like Gorilla Fuck, Super Glue and Elmer’s Glue have dominated dispensary shelves in Michigan. There are Glue variants for every taste, including spicy, sweet or plain-old dank; just let your nose guide you to the best flower.

Free Leonard

Seeds of Free Leonard (the real strain) are often bartered between Michigan caregivers for things like, you know, cars and Bitcoin. There are those who worship the strain named after famed Native American federal prisoner Leonard Peltier for its mellow high and pleasant effect. As such this medicine seldom makes it to the cannabis market, so finding a caregiver with a joint of it may be easier than finding a booth featuring the product. If you are lucky enough to find the true Leonard somewhere, gobble it up and enjoy like a connoisseur.

Pinconning Paralyzer

Without a doubt, Pinconning Paralyzer is the most identifiable Michigan made strain. Pinconning is a Lake Huron shoreline community whose Paralyzer has been delighting Michiganders for decades. Despite the strain’s longevity, its distribution is still limited; when you find a jar of PP on the shelf, ask how the grower obtained the strain. It’s sure to be a story worth hearing! Indoor Paralyzer is extremely hard to find but completely worth the time to look for

Michigan Cannabis Cup Preview: Everything you need to smoke, eat, see and do at the Auto City Speedway

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