Warren Edson on High Times Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, 2012 Denver cup (VIDEO)

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for edson.jpg
Warren Edson
For 24 years, counterculture magazine High Times has put on the Cannabis Cup in marijuana-tolerant Amsterdam to award the best in an admittedly underground community. A lot of Colorado folks made the trek this year, some even taking home awards.

Local marijuana attorney Warren Edson also traveled to Holland to take part as a tourist and as a judge. We caught up with Edson, who gave us his take on what some are saying may have been the last true Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, as well as Dutch weed, hash smuggling and what we can expect at the 2012 High Times Denver Medical Cannabis Cup.

For around $335 (250 Euros), Edson got a judges pack that contained a laminated map and a booklet with news and educational information, with pages devoted to the various coffee shops competing in the cup and their strains. He didn't get free ganja, though: Judges go to each coffee shop and buy samples of the herb for anywhere from $10 a gram to nearly $20, and later vote to decide on the winners at the convention. He said a few of the larger shops, like Barney's and Greenhouse, would also give judges a gram of herb not in the contest and a gram of "import" hash and a gram of "nederhash" for around $18.

barneys-coffee-shop.jpg
World famous Barney's Coffee Shop in Amsterdam.
Judges spend a few days trying out what each coffee shop has to offer and all congregate at the cup at the end to vote on the coffee shop strains. But those are just for the coffee-shop awards. The seed company awards (which were all won by Colorado and California companies) were selected this year based on a few judges' scores and the results from potency tests -- a method Edson says was pioneered at the Denver High Times cup last April.

As for the Dutch-grown herb, Edson doesn't have much good to say about it. Apparently, everything he saw was less than impressive for someone traveling from Colorado -- especially the abundance of low-potency autoflowering strains that don't require a change in light times to produce buds ("It's fucking huge over there right now").

More interesting to him was the hash scene. Various shops openly advertised imported hash from Morocco and Afghanistan. "High Times wrote an article about where to go, because they have direct hash connections," he said. "It's unreal. When it comes time for the award, it's like, 'Is this award supposed to go to the coffee shop or the smuggler?' Neither one of them had anything to do with making it."

raidaftermath.JPG
Aftermath of the raid (from HighTimes.com).
On Wednesday night before the Thursday awards ceremony, Dutch police raided the convention hall where the Cup was held. According to High Times, the police originally had an issue with a permit but stayed to make sure that everyone was in compliance with the five-gram personal limit allowed by Dutch law. Edson says the cops' concern had more to do with copious amounts of hash oil and a so-called "dab-a-thon" that had gone on the night before. The police wouldn't let people leave before being processed, but allowed the convention-goers to continue to smoke while they waited, which created a huge smoke out from everyone's remaining stash of herb. After the raid, police banned indoors, on-site smoking, which Edson says created a much more subdued awards ceremony the next day (check out footage of the awards on the next page).

As for rumor about this being the last Cannabis Cup? Edson says that, sadly, there may be some truth to it. A lot of people don't realize that marijuana isn't really legal in Holland -- only very, very decriminalized. And lately, conservative politicians have taken over and are waging war against a part of the country that has allowed marijuana to be bought, sold and smoked openly for more than thirty years. As of January 1, for example, only residents of Holland can buy marijuana in coffee shops in towns bordering Germany and France. In 2013, the ban goes into effect for all of Holland. Edson said he saw and heard some of the anti-coffee shop sentiment -- aimed more at European weekenders (dubbed "Charlie Cheapskates" by the locals) than anyone else. Because of the growing influence of the conservative politicians, a lot of people were predicting that 2011 may have been the last Cup in Amsterdam.

Edson also gave some insight to the planned second High Times Medical Cannabis Cup in Denver. Dispensaries won't be handing out samples in a patient-friendly smoke area like last year. There will still be a patient lounge, but as in Amsterdam, patient would have to purchase meds beforehand at a circuit of competing medical marijuana centers. Edson says he already knows of shops on board with the plan, including several that would host meds from dispensaries not in the metro area. Judging would take place during the week leading up to the awards ceremony. "The idea is to create something like Amsterdam, where patients will be in the different centers and they can distribute where it's legal."

Page down for videos of the awards ceremony from the folks at thesmokersguide.com.


My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
M-Stagediver
M-Stagediver

I need some info about cannabis cup in Holland NL 2012.Send e-mail to M-Stagediver@hotmail.com

Dan
Dan

I was there... I was not quite as Mr. Edson states.  First of all I think you got ripped off on your pass. Unless you bought it the day of the event you should have paid around $225 US 2nd Either you acted like a typical american ahole or you didn't go to the right places. I hit a lot of the shops on the pub crawl & must have been handed at least 1/2 oz that week. BTW, your picture of Barneys Uptown looks to be a stock image as that location ws closed to staff Barneys Farm for the cup. I found many good strains there in most of the shops there and not all are feminized or auto-flowering.  I like to smoke Sativas and found some of the best there. Yes, Wednesday was weird but nothing like it could have been if this happened in the US. Only 1 person was "arrested' and she was back on stage the next njght to present an award. The only reason Thursday's award ceremony was "subdued" because there were cops inside the Melkweg and they didn't want us to smoke inside, We were smoking up a storm outside... 

If the Dutch Law changes well then it's over, otherwise Happy Thanksgiving!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Thanks for sharing your observations, Dan. Much appreciated.

StevieStress
StevieStress

i wonder how many ads you need to buy to win a cup 

Monkey
Monkey

Very humorous comments. Lets take over for Holland and have the cannabis cup here? A cannabis destination spot? Why, no one has respected the cup for at least 5-10 years, it's a joke except for kids and apparently colorado weed lawyers. Collectives? That use to work but take a look at Cali, not working so good anymore. You can spout off how great we are and how "safe" our Constitution is but it's hard to take you all seriously when you just want to follow others that seem to be failing. Commercialism and mis-placed pride will only degrade our integrity and quality, not make anything better. We have had the best bud for a long time, we don't need to go to crap like Holland and most of Cali, we should learn from their mistakes and keep it small, otherwise our bud will be just like theirs. Appreciate what you have, stop wishing you were like someone else, especially when your role models kind of suck

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Very reactionary comments -- no commercialism of any kind may be associated with cannabis (in your mind) -- OK; but it sounds like a religious pretension to me.

Our Constitution permits patients and caregivers to assist patients in the medical use of cannabis -- this is not the case in California; Colorado is the only state to have provided for the medical use of cannabis in its constitution, so you and your likers are completely off-the-wall.  You do not make a coherent critique; as long as Federal law and international treaty proscribe cannabis, any public or organized enterprise dependent on it is at risk, but that is obvious -- it is unclear both what threat you think there is to the quality of cannabis in Colorado and what you think poses such a threat.  The Cannabis Cup and the Caregivers' Cup have been held here, and the latter at least should be again.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Colorado should make itself the world's leading cannabis-tourism destination.  We have the bud -- all we need is to get rid of a few tens of thousands of prohibitionists, really legalize cannabis, and welcome the young and hip to our corner of the Midwest.  What can induce tourists to cross the globe to come to Colorado?  Europeans and Asians have mountain ranges of their own, and can go skiing without having to cross an ocean, but places where one can enjoy many varieties of fine herb without fear of being preyed upon by bandits (authorized or not) are rare or remote. The Cannabis Cup, the Caregivers' Cup; let Colorado be home to them all, and our growers' prowess renowned throughout the world!

Override the garbage passed by the General Assembly to thwart the will of the People regarding medical cannabis as embodied in Article XVIII, Section 14 of our Constitution.  Legalize the use of cannabis by adults and permit the retail sale and consumption of cannabis on terms no stricter than apply to the sale of infinitely more dangerous tobacco and alcohol (smoking cannabis is much safer than smoking tobacco, and upon full disclosure, retail establishments should be allowed to permit people to consume even tobacco).  There will be direct benefits to public health and safety by pursuing such a course, Colorado can re-assert the founding principles of American liberty on which fascists have encroached, and DIA will add many more direct international connections.

Legalizing cannabis would boost tourism and the ski industry.  Colorado should be supplying the nation with high quality hemp fiber and seed -- the growing consumption of hemp as seeds, milk, and as an ingredient in waffles, breads, and other foods now benefits Manitoba.  The potential of hemp to supply biodiesel, improve our diets, and produce low-cost,  superior fiber for cloth and paper means that Colorado can seize the lead in the re-development of this irrationally demonized wonder-crop, and some of Colorado's poorest counties would be the beneficiaries.

More dispensaries than Starbucks makes good good sense both socially and economically, but why not combine them as the Dutch do (did)?

Timnotsodim
Timnotsodim

you ever tried getting into the states with cultivation of cannabis on your record?

William Breathes
William Breathes

Agreed - and one thing I didn't include in this writeup was how Edson talked about how it was bittersweet to be in Amsterdam smoking in the shops while at the same time being reminded that we have banned use in centers and forbid patients from starting collectives here in Colorado. The social aspect of marijuana is very, very powerful (as anyone who has ever passed a joint with friends can tell you!)

Thanks as always for the comment, Robert.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

We have not forbidden patients from starting collectives!

Constitution of Colorado, Article XVIII, Section 14 (2) (b): "Effective June 1, 2001, it shall be an exception from the state's criminal laws for any patient or primary care-giver in lawful possession of a registry identification card to engage or ASSIST [emphasis added] in the medical use of marijuana ..."

If patients and primary caregivers assist each other in the medical use of cannabis, they are cooperating, and their relationship is called a cooperative.  No provision of any statute of the General Assembly can criminalize or ban patient-caregiver cooperatives!

Monkey
Monkey

Nice!! I do the same thing, in fact I'm feeling a little un-safe right now, I'd better see to that.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Thanks Tim. I think a lot of us have gatherings like that every day, often multiple times in a day.

I like to call them safety meetings.

TimothyTipton
TimothyTipton

YES, YES William, there are NO PUBLIC SMOKING CLUBS, but private collective gatherings in PRIVATE amongst patient members is something going on regularly statewide.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Again, pardon my misuse of terms. I was referring to laws preventing public smoking clubs from forming (and consumption on-site at an MMC)

TimothyTipton
TimothyTipton

Sorry William, but you are Factually incorrect. Lots of Patient Collectives exist in Colorado, with MORE formimg Everyday!The Collective Advantage.

Embrace your Colorado Constitutional Rights as a patient under Article 18 Sec. 14, where you can rely on your affirmative defense with "A" doctor's signature, and no reference to registering with the State of Colorado!  Embrace your statewide COMMUNITY to be part of and develop Legal Patient Collectives, as has been identified through the private social networking efforts of THE COLLECTIVE ADVANTAGE.                         (http://www.thecollectiveadvant... ).  

Join Today for FREE.  A wide range of Collective development services are available, so YOU can build your own community.  STAY LEGAL!  STAY PROTECTED!  KEEP REASONABLE ACCESS! And, most importantly, Keep the Government OUT of your medicine cabinet.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

There are more than five nitwits out there -- come on!

Reality
Reality

Stay away from Timmy Tipton's "idea" of patient collectives. They have not been proven legal, and at least one is Delta County has already been raided and shut down.

Really, stay <bold> FAR, FAR </bold> away from anything that Timmy is involved in. If you are not familiar with this screwball's past, google him - "Tim Tipton" + mmj scam.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Thanks Tim, but I was referring to private establishments set up for people to congregate and smoke herb at not growing collectives.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...