Portland High Times Cannabis Cup Still Looking for A Space?


I heard a rumor today, to add to the plethora of ones circulating around July 2015. It has to do with High Times Cannabis Cup. Not news to many at this point, the Cannabis Cup is coming to Portland, Oregon, this July in celebration of the implementation of Measure 91, the bill that recreationally legalized marijuana for adults 21 and up in Oregon. The question that remains unanswered, however, is who will be hosting?

A little more than two months out from July 1, the date Measure 91 takes effect, you would think this question would have been answered. So why the hold up Portland? Fifty-seven percent of Oregonians supported the right to use and consume cannabis, and that is exactly what goes down at a cannabis cup.

When thinking of venues, the most obvious one that comes to mind is the Oregon Convention Center (OCC). Built in 1990 to host large conventions and bring in tourism, the OCC is the ideal location for events of this size. Just a couple of weeks ago, they were willing hosts to the Craft Brewers Conference, which brought in an impressive 11,500 attendees and filled the brew pubs of Portland with craft beer aficionados and connoisseurs from all over the world. It was a shining and lucrative moment for the OCC and the city of Portland, and one that would pair nicely (in my humble opinion) with a cannabis cup.

Turns out the ladies and gentlemen of High Times thought so too. So here it is, less of a rumor and more a fact, High Times called the OCC this afternoon to inquire about a space for this July’s cannabis cup. Instead of a warm welcome, however, they were met with hesitation.

I can not exactly say why, but I am left to assume it has something to do with the OCC’s no smoking policy, as well as a slight stigma against cannabis. That said, the OCC did play host to last years International Cannabis Business Conference in September, and the Executive Director does hold the authority to override the no smoking policy on given occasions.

So while it may still make some chuckle, the thought of the OCC hosting the Cannabis Cup is not out of the question. On the contrary, it would be a huge opportunity for the OCC to make history in hosting Oregon’s first recreational cannabis cup, and probably pretty profitable too.

Medical cannabis cups have been a staple in the cannabis community for several years now. It was not until 2013, however, and after Colorado passed legalization, that the recreational cannabis cup was held in Denver. The Denver Convention Center was host to this year’s High Times Cannabis Cup, so maybe the OCC will be too? Here’s to hoping, and to history.