High Times and Amsterdam have been going strong since 1988 when Steven Hager began his first Cannabis Cup festival there in late November. Many a turkey dinner went cold while Americans abandoned their Thanksgiving holiday to hop planes to the Netherlands. Up until 2010, Amsterdam was the High Times home for their Cannabis Cup festival. They enjoyed many competitions: best glass products, best booth, best product and even best Nederhash. Judges were even allowed to sample and vote for their favorite strains. In addition to getting to dabble, attendees enjoyed live music and entertainment, seminars, and networking with other canna-business. Winning a Cannabis Cup was quite an honor.
What Broke Them Up
So, what broke up this happy harmony between High Times and Amsterdam? Lack of communication? Common culprit. Deceit? That will do it too. But, who was to blame for their separation? High Times points the finger at the Mayor of Amsterdam. High Times claims they were given the green light to open their doors as long as they were under compliance. However, that morning they were informed that if they proceeded with the annual Cannabis Cup, they would be shut down and vendors would be arrested.
Once bitten, twice shy, Amsterdam. High Times has found a new lover (and home) in Negril, Jamaica. Everything happens for a reason, right? One door closes, another one opens. Maybe this year the locals will teach us how to do an authentic dread-lock hairdo.
Personally, I think High Times relocating shows Amsterdam, and the rest of the world, that the legalization movement is a giant snowball, and it’s not slowing down. It may suffer setbacks, but it will adapt and it will prevail. Exchanging coffee shops and missed Thanksgiving dinners for palm trees, clear water and sandy, Rastafarian beaches is a trade-up in my book.