What is the California Cannabis Cup? Here is everything you need to know

This post is part of our Best Dispensary in Los Angeles series, sponsored by Project Cannabis.

If you’re a fan of cannabis, there was probably a time when you had some weed that you thought was award-worthy. Fortunately, there is actually an award ceremony for the weed.

It’s called the California Cannabis Cup, and it’s a leading cannabis competition.

But how is the competition? What kind of products do you recognize and who are the judges?

If you have questions, we have answers. Here’s everything you need to know about this cannabis extravaganza.

What is the California Cannabis Cup?

Sponsored by High Times, the contest seeks to find and reward the best cannabis products throughout the Golden State.

There are actually two cups in California: one for Northern California and one for Southern California. Given how big the state is, and the incredible amount of weed that is grown, packaged, and consumed in California, it’s probably a good idea.

Although the history of the competition dates back to the underground exhibitions in Amsterdam, it has now evolved into individual cups all over the world. And California, unsurprisingly, is a hotspot for some of the best cannabis in the world.

Producers, dispensaries and brands that want their products to win must comply with the guidelines. For example, all products must be licensed in California and comply with local regulations. Additionally, companies must produce very specific sample sizes for judges.

Speaking of which…

Who judges this competition?

You would expect an event like the California Cannabis Cup to feature a panel of expert judges with a wealth of experience growing, cultivating, and consuming marijuana. For this specific competition, that is not the case.

The judges in this competition are the people of California. Because the Southern California public is judging cannabis products, it means this competition has the largest judging panel in history.

Judges will collect samples at specific locations and rate those samples based on your preferences. The large pool means the cup isn’t just awarded to the critics’ darling: whoever wins the competition makes marijuana products people actually like.

Because of that, you can think of the cup as a giant overhaul. If a product wins, it’s most likely top notch.

What categories are there?

The competition doesn’t just rate all cannabis in a single category, there are multiple categories that products can fall into.

These are the categories for the 2023 Cup.

  • flower indica
  • sativa flower
  • hybrid flower
  • pre-rolls
  • Pre-infused rolls
  • Solvent concentrates
  • Solvent-free concentrates
  • Edibles: fruit gummies and chews
  • Edible: chocolates and not jelly beans
  • Groceries: Drinks
  • Sublinguals, capsules, tinctures and topicals

In other words, you will see a good sampling of the cannabis products available.

What is the timeline?

Here is an estimated schedule of how the cup will play out.

  • May 8 to May 10, 2023: Presentation of products to the contest
  • May 20, 2023 – Judge Kits are available
  • May 20-July 10, 2023: Judging by the People of California
  • July 10: Judging Deadline
  • July 24: digital awards show broadcast live.

That means the judges for this competition will have a fair amount of time to test the products.

Since there is more than a month between the availability of the judge kits and the closing date, there is plenty of time to test each competitor’s product.

California Cannabis Cup 2023 Winners

Photo courtesy of @projectcannabis

As of this writing, judging for the California Cannabis Cup is still ongoing. That means we don’t know who the winners are, and we don’t even know which companies or vendors participated.

However, once the competition announces the winners on Monday, July 24, you’ll have a wide range of the best cannabis products in California. You can go through the list and head over to your favorite dispensary, like ProjCan NoHo in North Hollywood.

Although we don’t know who the winners of the 2023 competition will be, we do have a list of winners from the previous year.

Top-Shelf Cultivation, for example, won first place in the Indica Flower category for its Whoa Si Whoa variety. Top-Shelf Cultivation’s pre-roll with the same strain also scored top marks in the pre-roll category.

If you’re curious about vape pens or cartridges, PAX won first place for their Live Rosin with Natural Diamonds Blue Dream vape.

Are you curious to know who will win the 2023 competition? You will have to wait until July.

The banner image at the top of this article is provided courtesy of CannabisCup.com