The National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernadino is currently one of the few venues in California that has the capacity and willingness to host cannabis-focused events that are larger in nature. There are plenty of locations to be found across the state for smaller gatherings, but the NOS Center regularly hosts large-scale marijuana festivals that bring tens of thousands of patients in attendance.
On November 11-12, the High Times Harvest Cup was the latest marijuana extravaganza to take over a majority of the NOS Center facilities with music, food, seminars, entertainment, and copious amounts of cannabis in just about every direction.
The admission price to the event guaranteed entrance to the general areas of the Harvest Cup which included the Pond, seminars, food vendors, Ferris wheel, and music venue. But for access to the medicating areas, a doctor’s recommendation was required.
Upon presenting a recommendation and valid ID at the LoudCloud booth, patients gained a red wristband which granted access to the Prop 215 medicating area in the Citrus Building as well as the larger one in the fenced-off area outside.
Awaiting patients inside the 215 area was the familiar grid of booths comprised of not only many established marijuana products, companies, and vendors, but also a host of new ones making their entrance into the marijuana scene. While some merchants operated from behind the standard table-under-a-tent, some with larger budgets made their presence known from within their booth’s footprint as well as throughout the rest of the venue with various signs, banners and remote-controlled blimps bearing company logos.
Built from multiple shipping containers, the triple-level Brass Knuckles booth was a structure that stood out from, as well as above the rest of the others. Red velvet ropes, plush carpeting, and elegant lighting adorned the insides of the booth for the customers downstairs while select individuals enjoyed the lounge above.
Moxie set up operations in the festival compound right next-door to Brass Knuckles with their own pop-up shop, complete with air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, and an upstairs area. The counters, clothing racks, flat screens, and wall hangers gave the interior a look and feel that was more like a small, modern mall store than a booth at a cannabis event.
In one corner of the medicating area, Metal Mulisha had a couple of motocross ramps set up where, throughout the day, skilled freestyle riders launched dirt bikes from one to the other in various aerial crowd-wowing demos.
In addition to the perpetual clouds of smoke and vapor that could be found wafting through any given section of the medication area, edibles were present in abundance. Medicated popcorn, donuts, and cold sarsaparillas in amber glass bottles were some of the many delicious cannabis-infused items available.
There are a lot of cannabis concentrates on the market produced with solvents like butane and alcohol, but rosin has gained increasing popularity in the last couple of years because it uses only heat and pressure to extract oil from marijuana flowers. In a tent in an eastern corner of the 215 section, the Rosin Tech Products ‘solventless experience’ offered people a chance to learn about the process, press their own medicine, or carve one of the many pumpkins that were sitting on hay bales around the tent’s perimeter and enter it into a contest.
As is the case with many marijuana-themed events, art was an important part of the Harvest Cup. In addition to the vendors who were selling a wide variety of artwork at booths throughout the 215 section, renowned artist Alex Grey’s psychedelic artwork was on display at a tent in the Citrus building. For those possibly looking to get a work of art on their skin, a bevy of tattoo artists were on-hand as well in a tent on the westernmost side of the medicating area throughout the festival.
When it comes to musical entertainment, High Times isn’t generally known for cutting corners with the acts that they bring in. The company has a long-standing relationship with cannabis-friendly artists throughout the mainstream music industry which was evident at the cup as big-name acts like George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, T.I., Berner, and Naughty By Nature were just some of the entertainers that took to the concert stage during the Harvest Cup.
Since High Times published their first issue in 1974 cannabis information has made its way from their writers’ fingertips to the minds of their readers through the pages of the magazine. In the same spirit of cannabis education, seminars were held in the Dome on both days of the Harvest Cup on a variety of topics like cultivation, company promotion, and working with state marijuana law in 2018.
And as is indicated by the name, a cannabis competition is also an integral part of the weekend event. First, second, and third places were awarded on Sunday to winning participants in the best CBD concentrate, best topical, best glass, and best hybrid flower categories as well as many more.
The NOS Center was host to a number of sizable marijuana-themed events in 2017, and the High Times Harvest Cup was no exception, helping round out the year with an enjoyable weekend for cannabis patients from all walks of life. According to the magazine’s website, the next Cannabis Cup will be a held at The Melkweg in Amsterdam November 19-22 celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary followed by one in Jamaica March 1-4.