Homegrown Kush connoisseurs are being tapped to test an array of primo pot products as Illinois prepares to play host to a socially distanced version of the vaunted High Times Cannabis Cup later this summer.
High Times hosted the first Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in 1988 and the event has since became a staple of stoner culture, with cannabis icons like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa performing and serving as testers at recent incarnations of the bacchanal.
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the restrictions on large gatherings that followed, the pot-centric publication launched virtual versions of the event in other states this spring.
Now, just months after marijuana was fully legalized statewide, members of the public will have the chance to “identify and award the best cannabis products in all of Illinois,” High Times said on its website. Medical cannabis patients over the age of 18 and anyone 21 years or older can serve as a tester.
“This event will be the first-ever competition that is open to the Illinois public and will see the largest pool of judges in history,” according to the pot-centric publication.
Those judges will rate eight categories of pot products — including flower, concentrates, edibles and vape cartridges — that legal Illinois pot dealers must submit for consideration between Aug. 17-20.
Judges can buy testing kits between Aug. 25 and Sept. 23 at either the Zen Leaf dispensary in St. Charles, the Rise locations in Effingham and Niles or the Beyond/Hello stores in Sauget and Normal. Testing kits for each of the eight categories will likely cost between $100 and $300, according to a High Times spokesperson, who said the exact price will be dictated by how many products have been submitted for review.
The winners will be announced during an online awards ceremony on Sept. 26.