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2015 Seattle Cannabis Cup Canceled

May 10, 2015

High Times has held a Medical Cannabis Cup in Seattle in the three previous years. But this year High Times was unable to secure the necessary permits in the ever-changing, murky world of the Washington state legal cannabis market..

The state of Washington has recently changed laws whereby cannabis-related events now are the domain of the state liquor board.

This change has created an overwhelming bureaucracy which cannot be overcome in time to stage the 2015 Seattle Cannabis Cup as was originally planned, according to High Times.

Thanks in part to Initiative 502, the Cannabis Cup in Seattle could not overcome certain hurdles:

  • Only licensed brick and mortar shops can distribute cannabis in Washington state. And consumption is not allowed on site.

  • A liquor permit is required for cannabis events, but cannabis distribution or consumption is not allowed as part of the liquor permit.

  • Finding a venue is problematic. Private venues are apprehensive about allowing cannabis consumption due to the gray areas in the rules. Public venues and their federal funding make cannabis consumption events unwelcome.


The continually changing climate in the "legal" cannabis market is an impediment to the staging of Cannabis Cups everywhere.

At last year's Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, local authorities denied vendors from setting up their displays.

At the Denver Cannabis Cup last month, a late ruling meant that Colorado cannabis businesses were no longer allowed to distribute cannabis at public events. However, out-of-state vendors were given the green light to distribute cannabis at the Denver Cup. Even with the new rules, some Colorado vendors decided to distribute cannabis anyway. And exactly how do out-of-state vendors transport their cannabis to the Denver Cup? Don't some have to cross state lines which prohibit cannabis?

Even right now, at this very moment in May 2015, High Times is having problems with the Nor-Cal Cannabis Cup, and still hasn't set the dates yet for the event. High Times has changed dates several times already for this year's event due to the same old story: local laws and problems securing a venue.

There remain plenty of gray areas in legality of the legal/tolerated cannabis market.

So whenever there's a Cannabis Cup or other cannabis event going on, you can never take for granted that things will go 100% as planned.



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