High Times Cannabis Cup 2014 Expo Canceled by Amsterdam City? - VIDEO

After over two decades of a peaceful and disturbance free annual existence, this year Amsterdam officials have decided to make a point to close the expo, force it away from the city and threaten the event as a whole.


Cannabis Cup controls and warnings sent to participants.

It started with announcements from the Amsterdam city council that strict rules would be enforced on all Cannabis Cup 2014 attendees. No more than 5 grams of weed or hash would be allowed, vendors would not be allowed to give out samples or free vape hits, joints could not be shared (ffs!) and no dab rigs, concentrates, wax and shatter would be allowed. (See our dabbing article here.)

As if all this wasn't bad enough, the most major issue has revolved around the location of the venue for this year's event. This has been a source of irritation for many of the frustrated vendors and sponsors.

Just days before the start of the Cup, a place in the NDSM area was announced but that fell through. Next High Times announced the expo would relocate to the recently opened Radion, who being open for such a short time, were unable to secure a permit for the Cup (and also for other parties they wanted to host this week, according to Radion). Just days later: Kristal Party Events in Osdorp was announced, but that fell through on the Saturday night prior to the scheduled start of the Cup. Finally, just hours before the opening, we were quite happy to learn that the expo would be held at the famous and very centrally located Melkweg, just off Leidseplein or Leidse square.



Why be happy about this specific venue? Holding this event in the Amsterdam city center (like it has been in the past) is good for the visitors, as they have a chance to remain in town, enjoy the atmosphere, have easy access to their hotels and most of all, to support the local restaurants, souvenir shops, and retail stores spread all around town.

We have learned from other Cups that holding the event in out-of-the-city locations isolates the visitors a little bit. One year it was held at the Powerzone in the east of the city, and many people we talked to only came out for one day, instead preferring to use their limited time in our great city wisely... visiting coffeeshops, using cannabis and enjoying beautiful architecture, museums and attractions!


Cannabis versus alcohol. What really infuriates us is the hypocrisy of it all.

If the Cannabis Cup was a corporate event featuring alcohol (as one of many our city hosts), we would see the mayor's office, the Iamsterdam campaign (the equivalent of the tourist board) and other govt agencies call it "cultural" and praise it, embracing diversity and the business generated. Alcohol not only creates problems at the events themselves in contrast with cannabis events, but is also more dangerous to our bodies and our fellow man than cannabis.

Sadly, the lobbying for alcohol is way stronger than for cannabis. Current conservative Dutch politics are clearly OK with alcohol.... for now. If they must legislate what we put in our bodies, then we choose for natural cannabis.


What a mess. What a waste. 

We have been following the situation from the start. We have learned that the city council has made things difficult for the organizers of this year's event. Possible problems with a late request of a permit have been pinpointed as one of the causes, but it seems like the Mayor has been looking for a reason to stop this peaceful gathering of cannabis lovers from around the world, who have spent hundreds, if not thousands of Euros to be able to attend this event.

High Times said: "We were informed by our lawyers, who were working with the Mayor’s office, that as long as we remained compliant with local regulations, we would be allowed to proceed. We have strenuously tried to meet those standards and go beyond them. This morning we were informed that if we were to proceed with the Cannabis Cup Expo the event would be shut down and all participants would be arrested. In the 26 years of the Cannabis Cup, there has never been any health or safety issues, nor has there been any lawlessness on the part of attendees".


So what is the current status of the Cannabis Cup 2014?

The Expo from Sunday was completely canceled, but registrations and goodie bag collection remained as planned throughout the day. All seminars and parties are still scheduled and updates will be released as the day progresses.

Voting by Cannabis Cup Judges is still happening, so no fun will be spoiled! All participating coffeeshops are prepared and welcoming all participants, and the Awards Ceremony will take place as scheduled.

It's a pity that Amsterdam officials decided to try to mess with the 27th Cannabis Cup! Despite the trouble, the spirits of the participants are still high ;-) and the Cannabis Cup 2014 continues, with a few adjustments to the schedule.

No updated expo plans have been released as of yet, but please check the following link for the latest details:

Click here for the full updated schedule of the seminars and parties.


The Smokers Guide crew arrived as planned at the Melkweg at 1pm to find the first visitors and vendors leaving the venue. Here is a video with High Times spokesperson for the Cannabis Cup, Dan Skye. It is the first official announcement and features a few interviews with disappointed travelers who came from around the world:



Here is a video from the 2013 High Times Cannabis Cup.  Featuring: International Smokers at Cannabis Cup 2013 Talking Amsterdam - SGTV HD



No updated expo plans have been released as of yet, but please check the following link for the latest details:

Click here for the full updated schedule of the seminars and parties.