Photo: A sign listing new restrictions on cannabis is posted at the door to the Melkweg in Amsterdam on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (Jake Browne, The Cannabist)
AMSTERDAM — Don’t tell High Times the Amsterdam Cannabis Cup is canceled, shut down or in any way shuttered. Determined to proceed with the 27th annual event, organizers opened the Melkweg on Monday morning as if it were business as usual at the venue. Passes, tote bags and T-shirts were doled out to the approximate 100 attendees of the opening seminar on curing and storage.
Still, it’s hard for many to recognize what’s occurring as a Cannabis Cup in the traditional sense of the event after organizers turned away attendees on Sunday’s first day of the Cup and issued strict new rules on cannabis use and possession because the Mayor’s office had issues with the legality of the proceedings. This was perhaps most pronounced as James Loud of Loud Seeds was interrupted Monday by a staff member, who reminded the crowd that all smoking needed to take place in a designated lounge.
“Yeah, go smoke!” laughed Loud as he returned to the microphone.
Absent the lavish exhibition booths, eager competitors — and of course, the free-flowing cannabis — High Times is banking on a lineup of cannabis cult figures like Canadian “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, NORML founder Keith Stroup and a birthday party for hash legend Mila Jansen to keep the modest crowd entertained. Not everyone is sticking around, however.