Cannabis Cup Competition Comes To Illinois

ILLINOIS — The Cannabis Cup, started in Amsterdam in the 1980s, is coming to Illinois and all adults in the state will be able to vote for their favorite strain.

The organizer, High Times, calls it the world’s leading marijuana competition. For the first time, High Times is opening up the judging process to the public by offering testing kits at dispensaries around the state.

While normally 28 to 35 expert judges would alone determine the rankings, the competition has pivoted into crowdsourced rankings, offering 224 judge kits per category to consumers in Illinois. Past celebrity judges have included Tommy Chong, rocker Patti Smith, and Snoop Dogg.

Derrick Levy, Illinois district manager for GTI Grows, which owns Rise dispensaries, said Illinoisans can participate in the People’s Choice competition after growers submit their entries.

“Those entries will then be put into judge kits to which the public would be able to pick up those judge kits and then test them over a period of time and basically pick their favorites,” Levy said.

Since Illinois legalized marijuana in January, the state has collected more than $52 million in tax revenue, exceeding expectations. Levy said the sale of the kits will also generate tax revenue for the state and local municipalities.

“The municipalities would get the same 6% tax that would fall under cannabis sales, so they would get the tax revenue from that as well,” said Levy.

The winners will be announced Sept. 27 during an online broadcast in what High Times is calling the “Oscars of Cannabis.”

To apply to judge, go to

The Center Square – Kevin Bessler

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