“Marijuana is a great thing, it is a spiritual food.”

With strong Rastafari backing and thanks to High Times, Cannabis Culture in Jamaica was honoured and celebrated last weekend through Rastafari Rootzfest and  High Times’ Cannabis Cup, the first of it’s kind to take place in the Caribbean island.

For those of you who are unaware, Cannabis Cup is a travelling Marijuana festival that is dedicated solely to the legalization, culture and promotion of the glorious herb. Owing to its pretty lackadaisical drug laws, the festival is usually hosted in Amsterdam every November, but this time a decision was made to team up with Rastafari Rootzfest in Jamaica, where the legalizing of Marijuana has been finally realised. This November 12 to 15 Hemp enthusiasts, personal cultivators, Rastafaris, every-day stoners united in Negril to participate, sell their blends and be part of this iconic event.

At Cannabis Cup you can experience marijuana, like how you can experience luxury goods at a luxury goods expo. Visitors are encouraged to sample the various variations and ‘products’ of weed, and can also sit as judges in a ‘best category’ competition. Pretty neat huh?

Now enough with the history lesson, let’s take your through what happened at this year’s event through some pictorial proof.

1. This is Negril.



2. In February, the Jamaican government legalized Ganja, thus making it possible for people to cultivate, sell and buy Marijuana and it’s by-products without any legal ramifications or penalties. This decision came as a major victory to the Rastafari community, as they have been campaigning for the herb they consider ‘a religious sacrament’.



3. The best part about the event, is picking and choosing your blends, among other smoking paraphernalia 


4. Sandy beaches and blue skies, were the perfect backdrop to this holy congregation.


5. And of course, the event was supported and attended by reggae legends, who freely constructed makeshift bongs and spliffs. The Talking Dreads, Bushman, Luciano, the Mighty Diamonds and Tarrus Riley were among the many!

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 (Image Courtesy : Fest300/Joe Schaefer)

6. The good thing about this Cannabis Cup was that the competition was only for produce and blends grown by Jamaican farmers, in Jamaica. Prizes awarded were for categories likes Best Hash, Best New-Style Indoor Farming, Best Sativa flowers, thus giving the locally grown stuff that extra boost. The judges were old-school Rastarfarians who’s expertise on such matters went uncontested. Of course, there were also some professional HIGH TIMES weed-experts adding to the decision making.

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(Image Courtesy : Emily Cegielski/Fest300)


Here’s a recap video to take you through the iconic event. :