High Times Editor-in-Chief Steven Hager first went to the Netherlands in 1987 to write an article on Nevil, founder of The Seed Bank, Holland's first cannabis-seed company. While working on the story, he met some Americans who told him about the great harvest festivals held in California in the 1970s. "Why not hold a similar harvest festival in Amsterdam?" he thought. "Then we could help establish an international standard for cannabis seeds."

The following year it became a reality. In January, Dr. Indoors, Jiffy Schnack and Hager flew over as the only three judges. The competition was restricted to seed companies, and four entered: Cultivators' Choice, S.S.S.C., Sensi Seed Club, and The Seed Bank.

Since its humble beginnings back in 1988, the Cannabis Cup has grown immensely. Every year, thousands of people attend the world famous event to check out the best buds being grown; and maybe get their hands on a few to try themselves. There are a variety of competitions, including: Best hydro weed, best soil weed, best light hash, best dark hash, and so on.

The judging is very difficult, and takes some time. While the effect the cannabis has on them is the main point to be judged, they also consider the bud's appearance. Is it coated in a layer of white, shiny crystals? Lots of leaf, or just a little? Are the buds nice and fat with bulk? What about the taste, is it nice and smooth or does it have a bad aftertaste? Needless to say, all of the entries are from the top growers in the world; making the judges job all the more difficult. The main competitors are between seed companies and the local coffeeshops. You can expect Amsterdam's best coffeeshops (see Green House) to take home lots of awards.

The 13th Annual Cannabis Cup was held this year between November 19 and 23. The theme was "the Goddess" because she promotes health and healing. Anyone could buy a judge's pass for $200 US. The winners and their categories for 2000:

    1. Blueberry, Noon
    2. Stardust, Rokerij
    3. White Smurf, Yazoo
    1. Sweet Tooth, Barney's
    2. Super Silver Haze, Greenhouse
    3. White Smurf, Yazoo
    1. Rokerij
    2. Greenhouse
    3. Abraxis
    1. Blueberry, Dutch Passion
    2. Sensi Star, Paradise Seeds
    3. Homegrown 2000, Homegrown Fantaseeds
  • BEST HASH: 1. Water Hash, Katsu
    2. Royal Dolphin, The Dolphins
    3. (tie) Psycho Pollen, Katsu and Karamasou, Barney's
    1. Sensi Seeds
    2. Sweetleaf Grinder/Six Shooter
    3. Paradise Seeds
    1. Cali Mist, Serious Seeds
    2. Euphoria, Dutch Passion
    3. Fast Spear, Legend Seeds
    1. Sweetleaf Grinder
    2. Vaportech
    3. Hemphead Grinder
    1. Hempire Papers
    2. Crucial Creations
    3. Nirvana Wine
    1. African Ash
    2. Jerome Baker
    3. Cold Mountain Glass

Tickets and travel packages are available through High Times (http://www.hightimes.com/Events/CupTickets/index.tpl) and 420 Tours (http://www.420tours.com/420welcome.html).