Sitting here in Phuket Thailand only nine months after cannabis legalization, it’s impossible not to feel the pull that this miraculous plant has on the culture. This should come as no surprise to connoisseurs globally.
The sacred plant’s reputation for its spiritual and healing properties can be found from the fields of Jamaica where cannabis has had a profound impact on the country’s identity, to the inner city of Chicago where more recent legalization is creating economic opportunity for communities that were once prosecuted for smoking.
Now, as Ganja sweeps Thailand, we sit on the cusp of a legendary event that has become a rite of passage for any self-respecting cannabis fan, a celebration of all things green and dank.
A Brief History of The Cannabis Cup
The Cannabis Cup’s roots can be traced back to the early 1980s, when a group of seed breeders in the Netherlands came up with the idea of having a friendly competition to see who could cultivate the best cannabis. What started as a small gathering of like-minded individuals quickly blossomed into an epic affair, drawing in marijuana enthusiasts from all over the world to join in the festivities.
Pioneering this event was the celebrated cannabis activist and High Times editor-in-chief, Steven Hager. The inaugural cup was held in 1988, gathering the world’s most exceptional strains of cannabis and placing them head to head for the ultimate smokedown. In the end, Skunk #1 emerged as the history’s first cannabis cup champion, but the competition represented much more than a winner’s showcase. It laid the foundation for a cultural shift in which the fight for cannabis became more widely accepted.
The First Phuket Cannabis Cup
The first annual Phuket Cannabis Cup is scheduled for March 25th from 10:30 AM – 5:00 PM, at Pramookkoo Resort in Kata Beach. Organized by The Phuket Cannabis Association, the cup will bring together thirty six sponsors, strengthening the community being built around marijuana in Thailand.
From Greenhead Clinic, to Phuket High, and Zamzara, Phuket’s leading brands will all be in attendance to celebrate healthy competition and push Thailand even higher up on the international stage within this budding industry.
Among the exciting series of events scheduled for the day, fifty local Phuket cannabis growers will go head to head, competing for the title of 2023’s best grower. Many local favorites can be found on the list of contestants, whether it is Oishi Farm and his potent and flavorful strains like Truffle Cake or Underground Grower and the excitement surrounding his strains such as Super Saiyan 7. Jungle Farms, Sweed Dream Thai, and GreenHi also stand out on this list, all sure to put up a strong fight for this year’s cup.
As the first Asian country to legalize cannabis, Thailand is on a trajectory of massively transforming the industry. This seems like a full circle moment, as many claim to trace the unknown origins of Cannabis to Asia. With the Phuket’s Cannabis Cup less than two weeks away, it seems this event will continue to grow the cannabis community, uniting passionate ganja lovers from around the world through an event focused on the power and beauty of this amazing plant.
Activities at the Phuket Cannabis Cup
With an admission price of 650 baht, the day is scheduled with a number of engaging social activities…
— Unlimited Drinks: From 14:00 – 17:00, attendees will be invited to share unlimited drinks and snacks at the resort.
— Lucky Draw: Tickets include a lucky draw ticket, with mysterious prizes for the winner.
— Live Music: Srirajah Rocker and DJ Chris Yaw will be turning up with a mini-concert and after party.
— The Competition: Watch as the Judges crown this year’s winner of the flower competition, as a 1,000,000 baht prize pool is on the line.
A competition would be nothing without its judges, and the Phuket Cannabis Cup is boasting eight impressive names.
KD of Koh Tao – Uncle Dam
Tha – Greenhead founder
Guide – Highland network
Aston Panos – Seasoned Cannabis Judge
Lex de Groot – Royal Queen Seeds
Monica Garcia – Cloud 11
Mendel Menachem – High Thailand
This year’s judges are sure to bring a wealth of expertise and perspective to the cup. In fact, all eight judges have already received the flower grown by each contestant, and are actively reviewing the cannabis.
We spoke with Mendel Menachem of High Thailand, who is currently deep in the process of reviewing all strains submitted.
“Reviewing 50 plus strains of cannabis is a bit overwhelming but I welcome the challenge and have already been impressed with many of the samples I tried.”
“HighThailand’s focus has been on local growers and we are super excited to be participants, and judges, at the Phuket Cannabis Cup. In particular we hope to highlight some of the amazing flowers that Thailand’s growers are putting out there right now. Our community keeps taking strides forward–we see the Cup as another way to help set standards for quality in the market and to show the world that Thai cannabis is second to none.” Mendel said.
The Cannabis Cup Scoring Rules
To keep the outcome unbiased, the judges will have no idea which flower belongs to which contestant. This information will only be provided the day of the event. The scoring of the flower will be broken down into five distinct categories:
- The flavor, aroma and potency of cannabis.
- Terpene profile correlated with NSTDA results.
- Appearance of flower and density of trichomes.
- THC testing scores.
- Specialty of breeds, from indigenous to excotic.
What’s Next for the Phuket Cannabis Cup?
The Cannabis Cup is a tradition borne out of the plant’s cultural significance, and continues to represent the community formed around this incredible industry. Cannabis has woven its way through the fabric of humanity for centuries, leaving a trail of influence and impact in its wake. From ancient medicinal practices to modern-day recreational use, cannabis has been revered, reviled, and everything in between. Its significance is not just rooted in its ability to induce altered states of consciousness, but also in the way it has shaped cultural practices and perspectives.
For us here in Thailand, it’s extremely thrilling to see this industry tradition enter Southeast Asia. As we look to the upcoming event, we will undoubtedly see more hype and buzz surrounding the festivities.
Stay tuned to our feed as we dig deeper into the cup, the contestants, and the cannabis craze throughout Thailand.