Cup 2024 Cup 2023 About Blog
Login Signup Judge area
Judge area

California Cannabis Cup 2022: Your Definitive Tournament Guide

California Cannabis Cup 2022: Your Definitive Tournament Guide

California: Location and Cannabis Policy

California, located along the Pacific Coast, is the most populous and 3rd-largest state in the united states, with a population of almost 33 million residents, making it the most populated in North America and 34th most populous in the world.

With huge contributions to pop culture, California has notably helped shape entertainment, sports, and other important fields, such as hippie, beach, and car culture, among other great innovations.

The state is well known for its major agricultural areas that dominate the state’s center which makes it a great place to grow weed, and probably why cannabis cultivation started there in the first place as the state’s history with cannabis goes back decades. So how are cannabis policies in California nowadays?

Cannabis Cup in California: Ultimate Guide 2022: A young woman offering a jar of Blueberry Muffin buds

There are few places on Earth where you can find better bud than in California.

Medical cannabis in the state of California has been legal since 1996, and for adult or recreational use since 2016. The state has been a pioneer in the efforts to alleviate cannabis laws in the US. Back in 2016, California voters approved the recreational use of cannabis with Proposition 64. The results are that it’s legal to grow, consume and transport weed for personal use, and commercial activities can be regulated by the local government. In short, the local government cannot prohibit adults from smoking, growing, or carrying weed.

In 2019, cannabis cafes that sell THC-infused meals and drinks were approved, along with on-site consumption. And on top of that, organizers of cannabis events can now get permission to allow adults to buy and consume cannabis at the vents or festivals. This makes California one of the best places for cannabis enthusiasts, thanks to the state’s relatively relaxed cannabis policies.

High Times Cannabis Cup in California

High Times Cannabis Cup has been the most famous cannabis event for the last 46 years or so. The event began as a small gathering and since then has become the world’s biggest weed competition.

Cannabis Cup in California: Ultimate Guide 2022: An outside shot of a cannabis fair with a High Times banner in the foreground and an alley between two rows of booths with dozens of people

It's only logical that the major cannabis event permanently moved from Amsterdam to the US.

The original Cannabis Cup was created back in 1988 in Amsterdam by Steve Hager, who used to work as an editor for the High Times magazine. Since its first edition, the competition has expanded into the US thanks to the evolution of recreational and medical cannabis.

12 years ago, High Times decided to host the first Cannabis Cup in the US but encountered obstacles due to the federal legal status of cannabis. Due to the uncertainty of Dutch cannabis laws and thanks to full recreational legalization in Canada and many states in the US, the competition officially moved out of Amsterdam in 2014

And as the industry emerges from the black market into the legal market, expect things to get better and better. Most recently during the covid epidemic, High Times managed to go even further and established a great solution to keep going with events despite lockdowns: the People’s Choice Cannabis Cup. So read along for more information on this new type of competition.

Watch the latest People's Choice 2022 award show.

SoCal Cannabis Cup

The High Times Cannabis Cup People’s Choice Edition 2022 was the second event open to consumer judges and was one of the largest pools of judges the vent has ever seen. Those that obtained a judge pass or ticket were provided with a variety of cannabis products exclusive to the SoCal weed market. From flower to edibles, judges get the chance to try and vote on the best of the best.


The estimated timeline for the 2022 edition is set to be:

  • May 2 - 4: Entry submission;
  • May 13 - 14: Judge kits available;
  • May 14 - July 10: Judging;
  • July 24: Award show.

Unfortunately, this means that if you’re reading this after July 24 at 4:20 PM the event has ended, but you can still watch the stream on High Times' official Facebook page.

Judges and Evaluation Process

Due to the lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Cannabis Cups events were forced to reinvent their format and find a new way to take the competition to its fan base. For the first time in the history of the event, High Time’s Cannabis Cup opened its judge spots to the public with its exclusive judge kits available online. On top of that, it was the first event where the distribution process was conducted by High Times cannabis delivery service. 

This meant that hundreds of customers had the chance to sample and give feedback on the best weed products in California based on their personal experience but also that High Times itself would be delivering the products that competed in the categories below.

Cannabis Cup in California: Ultimate Guide 2022: Two cups for the High Times Bay Area competition 2019

A Cannabis Cup is the ultimate proof of quality.

Award Categories

The People’s Choice edition of the California Cannabis Cup introduces a couple of new categories, totaling the 12 categories that follow:


  • Indica 
  • Sativa 
  • Hybrid 
  • Pre-rolls
  • Infused pre-rolls


  • Solvent concentrates
  • Vape pens and Cartridges


  • Gummies
  • Non-gummies
  • Beverages


  • Tinctures + Capsules
  • Topicals

Latest Winners

Southern California Cannabis Cup: People’s Edition 2022 1st Place Winners


by Top-Shelf Cultivation

HybridPink Certz

by Sense


by Team Elite Genetics

Pre-rollsWhoa-Si-Whoa Pre-Roll

by Top-Shelf Cultivation

Infused Pre-Rolls

Watermelon Zkittlez Infused Pre-Roll

by Jeeter

Solvent ConcentratesKiwi Thin Mintz Diamonds

by Bear Labs



Vape Pens & Cartridges

Live Rosin w/ Diamonds Blue Dream

by PAX

GummiesSleepy Sour Cherry CBN Omega 3 Gummies

by Sensi

Non-GummiesBlueberry Dark Chocolate

by Bhang

BeveragesPiña Soft Drink

by Mari y Juana

TopicalsBalance Pro Topical Balm 1:1

by Dr. May

Tinctures + CapsulesExtra Strength Watermelon 500mg THC Syrup

by Kan-Ade


If you’re now anxious to participate either as a judge or as a spectator in the next edition of the High Times California Cannabis Cup, we’ve got you covered. Make sure to visit High Times' official website and sign up for the latest updates and learn how YOU could become a judge in the next People’s Choice Cannabis Cup.

NorCal Cannabis Cup

High Times Cannabis Cup NorCal, just like SoCal's edition, had the goal to award the best weed products in California, and who better to judge them than the residents of Northern California? The 2021 edition of NorCal’s People’s Choice Cannabis Cup was the first time NorCal received this type of event, giving people from Northern California the chance to give feedback and help crown the best of the best out of thousands of different weed products.


The estimated timeline for the 2021 edition was set to be:

  • June 16 - 18: Entry submission;
  • June 25: Judge kits available;
  • June 25 - August 23: Judging;
  • August 29: Digital awards ceremony.

Unfortunately, this means that if you’re reading this after August 29 2021 at 4:20 PM the event has ended, and remember that People’s Choice events are online, meaning that you can attend the awards from anywhere in the world, all you have to do is go to High Times’ official Facebook page. 

Cannabis Cup in California: Ultimate Guide 2022: A woman in sunglasses posing with a blund with other people watching

Live events still beat the online ones hands down.

Judges and Evaluation Process

Just like in SoCal, NorCal’s People’s Choice edition gives power to the people of Southern California, aiming to identify and award the best cannabis products across a range of categories. This means that you too can be a judge, so if you want to participate and help crown the best weed products in Southern California, make sure to check High Times official website to check out more information on Judge passes and help award some of the most exclusive cannabis products.

Award Categories

The nature of the People’s Choice Cannabis Cup allows it to introduce a couple of new categories, totaling the 12 categories that follow:


  • Indica 
  • Sativa 
  • Hybrid 
  • Sungrown
  • Pre-rolls


  • Solvent concentrates
  • Non-solvent concentrates
  • Vape pens and Cartridges


  • Gummies
  • Non-gummies
  • Beverages


  • Topicals + Capsules + Tinctures

Northern California Cannabis Cup: People’s Edition 2021 1st Place Winners

IndicaJuice Z

by Atrium Cultivation

HybridMiracle Alien Cookies

by Sovereign


Super Lemon Haze

by Garcia Hand Picked


by High Supply


Diamond Barrel Infused Pre-Roll

by Cream of the Crop

Vape Pens & Cartridges (Sativa)

Grape Soda Vape

by Dripp

Vape Pens & Cartridges (Indica)

Zookies Vapeby Kingpen


Solvent Concentrates

Orange Creamsicle Diamond Holy Water

by URSA Extracts

Non-Solvent Concentrates

UNHOLY Piña Acai Live Rosin

by HolyWater x Grandiflora x Oakfruitland


Doozies Mango Chile Gummies

by Green Revolution


Ice Chocolate Bar

by Bhang


The Fizz Infused Cola

by Manzanita Naturals

Topicals + Tinctures + Capsules

Relax Formula Twist Up Topical Balm


Dr. Raw Organics



If reading about these marvelous weed products got you excited, then what are you waiting for? There aren’t any Cannabis Cups programmed in NorCal for 2022 or 2023 yet, so make sure to check their official website for cannabis cup tickets and for the latest updates!

Cannabis Cup in California: Ultimate Guide 2022: Musicians performing onstage at a nighttime outdoor concert during a cannabis expo

If you get a chance to visit a Cannabis Cup don't waste it!


Not only High Times Cannabis Cups but any event in Sacramento, or California as a matter of fact, is a great way to experience cannabis culture and excellent weed. California is the birthplace of cannabis culture, the state’s history with cannabis goes a long way back so if you’re a cannabis enthusiast, experiencing legal weed, dispensaries, and every other cannabis-related activity is definitely a must!


As the legal cannabis industry grows, there are more and more niche cannabis cups and each one is unique; Sometimes more focused on the medicinal side and sometimes more focused on the recreational side but always focused on the cannabis community. 

The American Autoflower Cup will be holding the unique cannabis cup and we invite you to come and be a part of this community, get to know like-minded individuals, and share your experience.