An annual cannabis judging competition hosted by a prominent weed culture magazine is returning to Southern California for another year of head-to-head competitions, and experts are sought to crown the state’s top cannabis suppliers.

The 2023 Cannabis Cup, orchestrated and organized by High Times, invites Southern California residents to participate in the annual marijuana battle royale.

High Times is inviting SoCal residents of legal age to join the Cannabis Cup as judges by purchasing a take-home judging kit and providing their expertise on products provided by large-scale operations and mom-and-pop pot shops. Participating judges can evaluate sativa and indica flowers, gummies, chocolates, other edibles and pre-rolled joints.

The competitions is open to all brands across California, but will be judged primarily by Southern California consumers, High Times said.

It’s the third time the Cannabis Cup has been held in California, a state that High Times says has a “legendary” cannabis history.

“Since everyone believes that they’re the best already, we can’t wait to hear the feedback from the California cannabis community,” said Mark Kazinec, High Times Vice President of Events and Competitions.

In total, more than 2,200 enthusiasts will have the chance to act as cannabis arbiters as part of the competition, evaluating various factors, including taste, aroma and “burnability.” Thousands of grams of product will be judged across 12 categories.

California cannabis companies who are crowned top pot will have their products featured at High Times dispensaries across the state. Winners will be announced on July 24 at 4:20 p.m.

To be part of the judging process, fans must purchase a judging kit, which includes 8 to 28 samples (depending on chosen category) from cannabis companies across the state. Prices range from $99 to $250 and judges are asked to submit detailed comments regarding the “aesthetics, aroma, taste and effects of each product.”

Once products are consumed and judging is completed, that feedback will need to be submitted by July 10 with winners announced during an online award show two weeks later.

Judging kits can be purchased at High Times dispensaries, partner locations or through High Times delivery. Inventory is limited, so each kit is being sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting on May 20.

Each kit comes with a High Times tote bag that includes a scorecard and important information.

For contest rules, judging categories, important dates and other things to know, click here.

If you’re a cannabis connoisseur looking to lend your knowledge as a judge, you can pick up a judging kit at the following locations:

  • High Times Blythe: 1894 E Hobson Way, Blythe, CA 92225
  • High Times Coalinga: 286 North 5th St, Coalinga, CA 93210
  • High Times Oakland: 7817 Oakport St, Oakland, CA 94621
  • High Times Redding: 345 Hemsted Dr, Redding, CA 96002
  • High Times San Bernardino: 590 S E St, San Bernardino, CA 92408
  • High Times Shasta Lake: 1550 Locust St, Shasta Lake, CA 96019
  • Have a Heart: 709 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
  • Kush Alley: 16733 Schoenborn St, Los Angeles, CA 91343