Don’t call it a comeback

The High Times Cannabis Cup returns to Cal Expo just in time for 420

Want to attend the High Times Cannabis Cup? The two-day event begins April 20 at the Cal Expo fairgrounds, 1600 Exposition Boulevard. Visit

The High Times Cannabis Cup returns to Cal Expo just in time for 420.

High Times is back! After solving the problems that caused the cancellation of its scheduled event last October in Sacramento, the folks who invented the “Cannabis Cup” more than 30 years ago are coming back to Cal Expo with another smoke-filled extravaganja.

This will be the second time that the High Times Central Valley Cannabis Cup will be hosted at Cal Expo, and event producer Jon Cappetta says it will be better than Disneyland.

“This is truly the happiest place on Earth. We will have exhibitors, a farmers market, panels and space for people to meet growers and cannabis experts,” Cappetta told SN&R. “We had a great time last year, and I’m very excited to be back in Sac.”

Having produced more than 40 High Times events, Cappetta says it’s never a dull moment.

“We are even going to have a beer garden run by Cal Expo a little bit away from the main event, but I don’t think folks will get too drunk,” Cappetta said. “Usually the worst thing that happens is people get sunburned.”

In addition to all the cannabis and cannabis accessories, (hopefully, hash maker extraordinaire Frenchy Cannoli will bring his handmade hash and “giant octopus” hookah) the Cup has booked a hip-hop heavy musical slate. Rae Sremmurd, Schoolboy Q and Bay Area rap legend Too $hort are among the acts scheduled to perform.

“Hip-hop resonates with our crowd,” Cappetta said. “It’s popular and hip-hop and cannabis have a long history together.”

He also said he was busy lining up weed-lebrities to make appearances, but didn’t divulge any names.

With all the weed and entertainment, it would be easy to forget that the High Times Cup is in fact a cannabis competition. Growers and extract makers from all over the Central Valley will be seeking recognition. Last year, Friendly Farms of Sacramento took home three awards: second place for Best Sativa Concentrate and first place in both Best Product and Best Vape Pen Cartridge.

So it’s no surprise that Friendly Farms CEO Darrin Gatto loves the High Times Cup. As a small, privately owned business, Gatto and co-owner Chaz Smith, who both grew up in Sacramento, say they can’t pass up this hometown event. Gatto also said that Friendly Farms plans to bring back its $1 dab donation deal to benefit local homeless charities. Last year, the two donated $1,400 and hope to do even better this year.

When asked about advice for first-time Cannabis Cup attendees, Cappetta said: “It’s a marathon. Pace yourself. No need to get too high in the first hour. Come with an open mind, and be prepared to meet up and get high with people from all different walks of life.”

This writer’s advice: Wear comfortable shoes, bring sunscreen, make sure to stay hydrated and maybe have some high CBD strains or edibles around in case too much THC makes you feel a little anxious or disoriented. There will also be a food court. So munchies shouldn’t be an issue.

As cannabis legalization starts to bloom around the state, it’s refreshing to see cities embrace large-scale cannabis events, which require way more paperwork and permits than other festivals. Cannabis should no longer be a big deal. One day, Cannabis Cups and tasting parties will be as ubiquitous as Oktoberfests and Bacon Weeks. In fact, if someone were to produce a bacon and weed fest, it would probably sell out before you could say “cannabis-infused-candied-pork-belly.” Sacramento is taking a bold step with this event, and hopefully it will once again prove that stoners know how to party. Safely. With good snacks.