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The Best Cannabis Competitions in California (Including the SoCal Cannabis Cup)


If you really want to put your cannabusiness on the map, participating in any of the national cannabis competitions could do the trick.

Better yet, come home with an award, and you might find your product, not to mention your company, has become an overnight success. From the Dope Cup to the well-established SoCal Cannabis Cup, marijuana competitions are gaining in popularity. They’re a great way to showcase your products while networking with thousands of canna-enthusiasts from around the country!

In this article, we’ll be highlighting the top three marijuana competitions in California, what you can expect from them, and how you can enter your products to find out where you actually stand!

Cannabis enthusiasts flock to events like the SoCal Cannabis Cup

California’s Top 3 Cannabis Competitions

If you truly want to make it in the competitive Californian marijuana market, exposure and marketing are key components to spreading the word about your products and company. One of the best ways to do that is entering your products into competitions for experienced judges to evaluate and rate them against some of the top companies in the state. While there are plenty of competitions to choose from, to save you a bit of time and money, we’ve narrowed down the list to the top three: The Emerald Cup, The Dope Cup, and the SoCal Cannabis Cup.

#3 The Emerald Cup

Sitting in third place is The Emerald Cup, which occurs in Santa Rosa, California. Like many other marijuana-focused events, this 420-friendly one is a combination of a competition, expedition, and music festival. However, The Emerald Cup is best known for focusing on some of the top cultivators in the game—and more specifically, sustainable outdoor marijuana farmers. Their website even claims that “its reputation is firmly solidified as the largest, most-respected, organic, outdoor, cannabis competition in the world.”

For this competition, experts judge and rate products from the following categories:

  • Flowers

  • Cartridges

  • Solventless

  • CBD

  • Edibles

  • Breeder’s Cup

Get Involved

If you pride yourself on your quality product, this is definitely a platform you’ll want to consider to show off your expertise. While the 2021 event was held virtually, once things start to open up again, you won’t want to miss out on this event in person. If you’re looking to increase your brand’s exposure and see how your products stack up against the best-of-the-best in the biz, you can find out more about how to get involved in the next “Oscars of Pot” here.

#2 The Dope Cup

Coming in at number two is The Dope Cup by High Times. This event originally started in Seattle but now takes place in a few cities throughout the country—one of those being Adelanto, California. The 420-friendly event hosts a competition, multiple concerts, and a vendor exhibition where attendees can purchase and try products. The Dope Cup is one of the highest-attended marijuana events in the world—bringing in tons of consumers and industry professionals from around the globe.

Expert—and at times celebrity—judges hand out Dope Cup Trophies for the best:

  • Flowers

  • Edibles

  • Topicals

  • Concentrates

  • Glasswork

  • Accessories

Among other categories, attendees can also be involved by voting for the best: 

  • Indica

  • Sativa

  • Hybrid

  • Highest THC/CBD

  • Topical


  • Beverage

  • Sweet/Savory Edible

Get Involved

With the uncertainty of the pandemic, the last Dope Cup took place in 2019, so there’s no definite date for the next one. However, because of its popularity, we’re sure this one will be up and running as soon as possible. Without an official website, be sure to check the High Times website for any upcoming Dope Cup updates.

#1 SoCal Cannabis Cup

We’ve saved the best for last! The High Times really knows how to deliver when it comes to marijuana competitions. They host four Cannabis Cups—three of those in California, and one in Michigan.

After 28 years in Amsterdam, the Cannabis Cup has moved overseas to the U.S. where the infamous SoCal Cannabis Cup now takes place. As one of the largest and longest-standing competition-based events, the marijuana-friendly Cannabis Cups feature musical performances from popular names like Ice Cube (2019), an awards ceremony, hundreds of vendors, and of course, the popular cannabis competition.

Anyone over 18 (with ID to prove it) can attend the three-day SoCal Cannabis Cup and can expect to find quite a party as the event has boasted a petting zoo, body marbling, and even a large Ferris wheel over the years.

When it comes to competing, you must be a licensed cultivator or processor to enter your products. According to their last update, the final scores are produced with software that “uses a two-tiered digital system that includes a qualitative score from judges and a quantitative score from lab tests. The qualitative score accounts for 75 percent of the total, with judges looking at aroma, flavor, visual appeal, potency and other factors depending on the category.”

You can enter your product if it falls under one of these categories:

  • Indica Flower

  • Hybrid Flower

  • Sativa Flower

  • Sungrown Flower

  • Pre-Rolls (Infused and Non-Infused)

  • Solvent Concentrates

  • Non-Solvent Concentrates

  • Vape Pens and Cartridges

  • Edibles

  • Ingestibles

  • Topicals

Get Involved

If you really want to see how your products perform against some of the best in Southern California, this is a competition you won’t want to miss! To compete (or advertise) at the SoCal Cannabis Cup, simply head to the High Times SoCal page for updates and news about the next one.

Start with the best clones in Los Angeles to produce superior products

Have Your Products Tested by Some of the Biggest Names in Cannabis!

If you want your product to stand out in these competitions, it all starts with getting the highest-quality plants. A great way to ensure that is by purchasing the best genetically verified cannabis clones in California to produce a great flower—and ultimately—a superior product!

Regardless of whether or not you want to attend any of these top California cannabis events as a competitor or vendor, it can be a great way to make valuable connections within the marijuana supply chain, grow your brand, and increase your company’s exposure to new consumers. With the right product, you might just wow the judges and walk away from the famous SoCal Cannabis Cup with a coveted award. Best of luck if you decide to go for it!

Homegrown Nursery proudly signs the content on the Cannabis News Blog. We are a dependable source for healthy and feminized clones. For marijuana businesses and entrepreneurs, we offer special wholesale pricing. Get in touch for more details!

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