Mile High – Professor Lee Goes to the 2015 Denver Cannabis Cup


The first booth that caught my eye belonged to a hydroponic company named Hanging Hydroponics. I met Cameron who gave me the details on their product. The modular system they’ve come up with consists of aeroponic grow tub(s) fed by a water pump connected to a central reservoir. Each tub uses a PVC manifold sprayer that continually mists the underside of a screen mounted halfway up the inside.

Multiple tubs can be linked together side by side or in a horizontal grow tower supported by a simple cable system. The part I liked the best was that by simply changing out the lids of the tubs the grower can either start a batch of clones, grow a sea of green, or raise a single large plant. The company will order whatever light a grower wishes, but they prefer to use LED lamps in the vertical tower because the lamps won’t excessively heat the tubs above them. Hanging Hydroponics originally designed the system they had on display for chefs that wanted to offer their guests fresh herbs and greens, but the healthy marijuana plants taking up a third of the display showed what they could do for the home-based marijuana grower (

This year my favorite technology booth was the “Root Devil.” A robust waist high trolley with a heavy metal screen on top and a couple of shop vacuums underneath. The purpose of the Root Devil is to clean the remnant bits of roots out of expanded clay pellets so they can reused. The owner explained that he had spoken to dispensaries that threw out five hundred pounds of used pellets at a time. With one or two Root Devils they could clean the pellets sterilize them and save a substantial amount of money. He recommended using a simple water/bleach solution to disinfect the clay pellets. Things like the Root Devil shows that there is still room in the Green Rush for the home inventor to introduce an impressive product. It’s one of those things were you wonder why I didn’t think of it first? Check them out at

I had to swing by the Black Dog booth to check out the plant with the monster cola that Noah had mentioned. It was indeed impressive: a three way grafted plant with Blue Dream, Blue Kush, and Sweet and Sour Candy buds basking in the violet glare of one of Black Dog’s 750-watt lamps. The much anticipated monster bud was as long and thick as my forearm. We talked a little more shop and I met some of the  crew I hadn’t seen on Thursday. Then I headed outside to where the smokers, dabbers, and vapor users do what they do best.

The outdoor part of the Cup is expansive, taking up two parking lots. In tented booths vendors hocked wares and some demonstrated dabs for hungry lines of attendees. The booths were laid out in a simple grid system that to me makes up the best stoner bazaar in the world. The quality of people watching one can do at the Cup is impressive. There were performers and artists plying their trade, pot zombies stumbling around from their first ever dab, professional stoners, girls in shorts offering fl yers, people who hadn’t been high since the 70’s,and the cream of marijuana celebrities. I had been waiting a year for this so I took a deep breath and threw myself in headfirst.

On this 420 weekend I made a lot of new friends and hung out with old ones. I sampled dabs, smoked countless joints, and puffed on my vape pen like it was oxygen. Every time I found myself stoned as fuck I enjoyed the absence of that nagging paranoia that used to come on at such times in the dark and scary past of total prohibition. I was in the friendliest happiest place on Earth, and everybody else knew it too. With events like this the western world is finally getting to see firsthand that regulated legal marijuana doesn’t lead to riots in the streets and rampant crime. Even the authorities are getting the message. Over the weekend the Denver Police sent the following Tweet: “We see you rollin, but we ain’t hatin HAHA… Seriously though, #Denver, please remember to #ConsumeResponsibly this 4/20 weekend.”

The tongue-in-cheek Chamillionaire reference met with general approval. For weeks prior to arriving in Colorado I had been telling people that if anybody could find me at the Cup before 4:20 I would split a joint with them. On the first day I met a young couple named Greg and Anna. Anna told me that she had read my magazine column before and I rewarded them with a pre-rolled Strawberry Cough joint. We talked about where they were from and what they had seen at the Cup so far. It was their first time in Denver and they already knew that they would be back next year.

Just for fun the next day I played a little game in my head and kept my eyes open for anybody that pulled a “Stoner Move” in front of me. It happened to a girl when she almost dropped her coat on my feet while she got up from a curb. You’ll have to take my word for it that it was a lot funnier seeing it in person than reading about it. I introduced myself to her and her friends and explained that she had won the stoner move award. Her prize was a pre-rolled Girl Scout Cookie joint to share with her friends. Part of being at the Cup is having fun and they really seemed to enjoy the surprise.

Further on in my hazy wanderings around the grounds I ran into Ryan Nerz the host of The Cannabusiness Report on the Fusion channel. I told him I enjoyed his show and he was funny on social media. He remembered some back and forth commentary we had on a few news stories and we laughed about running into each other. Later that day I spied famous author/grower Jorge Cervantes in his booth meeting fans and autographing his new book. When he saw my press pass he came over to talk to me and I introduced myself. I explained how I had learned a great deal from his writings and enjoyed watching his video series. He showed me his new book and we talked a little about writing. He asked me to say “Hi” to Phil at Weed World and I promised to do so: “Hey, Phil, Jorge Cervantes says Hi.”

For the entire weekend Mother Nature was kind and avoided dousing us with any major thunder and/or snow storms while we celebrated all things cannabis. On the outdoor stage music act after act cranked out tunes for ecstatic fans. While enjoying the show I came across a man wearing an intricate devil mask made out of hand blown glass. It was clearly worth a lot of money and people gathered around to take pictures. The only thing that I didn’t like about it was the mental image of a horribly impaled and lacerated face that would result if they fell down or were hit by anything. Still, it was really cool.

Later, I found myself filming a crowd as they competed for the attention of a vendor that threw expensive vaporizer pens to the people that made the most noise. Between any such spectacles, when I needed a break, I could sit in any of the tent-covered rest areas or find a spot on the curb behind the rows of booths. Here I could drink some water, check my equipment, and roll another joint or two. This gave me the energy to browse more vendors and interview them about their products.

Being a grower, I gravitated towards the booths with garden equipment. I spent hours handling things like lights, bud trimming machines, and growing mediums and asking the vendors details about each one. One vendor proudly showed me his straw bale system that replaced containers and soils. I did something similar in my vegetable garden so we compared a bunch of notes.

When I wasn’t touring booths or filming the craziness around me I would catch myself randomly staring at some mesmerizing thing or another. Like the vendor that entertained the crowd by blowing smoke filled soap bubbles between sales, or the 420 nurses that mingled with the crowd. The three days I spent at the Cup became a happy chaotic blur of networking and fun. At the end of each day I needed to clear the human carnival from my mind before heading to the bus stop so I would spend a few minutes walking by a gallery of paintings in the auditorium. Even though most of the paintings had a psychedelic theme to them I found that they centered me and prepared me to reenter the outside world.

As with all things, my 420 weekend adventure had to come to an end. Before I was ready for it I found myself flying back home. On the way I thought about all the people I’d met and all the things I’d seen. I thought about how this irresponsible prohibition against medical and recreational marijuana will soon come to an end. I thought about what the world will be like when it’s completely gone. I understand that there will still be bad things going on that cannabis won’t fix, like people killing each other over nothing, poverty, and hunger. That stuff will still happen. Politicians will keep on doing whatever it is that politicians do, and I’m pretty sure that the mainstream media will continue to make me cringe. But, at least I know that when cannabis use is legalized things will get a little bit better. It will be one less stupid problem we’ll have to deal with, and the domino effect that comes from legalization will spread out to better the lives of people that don’t have anything directly to do with marijuana. People who might have loved ones in prison for minor marijuana violations will see them be freed and returned home, and hopefully have their records expunged. Or those sober people that have a chronically ill relative(s) that can’t currently use medical marijuana will finally be able to see them get some relief. We are all watching this green tidal wave roll across the land and the change it brings with it. If you live in a place where there is still total prohibition, rest assured it is coming and when it does you too will be able to breathe the fresh, skunky air of freedom like I just did. ‘Till then you can always get involved in some local marijuana activism or simply buy an airplane ticket.

The Winners

The Winners at the 2015 Denver High Times Cannabis Cup were announced in the smoke filled auditorium to hundreds of cheering spectators. Over the next year I guarantee that these strains and products will be in high demand.

The People’s Choice Flowers category awards went to:

1st Place – Cindy White – The Green Solution

2nd Place – GRiZ Kush – Native Roots

3rd Place – Bubba Kush – The Clinic Colorado

The People’s Choice Concentrate winners were:

1st Place – Sour Diesel Shatter – The Green Solution

2nd Place – Kosher Kush Live Resin Butter – The Clinic Colorado

3rd Place – Orange Herijuana Shatter – Native Roots

The Best Glass winners were:

1st Place – Qbert – Vader Extracts / Freeek / Pinky

2nd Place – Mothership Glass – Beehive Concentrates

3rd Place – Hitman Glass – Hitman Glass

The Best Vaporizer awards went to:

1st Place – 710 King Pen – Loud Pack Extracts

2nd Place – Cloud V – Cloud V

3rd Place – Icredibowl Milkshake Machine – Incredibowl Red Eye Saloon

The Best Booth winners were:

1st Place – Vader Extracts

2nd Place – Rx Green Solutions / The Ethos Collective

3rd Place – The Green Solution

The Best Product winners were:

1st Place – Moxie Mix – Bader Extracts

2nd Place – Cloud V – Cloud V

3rd Place – Oil Slick – Oil Slick

By Professor Lee

Originally published in Weed World Magazine issue 117

This article originally appeared here in

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