Road trip to the High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan

Gucci Berry and Ben Rispin

Gucci Berry and Ben Rispin at High Times Cannabis Cup – Photo By Brent Kore

Dabs, giant bags of weed, a Gucci Barry sighting and amazing hospitality complete a perfect mission to Michigan’s first legal Cannabis Cup, with Detroit Cannabis Cup on the horizon

Words By Ben Rispin and Original Photography By Brent Kore

The generous folks

The generous folks at High Times were nice enough to look after our accommodations – Photo By Brent Kore

Lee Buckland

Lee Buckland of Trigger Happy & Higher Mentality’s CannaRiffs smokes weed at High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan and looks like the living embodiment of the 90s. – Photo By Brent Kore

cannabis_cupClio, Michigan

Well, Cannabis conference and event season has started and another Toronto based Lift & Co Expo has come and gone. For many already in the cannabis industry, or for those looking to break in, it’s been a crazy few days of meeting with friends, colleagues and potential business partners.

I’ll be honest, most business facing cannabis conferences I’ve been to around the world are kind of stale. The fact that Lift & Co can somehow manage to keep it a little fresh is a testament to their organizational skills and attention to detail.

As well executed as Lift Expo can be, the overwhelming scent of freshly printed promotional materials and recently assembled plastic booth activations, combined with recycled air left me pining for a different cannabis experience.

High Times

High Times anonymous packaging for High Times Cannabis Cup judges – Photo By Brent Kore

That’s why when we found out the Puff Digital family had been invited down to the High Times Cannabis Cup in the great state of Michigan, a state so diverse it birthed Motown and Juggalos, I assembled a crew of some of the best recreational cannabis users I know.

After two days at Lift, I had seen all the wonderful people the cannabis industry has allowed me to meet. I couldn’t wait to get outside in the fresh air and get amongst the consumer culture. As well, I couldn’t wait to hang with some old friends, see some new ones, and smoke a fuck ton of weed.


A fuck ton of weed awaits at High Times Cannabis Cup – Photo By Brent Kore

The plan was this; I was to meet my buddy Lee Buckland, who currently plays in the legendary Toronto punk band Almighty Trigger Happy, who is also launching his own soon-to-be-announced show on Higher Mentality, and ITW producer Brent Kore in Hamilton, drive three hours to Windsor, then crash for the night with our friend Steve, wake up early Sunday morning, cross the Windsor / Detroit border early, hit a greasy spoon for breakfast, enjoy a plethora of cannabis recreationally, and make no mention of this at the border.

Ben, Steve, Brent & Lee

Ben, Steve, Brent & Lee – Photo not by Brent Kore

We were weary about crossing the border with any cannabis. Yes, Michigan is now legal for adult use recreation, but let’s not forget that cannabis is still federally illegal in the US, so know the risks my friends. No, there would be no muleing for us this fine Sunday.

Instead, we decided to experiment with a before- market-test-product-edible that I’m not at liberty to discuss, but it’s in the vein of dis solvable THC, at 10 mg doses, which hits the bloodstream in under two minutes. Being experienced cannabis users, we didn’t think twice about consuming these. Perhaps this was unwise. Our only refuge being that those of us not driving, were the only few who partook.

We arrived at the border and the test-edibles were starting to really kick in. The product was designed to penetrate the bloodstream almost immediately, and they delivered as promised. A mere 10mgs can be quite effective when metabolized this way. As we approached the border, I started to get the “cop sweats”. Lee, who was driving, had changed what he was going to say repeatedly, which was giving me anxiety. We thought it unwise to mention the cannabis cup and although we were in no danger, the edible strips were definitely mashing us out. I was feeling the eye burn. I felt like the last son of krypton if he was a chunky stoner type that was craving gluten free pancakes.

After about 45 minutes waiting in line, we approached the border. I was very, very stoned by this point. Steve, who hadn’t spoken much all morning, decided that it was a good time to mention that he, “always gets questioned at the border”. This added to my anxiety,

As we pulled up to the guard at the Ambassador Bridge we were all set with our story. Our border guard seemed friendly enough. An older, heavy set chap with a gray hair and matching mustache. If you’ve seen Mike Judd’s Office Space, think the guy with the “Jump To Conclusions” game.


Used without permission.

The guard took our passports and did the usual; asked us how we knew each other, where we were from, where we were going, we managed that easy enough. Lee decided to mention maybe we’d take in a baseball game. This was off script. The guard then asked if we had tickets, we didn’t. Thankfully, someone mentioned that we might not even go and that we were just as interested in checking out some art museums and restaurants. He then asked, “who in the car has been arrested.”, I froze, I had definitely been cuffed several times but never printed. Then again I was high. Was it me? Did he know? Then Steve pipes up, “I’ve been arrested.” This is what Steve had failed to mention when referencing that he always gets questioned at the border. The officer then asked for what and Steve replied, “Prank phone calls.”.

The officer then asked Steve about his career, the details in which I’ll leave out to respect Steve’s privacy. The officer then seemed kind of bothered with Steve’s answers and turned to the rest of us, “Has anyone else ever been in trouble with the law?”, I decided to pipe up and said, “I think only the Jerky Boy in the back there has a record.” “The Jerky Boys? You mean like the prank phone call guys with anal warts guys and all that?”, the officer questioned. I said, “yeah.”, really hoping this officers sense of humor was liberal minded and that he maybe knew who The Jerky Boys were. He laughed out loud, repeated the words, “anal warts” to himself, and passed us through. This was the first time I’ve ever been stoned out of my mind and had an Officer of the law repeat the phrase, “anal warts”.

Alleluia for the Jerky Boys.

In the 90s, a duo of creative geniuses called The Jerky Boys put out exhilarating art in the form of prank phone calls.

We headed north on the I75 for Auto City Speedway in the heart of Clio, Michigan. We hit our greasy spoon, Brent decided to eat some questionable dishes and got back on the road. After about 45 minutes on the I75 we arrived at our destination. The test-edibles had mostly worn off, and we were ready to indulge in what we hoped to be some of the finest cannabis products Michigan had to offer. It had started to rain a little at this point, but we weren’t going to let that spoil our afternoon.

We had been invited to the Cup by our friend, Jon Cappetta of High Times Magazine, who was not only a featured guest on our show (ITW:E36), he was also nice enough to join in and co-host this week’s episode with UFC’s Ashlee Evans Smith (shameless double episode plug).

Listen to Ashlee Evans-Smith here:

Listen to Jon Capetta here:


Ashlee Evans-Smith, Efrem Martinez Shulz, Jon Cappetta & Ben Rispin during the Hollywood Sessions

After close to two hours on the road we arrived at Auto City Speedway in Clio, Michigan. We pulled up and it a hundred of cars filled grass fields doubling as parking lots. It would have been an epic sandstorm if not for the rain. We waited in line at will call, got our passes, and headed in.

We entered the venue and my hot take was one that could be described as a stoner zoo with a large variety of species. It was awesome. People from all walks of life exchanging ideas, smiles and cannabis. We hit the first dab bar we could find, where we also conveniently bought a giant joint, dipped in oil and keep for $30 USD. A tad expensive, but I came to experience the cup. We wandered the grounds for a while and checked out what High Times Cannabis Cup had to offer.

Giant joints galore

Giant joints galore at High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan – Photo By Brent Kore



WEED! – Photo By Brent Kore


dabsDABS! – Photo By Brent Kore

We headed over to the stage to watch the festivities and to check out the cup winners.  It had started to rain a little harder now but most of us were too high to give a shit. We met up with Petch from Puff Digital, got into the dipped joint, and enjoyed the show. The doob hit me pretty hard and I kind of went into my own world for a bit. Thankfully, Brent was on point and got some photos of the winners.


Attendees watch the awards



Puff Digital’s Mark Petch contemplates life


Mrs. Berry Kush - Winner - Best Indica

Mrs. Berry Kush – Winner – Best Indica – Photo By Brent Kore


Kyle Gardner x First Class Gardens

1st Place: Kyle Gardner x First Class Gardens – Cannatonic #4 – Photo By Brent Kore

Shortly after the cups were given out, we decided to smoke another joint and meet our friend Jon sidestage to thank him for the tickets. We were all chilling when out of the crowd came internet phenomenon, Gucci Berry. You may know him from the internet. If not, the best way to describe him and his crew are a few people who aren’t incredibly genetically gifted, kick each other in the nuts, dance, fight, rap and basically entertain the entire internet which landed him hanging with huge acts like Waka Flaka. He was super nice, but still, the content is pretty cringy.

If you wish to research further, go here:

Gucci Berry

Gucci Berry at High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan – Photo By Brent Kore


Gucci Berry

Gucci Berry at High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan – Photo By Brent Kore

Steve hadn’t ever witnessed the legend of Gucci Berry in person or on the internet and kind of started freaking out so we headed back into the vendor area to go find out homie Brett Roman from California Seed Bank. We found him, hung out, but he was bummed on the weather and his crew were packing up. We made them pose for a picture anyway.

California Seed Bank

California Seed Bank at High Times Cannabis Cup Michigan – Photo By Brent Kore

Brett was also recently on our show. You can listen to his episode here:

After a quick stint in the VIP area I found a dude passed out and thought it looked like a good idea. We still had a four-hour drive ahead of us. Huge shout out to the High TImes people for always being so hospitable. We’ll see you in Detroit, August 17-19.

Ben Rispin

Photo not by Brent Kore

Thanks for the laughs High Times and thanks for stopping by our blog.

Yours, Ben

For more information on High Times Cannabis Cup Detroit, visit this link here:

High Times Cannabis Cup Detroit

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