Chalice has become one of the most big name cannabis events in comparison to the HighTimes Cannabis Cup. The annual event is held every July in San Bernardino, California and this year, it happened to fall on the weekend of 7/10. For those of you who don't know, 710 is the number with correlation to OIL - because 710 flipped upside spells OIL. Chalice celebrates hash, art, glass and music, and never fails in any of those departments. This year, The Higher Content™ was stoked to be welcomed as press to the crazy packed 3 day weekend festival.
We touched down from New York on Day 1 of Chalice and decided to rest and recoup for Day 2. After driving from LA to San Bern and stepping out of the air conditioned car, we wondered why the hell we took the hour and a half drive to the damn desert. It was so f*cking hot! Us New Yorkers aren't used to the dry, California heat so we found ourselves spending hella money on overpriced water bottles inside the event. There were far too many situations where EMS was called because someone passed out from heat exhaustion. People were dropping like flies - getting high and not staying hydrated in 97° weather. We're no strangers to seeing people faint or even have seizures due to medical conditions at these events. But with this many people passing out, we wondered, is it really worth it for the event hosts to keep gathering in the peak of the summer in the Mojave desert?
Nonetheless, the event was still amazing. We were familiar with the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds from providing press at the AbraCaDabs festival in 2016. However, Chalice completely shitted on AbraCaDabs! The fairgrounds was filled with aisles of booths, tents with booths, a field with booths - BOOTHS EVERYWHERE! It was pretty much impossible to not find a brand you're familiar with at one of the thousands of stands through out the event. The year's biggest sponsor (had to be) Jungle Boyz. They're booth was an entire building, with a line inside, outside and wrapped around. EVERYONE wanted to get their hands on some Jungle Boyz products - especially after they took home trophy after trophy in the Chalice competitions. They even had a huge Ferris wheel with their logo stamped all over it that had views of the entire Chalice event from the top.
The Higher Content™ enjoyed visiting our friends Push Trees at the Dabber Box booth, Liv Alexander at the Kush Queen booth and @SheSmokesJoints at the Critical Terp Terrace Booth. We also became lovers of Zeki Farms and the beautiful budtenders holding down their booth, BlackLeaf had straight fire on display at their booth (in an air conditioned tent that was like, HEAVEN). It seemed as if we bought the entire JahNetics booth because we only saw them for one day! Just kidding, but we were lucky to get our hands on some Jah Cookies and disappointed to not see them set up again on Day 3, like a few other companies.
If the heat tempted you to stay home during the Chalice 3-day weekend, the performance line-up was guaranteed to make you at least come out at night when it cooled down. Paul Wall was spotted throughout the event while the stage saw some big name celebrities like Berner, Big Boi, Cam'ron and Juelz Santana, The Lox, Capleton and the main event, Ice Cube. Chalice is known to be an event celebrating glass, hash, art and music however, if you wanted to experience all four highlights, you had to make it through the peak heat of the day with enough energy to make through the night, which was a long one.
Musical guests were definitely a headliner of Chalice, but don't sleep on the competition. The literal Chalice competition. The audience was packed in front of the stage mid-afternoon of Day 2. Probably not the smartest time to host the award ceremony - during the peak of the sun with absolutely no shade anywhere within proximity of the stage - but hey, they did it anyway. Most people feel as if the competitions at events like HighTimes are rigged. Usually those who sponsor and spend hella money on booths take home trophies while the honest, reputable and deserving companies/products go home unrecognized with disappointment. Chalice likes to promote that they are the complete opposite of that, however, as an "event goer" in the crowd, it was shocking to hear, "and the winner is... Jungle Boyz!" over and over again. They won so many categories the host ran out of nice things to say and creative ways to present the award to them. Another frequent winner was Nameless Genetics.
It was kind of disappointing to hear the same names being called up to collect trophies when there were literally thousands of booths which we're sure had amazing products in their own way. Whether all of these companies entered the competition or not, The Higher Content™ questioned the authenticity of the judging of each cannabis category. We really wonder how these competitions grade products.
Chalice followed California's laws and regulations when it comes to purchasing and consuming cannabis. Guests were greeted at the front gate with the option to purchase their recreational cards, which would in turn grant them access to all of the smoking sections of the event. Those without medical or recreational marijuana cards were only allowed within certain parameters of the event, which had a limited amount of things for purchase. Basically, if you didn't have a medical or recreational card, you could only buy things like apparel paraphernalia and food and see the main stage.
Day 3, you could clearly see the event dying down. Some booth spaces were empty because vendors decided not to show. Products were becoming few and far in between as inventory was pretty much sold out. Jungle Boyz cleaned up shop and only had lit up display cases and water by the end of the weekend. Even security guards working the event looked tired, hot and careless. People without MMJ cards were able to walk through any part of the event - probably because there wasn't much product left. Everyone was most likely just trying to get their money's worth of their 3-day ticket or VIP Pass by the last day.
As herbalists from the East Coast, Chalice was definitely one of the cannabis events that was on our bucket list. Was it worth it? Absolutely! The mass amount of products available to view or purchase was immense and there isn't another cannabis event that has the musical guests like Chalice. Is it necessary for all 3 days? Not really. As long as you spend the entire day exploring the grounds, there isn't something you'll see on Day 3 that you won't on Day 1. Unless it's a music performance, that would be the only reason to purchase a multi-day ticket. Would we go again? No doubt! But that desert heat, man...