Seven years ago, the landscape of cannabis culture changed when California signed Proposition 64 into law, making it legal to use, sell, and cultivate cannabis in the privacy of one’s own home. In 2023, “Green Street” in Los Angeles, California was ground zero for the American Autoflower Cup, one of the first competitions centered around the best strains of autoflowering cannabis bred by private cannabis cultivators. The existence of the American Autoflower Cup is a testament to the continuous evolution of cannabis culture and the developing science that allows private breeders to achieve contest-winning results at home.
The American Autoflower Cup is an event founded by filmmaker and cannabis enthusiast Jeremy Norrie, who has developed a reputation in the Los Angeles cannabis scene for hosting events such as The Secret Cup, the first cannabis competition for hash, and the Chalice California festival. Norrie conceived the Autoflower Cup as a way to celebrate the work of the best autoflower breeders in the country and their expertise in cultivating genetics.
The American Autoflower Cup is the first competition for autoflower genetics in the United States, with the Autoflower World Cup in Barcelona, Spain being the first autoflower competition on an international level. Autoflower refers to specialized strains of cannabis bred to mature and bud after a specific period of time, rather than according to a light cycle like other cannabis strains. This gives autoflower strains larger yields, more potent buds, and faster harvesting times than standard cannabis strains.
The event featured contests in three categories: Best Autoflower Sativa Strain, Best Autoflower Indica Strain, and Best Autoflower Breeder. Its judging panel consisted of industry professionals and experts such as cannabis culture stalwarts Joey Burger, Jenny Beth, and Sincerely Cali. The event also partnered with organizations at the forefront of cannabis-related science, such as Encore Labs and Leafworks, to meticulously ensure the integrity of the judging process.
The competition’s judges rate strains based on qualities such as appearance, aroma, taste, and the overall experience when smoking them. Any breeder can join as long as they are of legal age to breed cannabis and are able to provide samples divided into 20 separate 1-gram portions free of pests and mold to Los Angeles in person.
A competition centered on autoflower strains is a watershed moment in American cannabis culture because all other cannabis competitions in the United States focus on cannabis cultivated using the customary 12 hours on, 12 hours off (12/12) light cycle. Furthermore, the American Autoflower Cup is bringing the spotlight to the most knowledgeable and respected private cannabis breeders in the country, showing the steady growth of cannabis culture since the widespread legalization of private cannabis breeding in states such as California, Alaska, Arizona, and Colorado. In addition to its competitive aspects, the American Autoflower Cup also hosts educational gatherings such as seminars, workshops, and networking events, keeping the focus on growing cannabis culture as a whole.
The second annual American Autoflower Cup is set to take place in January 2024. Cannabis content creators and web personalities such as Haylo Autoflowers, Juvar from Dusa Farms, and Neil and Heaven from Highigan will serve as judges at the event.