Errl Cup 2024 in Phoenix: Tickets, vendors, free weed and more | Phoenix New Times
Navigation

Your ultimate guide to the spring Errl Cup cannabis festival

Free weed, Bong Wars and so much more this weekend in Mesa. What else could you want in a cannabis festival?
Adam Montana competed in Errl Wars, a dab bong hitting competition, on Oct. 8, 2023. Errl Cup returns to Mesa this weekend.
Adam Montana competed in Errl Wars, a dab bong hitting competition, on Oct. 8, 2023. Errl Cup returns to Mesa this weekend. Jacob Tyler Dunn

Local News is Vital to Our Community

When you support our community-rooted newsroom, you enable all of us to be better informed, connected, and empowered during this important election year. Give now and help us raise $5,000 by June 7.

Support local journalism

$0
$5,000
$500
Share this:
Friends, stoners, countrymen, lend me your ears.

On March 16 and 17, Mesa will see the return of the Valley’s biggest biannual free cannabis festival, the Errl Cup.

In addition to snagging some free weed, the Errl Cup is an opportunity to see brave stoners of every ilk do battle in contests like Bong War, Edible War, Vape War and of course, Errl War.

What started as an event for a smaller group of medical marijuana patients has become the largest cannabis awards and festival in Arizona. An essential celebration of the plant, the festival has opportunities for medical and recreational tokers to interact with vendors and growers.

Jay Neri and Jim Morrison co-founded Errl Cup in 2015 to connect the community of medical marijuana users. The festival’s name comes from the slang term for cannabis oil.

Neri told Phoenix New Times the two have seen the festival’s attendees grow from about 1,000 to 10,000, while the number of vendors has jumped from 20 to 100.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
Lillian Lemar spread positive vibes throughout the festival on Oct. 8, 2023.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Plant medicine

The event was conceived of as Morrison’s sister battled multiple sclerosis, an incurable, disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord that can lead to paralysis.

Although medication can help keep some symptoms of MS at bay, it comes at a heavy price. Morrison’s sister spent $10,000 on her first month of MS medication. But according to Morrison, the medication wasn’t worth the money.

“It seemed like cannabis worked better than that medicine did,” he said. “It used to do well for her. It used to keep her energy levels up.”

But even then, she had difficulty buying quality cannabis. The experience gave Morrison and Neri the idea to create an event that would give people more insight into cannabis products and their quality. Their lawyer told them they would have to do everything for free.

“We just kind of are doing it to get people education on what’s available out there,” Neri said. “We ain’t making no money.”

The ultimate goal is “bringing accountability and regulation to the unregulated cannabis industry,” according to the Errl Cup website.

The Errl Cup has changed quite a bit since recreational use became legal in 2020. Morrison told New Times in 2023 that recreational users now make up 60% of the attending crowd.

Still, at its core, the event remains about educating consumers and celebrating the best weed in town.

“It’s just about getting the information out there, getting people access (to testing products), helping people out and having a good time while we’re doing it,” Neri said.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
Dabbers can sample different brands from across the state.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

How to register

Register online through Errl Cup's website.

When and where

This spring’s Errl Cup will take place on March 16 and 17 at the Thompson Event Center, 1901 North Alma School Road in Mesa, just north of Loop 202. The venue also is known as Scarizona Scaregrounds during the Halloween season.

The event is outdoors, so a hat and sunglasses are advised.

Tickets, hours and admission

The Errl Cup runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. But when you can enter Errl Cup depends on what kind of ticket you have. For both days, the following people can enter at the following times:

9 a.m.: Attendees with VIP tickets ($75 per day)
10 a.m.: Medical marijuana cardholders (free entrance)
11 a.m.: Folks with fast passes ($25 per day)
Noon: Everyone else (free entrance)

VIP tickets do not come with an earlier entrance, but there is a special hang-out lounge with access to shade, rigs, food and extra swag from sponsors.

The fast pass ticket gets you in an hour earlier than free attendees.

Other lounges

There will also be a special area for patients, a veterans’ lounge and a cannabis industry lounge, entrance to which requires a valid DA or FA card — if you don’t know what that is, you’re not in the industry.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
Irma Galarza and Angelina Leyva enjoyed the Errl Cup on Oct. 8, 2023.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Age requirements

Any adult who is at least 21 years old, or 18 with a medical marijuana card from states where it is legal, will be allowed to attend. You’ll just need a government-issued ID and if you’re a medical patient, your card.

No children will be allowed to enter the event.

Getting there and parking

Organizers encourage attendees to catch a ride to the event or take mass transit. Parking is available at the venue for $20 per vehicle, or for free at 1150 N. Alma School Road where a shuttle will take people to and from Errl Cup.

Security

Attendees must go through a metal detector and have their bags and backpacks searched.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
Errl Cup draws a big, diverse crowd for the event, which is held each spring and fall.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Bringing cannabis to the event

The bottom line is the sale of outside products is not allowed, but attendees can bring outside cannabis in small amounts for personal use. That includes flower, sealed packages of edibles, vapes and even dab rigs.

Neri said security will not allow people with lots of small bags of products into the festival.

But vendors most certainly will be handing out free products, which you can take home.

What you can’t bring

Weapons of any kind, any illegal substances, pets unless they’re service dogs, and outside food and beverages are not allowed.

Food

Got a case of the munchies? A range of food trucks will be on-site, each offering a different type of eats like pizza, birria tacos, BBQ, soul food, greek food and jerk chicken.

Drinks

Nonalcoholic beverages such as water, juice, soda and energy drinks will be available for sale at reasonable prices. No alcohol is available at the event.

Neri said security will allow two sealed water bottles per person.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
An entertainer performs during Errl Cup on Oct. 8, 2023.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Live music

An outdoor stage and a VIP area will host sets from local bands, rappers and comedians.

Sponsors

The event’s main sponsors are Dime Industries, Alien Labs, Mint Cannabis, Copperstate Farms, CannaConnections, Mohave Cannabis, Bud Bros, Arise, Flav and American Green.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
More than 100 booths will dot the landscape of the Scarizona Scaregrounds in Mesa.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Vendors

There will be about 100 booths at Errl Cup, with 60 to 70 of those being brands or dispensaries, according to Neri. Many vendors are small local businesses in their early stages. For new producers, it’s an opportunity to connect with the public and showcase their work.

The booths also belong to smoke shops, retailers, artisans and more. Neri said that even real estate company Keller Williams will have a booth.

Attendees can sample free cannabis ranging from flower to concentrates, and other booths will be selling bongs, glassware, clothing and jewelry related to cannabis in one way or another.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
The contests are legendary all weekend at Errl Cup.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Games and wars

The most notable booths are the festival’s “games.” Morrison said inspiration for the events struck him as he was watching the NCAA’s Final Four. “We ought to be able to do this with dabs,” he thought to himself.

All three sponsored competitions take place on both Saturday and Sunday. Each is a single-elimination tournament in which 32 participants try to smoke (Bong War), vape (Vape War) or dab (Errl War) their cannabis faster than their opponent.

There will also be an Edible War contest for the first time at Errl Cup. Neri said competitors will do a cognitive test by playing a game.

In addition, flower aficionados can rejoice over the Errl Cup’s joint rolling contest, in which participants try to roll a gram of flower into a joint faster than the competition.

The winners receive a championship chain with the date of their victory.

Even if you aren’t participating, the events are fun to watch.
click to enlarge Errl Cup cannabis festival Oct. 8, 2023
Winners will be crowned across three-dozen categories.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Awards and winners

Awards in 37 categories of cannabis products, including various strains of flower, concentrate, oils and edibles, will be up for grabs. Winners are selected following evaluation by Errl Cup judges and lab tests for quality. Judge surveys account for 75% of the score, with the lab results accounting for the remaining 25%.

Winners are revealed on stage throughout the weekend. Flower and concentrate winners will be announced Sunday. All other winners will be announced on Saturday.

Becoming a judge

Judges for this year’s event have already been chosen, but Neri said people who are interested in being judges at future Errl Cups can sign up through the website at theerrlcup.com and fill out a short questionnaire. There is a blind drawing for judge slots for people who provide their email.

Judges receive kits from Errl Cup organizers, which feature a mix of products up for awards.
BEFORE YOU GO...
Can you help us continue to share our stories? Since the beginning, Phoenix New Times has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix — and we'd like to keep it that way. Our members allow us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls.