Let it never be said that getting stoned and drawing shit won’t get you that green. In California’s Sonoma County, one art contest that is run by a cannabis company is offering artists some $50,000 worth of prizes to submit work that is inspired by that good ganja.

The contest is put on by Natural Cannabis Company each year “as a crowd-sourcing solution to packaging design.” (So it’s a good thing that they’re compensating entrants.) Its theme changes every year, but 2023’s subject should be able to garner a response from most feeling cannabis aficionados:

“The theme this year is LOVE,” says the contest’s website. “Find inspiration in what you love, be it a person, a feeling, a place … anything you love!”

In the years since its inception, this contest has begun to attract 420 creatives from around the world — artists from “140+ countries” have submitted to High Art over the course of its many editions, according to the contest’s website.

In addition to garnering that green (cash), contest winners will see their work exhibited in the High Art gallery, located in Santa Rosa, and “prestigious art events in the United States and abroad.” Again, according to the Natural Cannabis site.

Last year the contest’s theme was “music.” Its first place winner was an artist named Rosenfeldtown, whose “Cooking Sounds” piece shows a DJ bedecked with some reggae-classic pins and rings declaring their affiliation to ganja. The central figure is twisting knobs, headphones around their neck and a lit joint sustained between two track-dropping fingers. In the background, fire-colored patterns swirl. Yeah, this is stoner art alright. 


Rosenfeldtown’s “Cooking Sounds”

Rast year’s runners up include Cat Schappach’s doobie-toting jester cavorting under a massive, music-spewing hookah, and yet another stoned DJ in David Johann Abadiano’s rendition of a hoodie-clad, drum-headed decksmith who is filling the air with musical instruments.

OK, the money though. First place winners of the High Art contest take home $15,000 and choose an international charity to which $10,000 will be donated. Second place takes home $5,000, third place gets $2,500, fourth and firth place each nab $1,000, and sixth through 20th place takes home $500.

Artists who are 18 years old and up can enter now through March 20th with as many designs as they like, and winners are announced on 4/20.

The Natural Cannabis Company seems to have a pretty heavy commitment to highlighting the work of creatives inspired by reefer. A quick peek at its website also reveals a series of interview with artists about their sources of inspiration and dream project, among other subjects.

Cannabis art need not revolve around the same swirly psychedelic patterns and bloodshot-eyed goblins that grace the old concert posters in your father’s “man cave,” just like cannabis music is far from limited to reggae and Snoop Dogg. 

Let’s take note that creativity and weed can take many forms. For inspiration in opening your aperture in this respect, we’re gonna go on and recommend browsing the highly aesthetic and marijuana-obsessed Broccoli Magazine, or even the wide-ranging historical exhibit “Am Yisrael High” at New York’s YIVO Insitute for Jewish Research.

Follow Caitlin on Instagram, and catch her Spanish-language podcast Crónica on Spotify and Mixcloud.

Cover image via