As of late Wednesday, Outside Lands was cleared to become the first major event in San Francisco — and the first big music festival in the country — to sanction on-site sales and consumption of cannabis.
It's a big moment for legal weed this weekend in SF as Outside Lands opens the floodgates for both vendors and vapers alike. And while it's not like people haven't been smoking weed at concerts since the birth of concerts, we are now entering a new era in California where edibles and pre-rolls are going to be sold in legal vendor booths and marked up like crazy just like the beer.
"San Francisco is a city that has long embraced community festivals and gatherings, as well as the cannabis industry," says Supervisor Rafael Mandelman. "Outside Lands is an exciting opportunity for us to host our first event with legal cannabis sales and consumption and do so in a way that supports local businesses and puts public safety first."
Of course, there are some catches. As Rec & Parks and the city's Office of Cannabis explain in a release, cannabis consumption will technically only be permitted in Grass Lands, the fenced-off area devoted to weed sales and use. And only attendees 21 and older will be allowed inside this area.
"Only safe, tested cannabis products will be sold through local vendors, and a point-of-sale system will track purchases to ensure each individual remains within the legal limit for purchase," says Rec & Parks spokesperson Tamara Aparton.
As we learned this week, those vendors will include Sublime, which makes pre-rolls and may also be selling their new line of cannabis-infused ice pops; upscale vape brand Pax Labs; and Flow Kana, which will be repeating an activity from last year's Grass Lands, letting guests carve bongs out of fruits and vegetables. Also selling products will be Moxie, which is reportedly setting up "an old-town gas station" installation where customers can consume their dabs; and Oakland-based vertical cannabis enterprise NUG will have a model cultivation facility to tour, and will be selling "chef-created THC treats like chocolates and more."
This is all part of a pilot program launched by the Office of Cannabis in April, with Mandelman's help, and things could still go horribly wrong. Grass Lands existed as a marketing installation for cannabis companies at 2018's Outside Lands, but no sales or consumption was allowed. Earlier this summer, the EDM fest known as Northern Lights in Piercy, California actually became the first music fest in the state to take advantage of the law that allows cannabis permits at events, but that festival is a fraction of the size of Outside Lands, which is expecting some 200,000 people over three days.
Will the concert-going kids get more high and sloppy than they usually do? Will more Outside Lands attendees over the age of 50 try edibles for the first time and require medical attention? We shall see!