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Southern California’s first competition with authorized marijuana gross sales, consumption coming this weekend

Waka Flocka Flame, Soulja Boy slated to carry out at free Excessive Occasions Dope Cup in Adelanto.

PUBLISHED: March 19, 2019 at 7:03 pm | UPDATED: March 20, 2019 at 4:48 pm

This weekend, for the primary time in Southern California, adults will have the ability to purchase and smoke marijuana at a music competition legally.

“Legally” is, after all, the important thing phrase. Although it’s by no means been authorized for Californians to smoke weed in public, it’s additionally by no means been robust to catch a whiff of marijuana being smoked, in public, at native live shows. And for a few years the state has had a thriving, unregulated cannabis competition scene.

However Excessive Occasions Dope Cup Excessive Desert landed the primary state license for a authorized cannabis occasion within the southern half of the state, with some 12,000 individuals anticipated to attend the free present that’s coming Saturday and Sunday (March 23 – 24) to the grounds of a small skilled baseball stadium within the excessive desert city of Adelanto.

Together with music performances by Waka Flocka Flame, Soulja Boy and others, the competition will embody dozens of distributors legally promoting marijuana to anybody 21 and older, with no pressured physician’s advice required. Attendees additionally will have the ability to smoke cannabis in a chosen space with out worrying about safety tapping them on the shoulder or regulation enforcement giving them a ticket.

That legitimacy comes with some trade-offs — as all the cannabis trade has come to grasp all too nicely since Californians voted to legalize and regulate marijuana in 2016.

Excessive Occasions journal launched its famed Hashish Cup circuit 30 years in the past in its counterculture heyday. The festivals thrived in California’s grey medical marijuana market, with hundreds of individuals flooding Nationwide Orange Present Occasions Middle in San Bernardino and different venues just a few instances a 12 months to take heed to music and smoke weed.

At present, Excessive Occasions is a multimillion-dollar, publicly traded company. And it’s now submitting detailed website plans, paying hundreds of {dollars} in licensing charges and agreeing to undergo strict state and native laws so it could actually host occasions like Excessive Occasions Dope Cup Excessive Desert this weekend.

Meaning guests shouldn’t count on free hits of weed from distributors or to chase their joints with beers, which had been each frequent sights at Hashish Cup occasions of the previous however are unlawful beneath new state legal guidelines.

It might sound like a buzzkill. But it surely’s nonetheless a step up from 2018, when a state coverage limiting occasions to county fairgrounds and requiring native approval meant simply six cannabis festivals had been sanctioned all 12 months — and all of them had been in Northern California.

This 12 months, competition organizers can apply for state permits at any venue the place they’ve native approval.

Just one licensed cannabis occasion has taken place to date in 2019, with Hempcon held earlier this month within the Bay Space.

Excessive Occasions obtained the second inexperienced mild from the state three weeks in the past for its Adelanto competition. It’s additionally planning Hashish Cup occasions in Sacramento in April and in Santa Rosa in June.

Excessive Occasions Dope Cup Excessive Desert marks the primary occasion placed on in partnership between the 2 once-rivaling magazines.

Excessive Occasions purchased Dope Journal in September for $11.2 million in money and inventory. Seattle-based Dope Journal has earned a following with its Dope Cup festivals, however has by no means held one in California.

This weekend’s occasion is being promoted as the perfect of the Hashish Cup and Dope Cup worlds. It features a cannabis competitors, with farmers and producers competing in 35 classes. There’s additionally area for greater than 200 distributors, rows of meals vehicles and interactive artwork reveals deliberate.

“We’re excited to convey the primary authorized cannabis occasion to Southern California, and look ahead to planning occasions for years to come back,” Excessive Occasions CEO Adam Levin stated in an e mail Tuesday.

Levin didn’t reply to a request for additional dialogue in regards to the new local weather for cannabis festivals in California. But it surely’s clear that Excessive Occasions has adjusted its expectations for this primary sanctioned Southern California present by swapping previous 12 months’s expensive ticket packages to exhibits at giant fairground venues totally free passes to the extra distant stadium grounds.

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