Outside Lands Music Festival Gets the Green Light to Sell Weed
Adults over 21 will be able to enter Grass Lands, a fenced-off area offering legal weed sales and consumption, along with a variety of educational exhibits.
Published on August 8, 2019

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This weekend, the 12th annual Outside Lands Music Festival will kick off in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. Last year, the event featured a curated cannabis experience, but weed consumption was still technically prohibited on festival grounds. This year, the festival's organizers went one step further, securing permits to allow legal weed sales and use at the festival.

This Wednesday, the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) granted Outside Lands a permit allowing adults to buy and consume cannabis at the event. This happened shortly after the city of San Francisco also green-lit a cannabis permit for the festival. But that doesn't mean you can smoke anywhere on the festival grounds. These permits only allow legal weed use in a fenced-off area known as Grass Lands — it's the same idea as a fenced-off beer garden, but for weed instead of booze. Any attendee wishing to enter this area must supply a government-issued photo ID proving that they are over 21-years-old.

“Permitting Grass Lands as the inaugural event is the first step in creating a safe cannabis event space for those aged 21 years and older,” said Marisa Rodriguez, director of the San Francisco Office of Cannabis, to the Los Angeles Times. “Attendees will be able to purchase and consume lab-tested products away from the rest of the venue’s attendees.”

In addition to offering adults a place to buy and use cannabis legally and safely, Grass Lands will also offer festival-goers a chance to learn more about the legal weed industry. Oakland-based weed firm NUG is presenting a model of a cultivation facility, which showcases the life cycle of a cannabis plant. In another area known as The Greenhouse, attendees can learn about how weed can help them “rise,” “refresh,” or “rest.” Bloom Farms will also have a booth that will allow customers to taste different kinds of terpenes.

Gallery — Weed Fashion for Music Festivals:

Kevin Sabet, the notorious anti-weed lobbyist behind Smart Approaches to Marijuana, did his best to discourage officials from granting the festival's weed permit. Fortunately, both the city and the state decided that approving the license was, in fact, a smarter move than denying it. 

“Cannabis is part of our culture — particularly at music festivals — and it makes sense to allow people to obtain it legally,” said state Senator Scott Weiner to the Times. “We need to move past prohibition, which doesn’t work.”

So far, the BCC has approved adult cannabis consumption at 16 events, but most of these were smaller events focused solely on the legal weed industry. “I think Outside Lands is unique in that it’s a large outdoor music festival in the park — not typically where cannabis events have been licensed,” said BCC spokesman Alex Traverso to the Times. Last month, the Northern Lights festival in Northern California also got permission to openly allow adult-use sales.

Outside Lands will begin Friday, August 9th and last until Sunday, August 11th. A wide range of artists, including Paul Simon, Childish Gambino, blink-182, Twenty One Pilots, Mavis Staples, the Counting Crows, and Flume will be performing throughout the weekend. 

Party safe, friends. 

Chris Moore
Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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