Outside Lands Music Festival Raked in $1 Million in Legal Weed Sales
The festival was one of the first to legally sell weed to attendees. In addition to making paper, the organizers realized that potheads are way chiller than drunks.
Published on August 15, 2019

This past weekend, Outside Lands Music Festival gained the distinction of being among the first major US music festivals to allow legal cannabis sales and use

The three-day event, held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, featured a fenced-off cannabis consumption area known as Grass Lands. This area, which was only accessible to adults over 21, offered dozens of legal cannabis vendors, exhibits designed to educate festival-goers about the weed industry, and plenty of places to chill.

Weed and music festivals go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise that Grass Lands was a huge success. The festival’s organizers were unable to share the exact sales figures at this time, but confirmed that sales topped $1 million. While alcohol and food vendors inflated their prices, as is common at music events, weed vendors kept their prices on par with products sold at local dispensaries.

The event showcased a wide range of cannabis vendors, but local sellers were under-represented. Out of all 28 vendors, only 4 — Flower to the People, Green Door, Lady Chatterley Delivery, and Posh Green Collective — were local San Francisco businesses.

Posh Green, the first California dispensary to be solely owned by an African-American woman, was the only San Francisco equity vendor at the event. “If we don’t have equity representation, then we shouldn’t have anybody,” said owner Reese Benton, to SFist. “We want everyone to be able to play on a level platform.”

Posh Green also offered some of the cheapest weed wares at the event, selling two mini pre-rolls called “Selfies” for $5. Kiva Confections also offered a $5 deal for a pair of wild berry gummies. Other vendors stuck to more traditional pricing schemes, selling $15 full-size pre-rolls, $40 Maui Wowie vape carts, or an eighth of flower for $75.

Gallery — 420-Friendly Festival Looks:

In addition to learning that selling weed at a music festival is a great way to make a million bucks, the festival's organizers also discovered that tokers are way more chill than drunks. Anti-cannabis lobbyists tried to argue that allowing legal weed at the festival would lead to health issues and rowdy behavior, but those fears proved to be unwarranted. Neither medical personnel nor law enforcement needed to be called to the Grass Lands area during the entire festival.

Alcohol was strictly prohibited within the fenced-in cannabis area, although Lagunitas did have their Hi-Fi Hops — a non-alcoholic beer with 10mg of THC — on tap. Security were also directed to bar any visibly intoxicated individuals from entering Grass Lands.

By the end of the weekend, Grass Lands was far less littered with trash than the alcohol area. “The vibe is really chill and it’s very respectful,” said Marisa Rodriguez, San Francisco's Office of Cannabis director to SFist. “It’s not only respectful to the people, it’s respectful to the park.” 

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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