By Benjie Cooper
YouTube: Lucid’s Vlog
With the growth of the medical cannabis industry in California over the past couple of decades, there has been a steady increase in the number, frequency, and variety of marijuana events being held across the state. These events, which for many years had only manifested themselves in the form of High Times’ Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, are now common in California. As the recreational cannabis industry prepares to make its statewide rollout, the growing trend of cannabis events, also called seshes, is expected to continue on a much larger scale than before.
One of the more sizable cannabis events in California, the Kushstock Festival, held its third gathering on Saturday, March 11 at the National Orange Show Center in San Bernadino. While it’s generally expected that there will be an entrance fee or a cover charge to enter a cannabis event, that notion is where Kushstock appears to have deviated from the norm. Organizers do not charge for general admission tickets to the festival. Attendees have the option of purchasing a VIP pass which includes product samples and expanded event access, but anyone over the age of 18 with a valid ID can attend the festival for free.
The event was divided into four main quadrants, two general admittance areas and two Prop 215-compliant medicating areas. After passing through the main entrance, attendees who did not have a recommendation for medical cannabis had the option of obtaining one from a licensed doctor in one of the tents nearby. Under current state laws, a doctor’s recommendation is always required at marijuana events for people wishing to enter any area where there is to be cannabis consumption. A short walk around the pond next to the doctors’ tents revealed another row of tents filled with glass blowers who had come to showcase their creations, as well as compete against each other in the glass blowing competition.
Upon obtaining the proper wristband, access was granted to the hangar-esque Citrus building as well as the fenced medicating area outside. Inside these medicating areas, cannabis vendors presented their wares to the thousands of patrons in the form of edibles, flowers, concentrates, topicals, and a myriad of other cannabis products for sampling and purchase. A colorful array of glass dab rigs equipped with enails adorned the various tables; attentive dabtenders stood behind them offering and serving up dabs to the seemingly endless stream of patients passing by. A variety of non-medicated food vendors were also on hand throughout different areas of the festival. Throughout the day, local bands serenaded the crowds from the second stage inside the Citrus building while the crowds outside area were entertained with a live soundtrack from the larger main stage.
As the hot Saturday sun set and the cool night fell upon San Bernadino, much of the Kushstock crowd could be found in front of the all-access main stage where they were being treated to performances by rapper 2 Chainz and Long Beach Dub Allstars. Jumbotrons stood brightly at the back of the stage and in the middle of the crowd area by the sound booth, ensuring everyone had a good view of the musical acts onstage.
While cannabis struggles to regain its status as a societal norm, cannabis events will undoubtedly become much more common. And no event is perfect. Kushstock got off to a bit of a late start and there were wristband issues early in the day, but those were resolved quickly. For a free cannabis festival that reportedly saw more than 26,000 people pass through its gates that Saturday, Kushstock is poised to be a big player in the new wave of cannabis events.