Will 2018 Mark the End of the Cannabis Festival As We Know It?
Did you see the press release from the Chalice Festival officially informing all ticket holders, vendors, performers, staff, media, and the local community that the “Worlds Largest Hash Glass Music Art Festival” has been rescheduled with no new dates or location?
Neither did we.
Instead, the announcement came in the form of a minor update to the #ChaliceFestival Instagram profile which adds “Rescheduled dates and location TBA”
The annual summer celebration of the cannabis culture was originally scheduled to be held on July 13-15 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA. The event organizers were hyping the weekend’s festivities and selling tickets months in advance, as well as banking booth space with 3rd party vendors.
Then the Victorville City Council stepped in and flexed the newfound power given to them under California’s Prop64, the 2016 law that “legalized” the recreational use of cannabis in the state.
Under the new law, events like Chalice can no longer just pay off a venue owner and throw a party. Now local governments have a say in the matter and Victorville city officials never gave an inch to Chalice, refusing to issue the necessary permits, and now the show is apparently over.
To be clear, they could have still held the event on the dates planned at the SBC Fairgrounds, they just would not have had permission to allow for the sale or consumption of cannabis on site.
After the clusterfuck at the SoCal High Times Cannabis Cup for 4/20, Chalice organizers knew that their bottom line would suffer if the “7/10” celebration was also deemed weedless.
At first, Chalice founder Dougie of Hitman Glass reacted to the opposition from the city council by posting a vague note on Instagram saying “Real motherfuckers smoke weed Anywhere they want regardless If they have permission or not.”
That was on June 16th, pretty much challenging any potential vendors or attendees to all break the law – just show up.
Ten days later, on June 26th, his tune had changed a bit:
Today, an untold amount of tickets have been pre-sold…hell, are still for sale! The Chalice website still lists the original dates and location as well and who knows how many vendors had put deposits down on booth space.
So yeah, maybe Dougie did have the winning hand the entire time, but now Chalice has folded, and there is no discussion of refunds for anyone, just a vague promise of a rescheduled event as he and his lawyers walk away from it all with their bills paid.
Prop64 has, so far, decimated two of the largest public cannabis consumption events in the world leaving many in the community wondering if these events will ever be the same as they once were.
They have always been lucrative for the organizers, and the vendors who had product in high demand usually found a way to turn a profit.
Despite the banging beats of live hip hop and the thick clouds of kush in the air, incidents of violence or crime in general have always been at a bare minimum and the local economies boom from ancillary income from hotels, gas stations, restaurants, etc.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that it’s all dirty money in the eyes of ignorant politicians and therefore they are too scared to openly dip their grubby palms into it.
And if they can’t have it, nobody can.
Dougie does have a point that a part of the allure of the past events was the sense that we were outsiders, doing our own thing for a few days, laws be damned. Vendors and attendees converged from all corners of the weed world to sesh, to vibe, to continue to push the culture forward.
Prop64 has proven that none of that matters in the eyes of the law, but if these events turn into another county fair experience, their days of relevance may be short lived.
Do you think that 2018 will be the year we look back at as the end of the large public cannabis consumption event, or do you think that the best is yet to come?