California Blazing New Trail For Cannabis Events

In the past, the use of cannabis at public events was limited only to those who wished to break the law. Late last year, the state of California became one of the leaders in changing that situation by creating temporary licenses for cannabis use and sales at events.

This year, event organizers have made the best of that change.

This summer alone, the state has granted temporary cannabis event licenses to 16 events,  according to UPI. Initially only available for events held at county fairgrounds, it has now expanded to other locations if local officials give the green light.

It’s allowed legal marijuana use at musical festivals and other cannabis events.

Jon Cappetta, vice president of content at High Times, told UPI: “Music and cannabis have been hand in hand forever.” He noted that some cannabis companies also are expanding into events held at comedy clubs and after-hours parties at this year’s Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival.

How Cannabis Events Work

The cannabis event licenses are handled by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control. The bureau states that a cannabis event can only be held by a person who has received a cannabis event organizer license by the bureau.

Getting such a license requires getting an application approved by the bureau and paying an annual fee. The fee is based on the number of events the persons plans to organize in a given year.

A long fact sheet from the bureau details how it works. When it comes to sales and consumption of cannabis at an event, the rules include the following.

  • A licensed distributor must transport all cannabis goods to the event site
  • Cannabis goods must be tested before retail sales at the event
  • Sales can only be done by a licensed retailer or microbusiness
  • All the rules that apply to retail sales at a dispensary apply at an event, including regulations governing displays, exit packaging, customer returns, daily sales limits and free samples
  • Only those 21 or older can purchase cannabis goods
  • Sales can only happen in designated areas

Some of the “don’ts” in the regulations including using a mobile cart to make sales, allowing anyone under 21 into the designated retails sales area, consuming alcohol or tobacco on the cannabis event premises or tying payment into an event with the purchase of cannabis goods.

Cannabis Events License

The bureau also has an extensive list of rules that govern applying for a temporary cannabis event license.

They include applying at least 60 days before the event. Event organizers must also get written permission by a local jurisdiction to hold an event. It must be on a county fairground, unless the local city, town or county designates another place as OK for a cannabis event.

While the process might seem complicated for organizers (it is), the payoff for consumers has been terrific. Californians now can attend events where they can purchase and consume cannabis while enjoying music, art and whatever else a festival offers. That’s a big change from the past.

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