Detroit Festival Among the First to Allow Cannabis Consumption on Site

The 26th edition of the Arts, Beats & Eats festival held in September in downtown Royal Oak, just north of Detroit, featured a novelty: a dedicated cannabis alley called the Dank Way.

Nestled within an exclusive 21-and-over enclave, the Dank Way offered the largest temporary marijuana gathering ever held in the state. This marks a significant milestone for both the established cannabis community and those with an interest in exploring its offerings.

The House of Dank, a Michigan-based chain of dispensaries, sponsored the alleyway. While the House of Dank has participated in the festival for three years, this marked the first time a cannabis zone has been approved at the longtime festival.

The House of Dank Chief Corporate Officer Mike Dilaura told ABC 7 in Detroit, “This is the largest event that anybody has ever sold cannabis in a regulated way since we legalized it in Michigan.”

It could also be a sign of things to come in states where cannabis is legal for recreational use.

Event Maintains Its Family-Friendly Vibe

Detroit already is home to many pro-cannabis ventures, including former NBA star Chris Webber’s cannabis wellness compound. The state of Michigan also has also used its cannabis tax dollars to give back to the citizens, including the funding of veterans’ health research.

Given that, it’s no surprise that Detroit is leading the way on integrating cannabis with public events in a safe, non-controversial way. Royal Oak Mayor Mike Fournier told CBS News that the cannabis section is innovative but did not divert attention from the festival’s main focus.

“We decided to try something a little new this year. But it’s important to know that this event is family-friendly,” he said. He added that the event’s focus will “always be about the arts, the beats, and the eats.”

Dank Way stands as the largest event of its kind in Michigan. This 21-and-over Dank Way is entirely enclosed, ensuring that anything cannabis-related remains hidden from view. It’s equipped with over 60 industrial fans and charcoal filters to guarantee no odors escape.

Inside, attendees have the option to purchase cannabis and visit a professional joint roller.

A Positive Reaction From Festival Attendees

At the event, attendee Fat Ray, a Detroit hip-hop artist, said the Dank Way cannabis zone is “refreshing.” He added, “People who use cannabis as a peace mechanism, and to heal from the trauma that they’ve been through. This is epic.”

Another attendee, Stacy Wiggins, said she supports the integration of cannabis into the festival’s offerings. “It needs to be accepted everywhere; I mean it’s from the earth,” she said. “What’s wrong with a little weed?”

The Arts, Beats and Eats Festival is a celebration of various forms of art, live music performances, and a wide array of food offerings held annually in Royal Oak. The event features a diverse range of artists and musicians, covering genres from rock and pop to jazz, blues, and more. Additionally, there are numerous food vendors offering a selection of cuisines from around the world.

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