Cannabis is all about community. Sharing a joint, and chatting amiably together after a session, usually makes for a stellar bonding experience. What better place to find like-minded folks than these U.S. events specifically targeted toward cannabis consumers? Whether you're interested in the corporate side of things, or just want to kick back with a spliff and some live music - here are 5 events you might want to check out this year.
1. Spring Marijuana Business Conference and Expo
Aimed principally at the medical marijuana industry, including dispensaries, growers, and patients, this conference hosted by the Marijuana Business Daily is America's longest-running, and largest, marijuana conference. It's a chance to mingle with several thousand cannabis industry executives, hear keynote speeches by The Generational Imperative founder Chuck Underwood, and check out some of the latest products and services in the world of cannabis. Bonus events include the Women's Marijuana Business Breakfast, a crash course to this whole cannabis thing for newbies. Scheduled for May 9-11 in Orlando, Florida. For more information, check out their site.
2. Boise Hempfest
The inaugural outdoor cannabis education event in downtown Boise, Idaho will take place in Julia Davis Park: the features live entertainment, vendors, and speeches aimed at promoting legalization in Idaho. After a few scheduling hiccups, Boise Hempfest is now scheduled for August 13, according to their Facebook. Note: Seattle Hempfest is also happening around the same time, celebrating its 25th anniversary on the Seattle waterfront August 19, 20 and 21.
3. Cannabis Business Summit and Expo
At this national event in Oakland, attendees have a chance to meet some of the policymakers and influencers in cannabis, as well as growers, dispensaries and infused product manufacturers. Speakers include MJ Freeway CEO Amy Poinsett, Harborside Health Center founder Steve DeAngelo. and Adam Orens of the Marijuana Policy Group. Scheduled for June 20-22 in Oakland - get more information here.
4. Boston Freedom Rally
Held on on the Boston Common, the 27th Annual Boston Freedom Rally aims to "educate the public about cannabis, the war on cannabis, and to promote cultural and political changes through that education; and to expose up-and-coming bands to larger audiences, provide local entrepreneurs a venue to sell their goods, and offer yummy, largely healthy foodstuffs to a hungry crowd," as MassCann breathlessly explains. Attendees are encouraged to "practice civil disobedience consuming cannabis in support of its freedom and blooming social acceptance:" Don't, however, come looking to buy or sell marijuana, or risk attracting heat from police. Scheduled for September 26th and 27th: visit their Facebook page for more info.
5. Great Midwest Harvest Festival
Held in Madison, Wisconsin, the Great Midwest Harvest Festival bills itself as the "longest running marijuana festival in the US," which seems to be a distinction up for some debate. Bands this year include Rocker-T, Bongzilla, Tani Diakite and the Afrofunkstars with more TBA: pro-legalization speakers like Syovata K. Edari, Chris Taylor, Trevor James Sand, and others enlighten attendees on the path to legalization. Vendors of a variety of cannabis products will also offer wares for sale. Scheduled for October 2-4 at various locations in downtown Madison.