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Music fans might soon be enjoying their favorite bands as they light up — legally that is — at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival.
Organizers of the festival, which runs Aug. 9-11 at Golden Gate Park, have filed an application with the state’s cannabis office to allow marijuana sales and consumption at Outside Lands, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, and “will also seek approval from the city’s cannabis office.”
Another Planet Entertainment, one of the festival’s promoters, declined to comment.
If the permit is approved, Outside Lands could become the first San Francisco-based festival where patrons can legally smoke marijuana, and pave the way for other festivals to adopt similar official guidelines about marijuana usage.
Unofficially, of course, marijuana is hardly a stranger to music festivals. It’s a rare concertgoer who hasn’t witnessed those fragrant, low-hanging clouds emanating from festival crowds. Some might even say that marijuana has been the unofficial-official smell of Bay Area music festivals for decades.
So why make this official? The private recreational use of cannabis has been legal in California since 2018, but that mandate didn’t OK its use in public. Now the lines between what’s officially allowed and what’s not are starting to blur.
In 2018, Outside Lands introduced the marijuana-themed Grass Lands area to its lineup of Wine Lands, Beer Lands and other tasting pavilions. It was described by organizers as a “curated cannabis experience,” but it did not allow patrons to use or purchase pot onsite. The interior was more like an informational area where “budtenders” and representatives of major cannabis companies pitched their services and products to patrons. (You’ll find a video/photo tour of the 2018 Grass Lands here.)
This spring, San Francisco passed an ordinance giving the city’s Office of Cannabis “the authority to allow people to buy and use cannabis at events in places where typically it would be against the law,” according to the Chronicle report.
If the festival’s application goes through, Outside Lands would be the first San Francisco music festival to officially allow the use of pot.
Organizers of Mendocino County’s Northern Nights Music Festival, held earlier this month, claim a broader distinction: The festival made “history in 2019 as both the first-ever three-day music festival and the first-ever overnight/camping music festival to allow recreational cannabis dispensing and use on-site in the country,” according to the Ukiah Daily Journal, which wondered if Coachella could be far behind.