Recreational Cannabis Comes to Northern Nights Music Festival

Get ready to enjoy legal cannabis retail at the Northern Nights Music Festival!

Amy Copperman

While Zhu, Big Wild, and more than 70 other EDM artists head to Northern California’s Northern Nights Music Festival on July 19-21, cannabis will also get a slice of the spotlight. For the first time in camping music festival history, attendees 21+ will officially and legally be able to buy weed and partake onsite.

Tucked in the Redwoods along the Eel River in the heart of the Emerald Triangle, the festival’s “Tree Lounge” will be Mary Jane’s mainstage, with more than 20 local farmers and brands setting up shop for the first time and a wide variety of cannabis-infused wellness programming. 

NNMF has already cemented itself as a boutique, cannabis-infused festival with previous years’ programming that centered around cannabis education and its medicinal benefits. But thanks to recent amendments to Prop 64, the organizers are taking the experience to new heights with the help of local cannabis brand Humboldt Farms and San Francisco’s City Fit Fest co-founder Nate Mezmer.  

Spanning all three days at the festival, the programming includes a variety of wellness classes, workshops and mindful gatherings open to attendees 21 and over. This wellness activation will explore movement, mindfulness, healing, and community, in combination with the restorative powers of cannabis and CBD. Dubbed “Re-Creation,” attendees can expect infused yoga and movement classes from top wellness practitioners, workshops on medicinal plants and how to use cannabis for self care, breathwork and cacao ceremonies, and even a workshop with a relationship coach on how to use cannabis to foster connection. 

Grove Stage; Photo by Peter Karas

For those who simply like a little toke with their tunes, California-based cannabis brands such as The Green Door SF, Filigreen, Flow Kana, and more will be dispensing onsite. Plus, local and visiting DJs and trance dance classes will play throughout the weekend in the Tree Lounge, joining artists like Berner, Fuego, Desert Hearts and more at the five other stages taking over Cook’s Valley Campground. 

NNMF organizers are able to offer this robust cannabis programming thanks to the new AB2020 bill, which grants local jurisdictions in California the power to authorize temporary events to permit on-site recreational sales. Before under Prop 64, state fairgrounds were the only legal place hold cannabis events. The bill went into effect in early 2019, making NNMF the first overnight music festival in the country to offer recreational dispensing at a mainstream event. Now cannabis is being treated similar to alcohol vending at the event, while NNMF re-imagine the relationship between weed and music festivals. 

Photo by Anna Katarina

NNMF organizers, who helped write the bill, say this amendment to Prop 64 sets the stage for more mainstream cannabis events and creates more opportunities for local businesses and farmers in the regulated market to interact directly with consumers. 

“I personally feel strongly that cannabis is a positive thing that can bring people together,” event organizer Matty Roberts said. “It’s great to see it be so normalized and not stigmatized.” 

Watch this space as High Times takes on Northern Nights 2019 and covers this new era of cannabis culture.

Amy Copperman

Amy Copperman

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