Top event organizers discussed safe and legal ways to combine marijuana and music during the The Going Green: What Does Cannabis Legalization Mean for Touring panel.
Non-combustibles may be the future of cannabis at live events. The Going Green: What Does Cannabis Legalization Mean for Touring panel at this year’s Billboard Live Music Summit in Beverly Hills had experts in the event industry discussing the future of marijuana at music events and beyond.
With strict smoking regulations in various states throughout America, artist managers and event organizers from top cannabis events such as High Times and Emerald Cup mused that edibles may be the solution for the future.
“Our endgame is not just to do these events but to be the Aramark of cannabis, so to speak,” said Jim Lewi, manager at LiveWorks/Red Light Management, which has invested in cannabis event, The Emerald Cup.
Lewi told the audience at the Montage Hotel that in the coming years it will become commonplace for venues to have cannabis integrated into their food and beverage menus.
Founder and producer of The Emerald Cup, Tim Blake, added that it took several decades for the government to find the right regulations for alcohol, but the cannabis business has already been working out the kinks in live events for years.
“This industry is so mature, we don’t need 20 or 30 years. We could get by this in a couple of years,” said Blake. “The Emerald Cup got a standing ovation last year from the fire departments, the post-production team and the police departments because we had less issues than any event they have ever put on there.”
Cannabis is “already at every event there ever was,” Blake added. “We need to break these rules down. It is time for Live Nation and AEG and everybody else to bring that into the fold, have cannabis at every event. The sooner we do that, the more money we could be making.”
A huge obstacle for organizers incorporating cannabis into their events has been the new regulations put in place once states legalize recreational cannabis. In California, recreational use was passed in 2016 with Prop 64 that went into effect in January. The law made cannabis consumption legal at the state level, but local jurisdictions could control cannabis-related events causing additional hurdles for established events.
High Times’ Cannabis Cup in Sacramento, Calif. was the first open consumption event in the state.
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News