For the first time in Boulder’s history, cannabis is coming out of the hydroponic closet.
Boulder’s inaugural Boulder Cannabis Festival on Saturday at the Fox Theatre will feature a day of art, music and education.
“Boulder has always been on the edge of forward movements,” said Dale Bridges, event organizer. “This state is moving ahead with innovation. The fact that we have an amendment in the constitution for the medical use of marijuana is a big step in making the movement more permanent and stable.”
The Cannabis Festival will offer a Bud Cruise — a bus tour of local medical marijuana dispensaries — plus a grower competition, information tables, burlesque dancers, magicians, jesters, artists and a CannaBall concert featuring local rockers Ego vs. Id, reggae artist Jus Goodie, vaudeville act Ukulele Loki and the Gadabout Orchestra, and more.
Boulder native Jello Biafra — former lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, spoken word artist, writer and political activist for the Green Party — will be a speaker at the event, said Bridges.
The festival’s purpose, according to organizers, is to celebrate the strides Colorado has made in the past year with medical marijuana in a professional and positive manner.
“There has been a lot of negative stigma surrounding cannabis,” Bridges said. “We want to bring cannabis into the open and show the positive effect it’s had on the community.”
That includes a possible forward progression in the local economy, he said.
“This economy is in a national depression and in Colorado we have the opportunity to take advantage of a booming industry and bring more money into our economy,” Bridges said. “The government has shied away from the subject, but the potential of it is really remarkable in all aspects.”
Sponsors for the festival include the University of Colorado’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws and Boulder’s award-winning medical marijuana smoking device, The Incredibowl.
Alex Douglas, a CU senior and executive director of NORML@CU, said the groundbreaking festival is a positive move in the right direction.
“I think Colorado has really stepped up to the plate with medical marijuana awareness,” Douglas said. “The surge in medical marijuana licenses and applications has brought light to the fact that marijuana aids many different people.”
Douglas said this conglomeration of supporters for cannabis reform demonstrates not only the strides Colorado has made but will also take a look at how far the nation needs to go.
“The People’s Republic of Boulder has played a big role in the importance of marijuana,” Douglas said. “There are tons of advocates with a strong sense of unity and solidarity.”
The Village Green Society, 2043 16th St., is a participating medical marijuana dispensary on the Bud Cruise.
Owner Adam Odoski said he is hoping the festival will help legitimize patients’ rights and needs for medical marijuana.
“There’s a lot of opportunity and Boulder is taking advantage,” Odoski said. “We have the greatest opportunity in the world to lead the charge in making medical marijuana a part of the local community. We have a chance to set the precedent on how to do this responsibly.”
No medical marijuana card is required to attend the festival, however, participants need to follow the guidelines of Amendment 20, which only allows only persons who hold a card and are suffering from debilitating medical conditions to use medical marijuana, Bridges said.
Bridges said another advantage Boulder has is that the town is a “grower’s paradise.”
“Boulder is way up there when talking about where the best possible strains are coming from,” Bridges said. “As we all know, cannabis has been around in Boulder for a long time. Growers have had the chance to perfect the strains that have finally been able to distribute to the public.”
If you go
What: Boulder Cannabis Festival
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder
Etc. The Bud Cruise begins at 10:30 a.m. at Medicine on the Hill, 1089 13th St., Boulder
By Christy Fantz