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The summer music festival season has begun, but the upcoming Northern Nights Music Festival is the only one billing themselves as the first 3-day overnight experience to offer legal cannabis use and retail sales.

While ticket holders can enjoy live acts like Big Wild, Desert Hearts, and Mikey Lion, they can also visit a section designated for pot vendors and consumption.

“We are going to have a cannabis retail and consumption area that goes by the name of the Tree Lounge. It is 21 and over area and cannabis sales and consumption are restricted to that area,” Northern Nights co-founder and compliance manager Peter Huson told YourEDM. “Essentially it is an onsite temporary dispensary. It has all the same rules you would have at a dispensary, it’s just inside a festival.”

The lounge is slated to contain up to 10 cannabis vendors to provide recreational sales, including the farmers themselves, so guests can purchase directly from the source and get to know their favorite cultivators.

Press release:

Northern Nights Music Festival announces the first official on-site dispensary at a music and arts festival at the original grounds of Reggae On The River. Respecting the river and the redwoods, NNMF is continuing the heritage of authentic events on the Humboldt / Mendocino County Line.

Northern Nights Music Festival is on the brink of selling out its 2019 season, boasting a stacked lineup bringing the city to the country with headliners Zhu, Big Wild (LIVE) plus a world exclusive performance from Berner and BReal. Working closely with Humboldt officials, NNMF founders, cannabis event organizer BLAP Productions and Highland Events are lining up the biggest names in cannabis for marque sponsorship at the Northern Nights Music Festival. Northern Nights will be the first ever camping music festival to include legal recreational cannabis concessions. The festival which runs from July 19th through 21st promises a weekend of total immersion, live music and entertainment alongside a cannabis marketplace and consumption area.

Cannabis and Music —The Culture
Celebrity musicians, Berner & BReal are performing at the festival this year, and their respective brands, Cookies and Insane are showcased by Highland Events in the Northern Nights Tree Lounge. Cookies, a lifestyle and cannabis company made famous by entrepreneur and rapper Berner, is internationally recognized as the world’s biggest cannabis brand. Other dominant cannabis brands being featured at the festival include Flow Kana, the Green Door and HiFi Hops; a popular beverage collaboration between Lagunitas Brewing Co and AbsoluteXtracts. Highland Events has been at the forefront of bridging the gap between the music and entertainment industry and the rapidly growing regulated cannabis industry. Regulatory compliance is paramount, but the opportunity is undeniable.

With the support of Highland Events who championed the landmark California Assembly Bill AB2020 — the final set of CA cannabis regulations — allowing qualified license holders to now host cannabis concessions and consumption, outside of state fairgrounds with local authorization. To date, only two jurisdictions have provided a local pathway for cannabis events — unincorporated Humboldt County and the City of San Francisco.
“Compliance is of paramount importance when operating in this setting,” said Salwa Ibrahim, COO of Highland Events. Ibrahim has commanded over a decade of success running high volume, heavily regulated, retail cannabis. “Northern Nights is a great festival, and we’ve got another huge cannabis activation coming up in August, at a mainstream music festival.”  

“Event sponsorship for Northern Nights is up significantly this year with cannabis sponsorship revenue already tracking a 500% increase over last year,” says festival co-founder, Peter Huson. “It’s Humbling to be the first legal on-site dispensary and be able to curate it where cannabis is originally from.”

Not only is the annual event going to be the first to allow on-site recreational sales and use via AB2020, it’s also incorporating cannabis into its programming and events. This year we’ll see the launch of Re-Creation, a series of wellness events that incorporate cannabis and CBD including Stoned Yoga and Self Care: Cannabis & CBD 101. In addition, Flow Kana is hosting a Farm to Bong Carving Competition where NN attendees can carve homemade bongs from fresh fruits and vegetables. The top three bongs each day will make their way to the stage each evening to be evaluated live by a panel of surprise judges.

With the festival kicking off this Friday and no other festival yet to embrace AB2020, Northern Nights is officially making history. 2019 is going to be an innovative year for cannabis and music festivals with it all happening this July 19th in the Emerald Triangle. Limited tickets are still available here