No hashish for Arts, Beats and Eats pageant – The Oakland Press

A move to bring marijuana sales and use to this year’s Arts, Beats and Eats festival went up in smoke.

City Commissioners voted 4-3 on Monday to reject a proposal to have a cannabis sales and consumption tent at the four-day festival for Labor Day weekend.

Event producer Jon Witz made a detailed pitch to the commissioners on how a House of Dank pot tent would be set up for adults, with security guards and 16 industrial fans blowing weed smoke 100 feet up in the air to disperse the odor.

But Royal Oak Police Chief Michael Moore, backed by the city manager’s office, recommended the city deny Witz’s request in a memo to commissioners last week.

Mayor Michael Fournier joined with commissioners Patricia Paruch, Monica Hunt and Kyle DuBuc to shoot the proposed pot tent down.

Under Witz’s proposal, the cannabis area would have been surrounded by fencing obscuring street level views of the marijuana section. Private security workers would be stationed at the entrance and exit, allowing only adults 21 or older inside.

The House of Dank is a major sponsor of Arts, Beats and Eats.

“Cannabis events have a low occurrence of incidents, as does Arts, Beats and Eats,” Witz told commissioners, adding the pot tent would cover only 1 percent of the festival footprint. “We’re 100 percent sure we could manage the area.”

Witz said having a marijuana sponsor for the event was necessary as earlier sponsors such as Ford Motor Co. and others reduced or ended their sponsorships in recent years.

“We feel this is important for our future,” Witz said.

Commissioner DuBuc said he was uncomfortable supporting weed sales and consumption at the event and going against the police chief’s opposition.

DuBuc and others raised concerns about the strong odor from burning cannabis.

Will Royal Oak OK cannabis sales, use at Arts, Beats and Eats?

“I don’t think the biggest festival in the area is the place to test” having marijuana use and sales, he said.

Similarly, Fournier said he was concerned about festival attendees consuming alcohol and cannabis, and the odor.

“It’s the uncertainty of the scale, of having 400,000 people that gnaws away at me,” Fournier said.

Several residents also spoke out against allowing marijuana, though others saw no problem with it.

Joseph Fisher told commissioners he uses marijuana, but was against having it at Arts, Beats and Eats.

“You don’t need to get marijuana” at the festival, he said. “You can get it in so many other places.”

Some others said even though marijuana is legal it has no place at a family event.

Royal Oak crime: Taco delivery man steals bag at apartment complex; $97K pickup stoles

Chief Moore said the state has issued seven other cannabis licenses for outdoor use. However, those events had no alcohol sales, were mostly in parks, and attracted from 500 to 2,000 people.

Moore also saw potential problems in festival-goers consuming alcohol and marijuana.

“When you are consuming both substances I think the chance of some sort of disturbance escalates,” he said.

Commissioners Melanie Macey, Brandon Kolo and Sharlan Douglas supported Witz’s pot proposal.

“I do understand the chief’s concerns,” Macey said. “But I think a lot of that has to do with (legal marijuana sales) being new. I think it’s fun… and I think it’s time.”

There weren’t concerns about the safety of the cannabis sales and use, she said, but concerns about logistics.