Oakland’s first permitted hashish fest is going on this weekend

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Market Daze, Oakland’s first city-approved cannabis festival, takes place at Frank Ogawa Plaza this Labor Day weekend. Smoakland, an online cannabis store and delivery service headquartered in Oakland, is hosting the event, which has been in existence for two years.

“There is no standard formal application process here, so it was definitely a challenge to be the first and run the gauntlet,” said Chang Yi, director of Smoakland. “No one else [in Oakland] successfully approved a cannabis sales event. ”

Oakland-based retailers like Harborside, Korova, and Blunts + More will sell a range of cannabis products, and attendees can sample their wares as if they were wine tasting. Other members of the cannabis industry, such as Weedmaps, will also be in attendance.

“We attended the event about a month and a half ago and we are delighted that it will be the first legal event in Oakland,” said Harborside Marketing Director Alexis Mora, “which is a big step forward for cannabis.” Industry.”

The event takes place in conjunction with Hiero Day, an annual concert hosted by the local music collective Hieroglyphics. Attendees can expect performances of Hieroglyphics and Grand Nationxl, as well as a dance battle from Turf Inc.

Here’s what else is going on in Oakland:

Tajai Massey, recording artist and partner at Hieroglyphics Emporium, told The Oaklandside that Hieroglyphics decided to contact Yi after realizing that Hiero Day would not happen in his pre-pandemic model this year. Smoakland, which sponsored Hiero Day in 2019, committed.

“Hiero Day is a tradition and we don’t want to break that tradition by continuing it as a virtual event where people kind of burned out,” said Massey. “Instead of having a big event and possibly making it a super-spreader event, we decided to partner with Smoakland and make the best possible event with safe protocols.”

Hiero Day events include a listening party at Moxy in Uptown from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., a movie screening on 409 13th Street from 8 p.m. (both on Saturday), and a stand-up comedy show at Copper Spoon on Sunday at 8 p.m. Hiero The day ends with performances on Monday, September 6th at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Yi refers to Market Daze as “sesh,” which means a large gathering of people who meet to smoke and consume weed. Similar events are held in Oakland but are not approved and secretly promoted.

“There are meetings everywhere, but these are held in a manner that is compliant with regard to products tested, tried and tested brands, and the use of PPE and social distancing protocols,” said Massey. “This is part of many of our lifestyles and should not be hidden or made taboo.”

Smoakland isn’t the first group to attempt to host a legal cannabis event in Oakland, but they are the first to pull it off successfully. In July, Edward Brown was scheduled to host a cannabis fair he called Preserving the Plant.

Yi was also informed of the security fee, but was able to pay it. He said the OPD required him to have a sergeant and three officers on site each of the three days.

Paul Chambers, OPD’s strategic communications manager, told The Oaklandside that OPD officials and private security guards will be on site and that the plan is “not to have more than 500 people at a time.”

Yi compared the approval process for the event to a marathon. “We tried to let this happen for two years,” he said. One of the hurdles was pausing the application process due to the pandemic and finding a suitable venue. Yi initially considered hosting the event in a bar or restaurant, but California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control bans vendors from selling cannabis and alcohol together. Yi checked out several outdoor venues before settling in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Since Oakland never allowed a cannabis sales event, Yi said he would have to meet with various city authorities several times to work through the application process. “Overall, the city gave us a lot of support,” said Yi, “but we’ve had some setbacks here and there.”

Harborside, which opened in 2006 and was the first pharmacy in Oakland, has seen a shift in attitudes towards the sale and use of cannabis. In 2016, Harborside reached an agreement with the federal prosecutor’s office after years of trying to close the pharmacy in the early 2010s. It was one of hundreds of California pharmacies targeted by the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Eric Holder.

“We have struggled for the past few years to somehow get cannabis out of the shadows and into light,” said Mora, “and when such events occur, it helps normalize this plant that so many people are consuming. ”

Market Daze tickets are available at Smoakland.com/Events at a general admission price of $ 5 for single-day passes and $ 10 for three-day passes.

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