Live from Boston Freedom Rally: A Smokin’ Hot Party on the Common

Live from Boston Freedom Rally: A Smokin’ Hot Party on the Frequent

Welcome to Leafly’s dwell 4/20 coverage of this 2018 Boston Freedom Rally. All weekend is drifting Boston Common, and he ll be upgrading our coverage of news, events, performances, and random stuff that is weird he sees. Check it s gonna be wicked fun.

A Not-So-Lazy Sunday

The celebration ’s still going strong on the day of the Boston Freedom Rally. The sun is out, the bass is thumping, as vendors try to unload their wares before the day is done — and you will find deals aplenty — on everything from glass to crystals to t-shirts.

boston freedom rally summit consumption lounge
Nestled away in the festival’s Cannabis Education Village is a VIP cannabis lounge under the dome of a gazebo. (Adlin/Leafly)

The smoke seems to have gotten somewhat thicker, too, as the weekend’s gone . Freedom Rally attendees tell me they’re impressed in the openness on screen. Even beyond the 21+ region, vendors are dishing out free dabs, passing out pre-rolls, and offering baggies of marijuana for (fairly reasonable) cash “contributions. ” Early in the primary stage the day ’s MC tossed handfuls infusion samples –into the crowd.

Find Dispensaries Near Boston Common (or Near You) 

Within the event & rsquo; s 21 + region, under a gazebo’s dome not far from where people are pressing rosin, about a dozen people are lazing on couches, puffing on joints and chatting. It & rsquo; s a consumption website that is private, and it & rsquo; s sponsored by The Summit Lounge, a Worcester establishment that bills itself s personal cannabis consumption club.

Kyle Moon, the director of The Summit Lounge, greets me as I enter the gazebo, explaining the idea. “This is a place for volunteers, VIPS, organizers, speakers,” he says, gesturing to the uniformed volunteers sweating in the midday heat. “We want a place for volunteers who’ve been working their ass off all day to have a place. ”

dabs on display
Dabs were on display at a number of the vendor stalls on the Common.

“A problem is, where can people consume cannabis? “Technically what we’re doing here, it’s illegal. ”

Moon himself is doesn and a opioid addict ’t consume cannabis. But his brother is a medical cannabis patient, and after the state voted in 2016 to legalize the plant for adult use, that brother hatched a plan.

But when the brother explained the concept of a cannabis lounge, it wasn’t well received. “We’re like, & lsquo; rsquo & No fuckin; manner & rdquo . “‘there’s no way that’s legal.

They spoke to a lawyer, who agreed. But then the lawyer came back, Moon says, telling the family, “I think you may be on to something here. ”

The lounge opened in early 2018, as well as Moon admits it’therefore caused by a legal loophole (“A loophole means legal, right? &rdquo. By establishing a private clubstrictly BYOC, no onsite sales–the family-run company is able to allow people to consume without running afoul of Massachusetts’s ban on consumption in public spaces.

Summit Lounge Doesn’t Sell Cannabis. Find a Dispensary Nearby!

Members pay $15 a month for a part of the club, plus $5 every time they visit. Guests can drop by for a flat $15 fee. The space has the feel of “an Amsterdam Coffeeshop using a modern industrial texture ” Moon states, with lots of exposed wood, bar tables, and comfy couches.

Moon is apparent that the vision isn’t exactly to make the place a haven for stoners. “We don’t want to be called a place you can go and smoke bud; we want to be known as a place where you can go and find people with common interests and socialize,” he says. “Just like those who go out to a bar, they’re not necessarily going to drink, they’re going to have a good time. ”

“Where else can you find a place where everybody else has a similar common interest to you, i.e. bud? ” he asks. Adults who enjoy cannabis, or medical patients, frequently “feel coordinated from the population,” he states, “even though, as you can see, there are thousands of people who smoke cannabis. ”

So far, he says, it’s been a success. While he personally makes just $200 a week from the store, he tells me, the distance is quickly becoming a hub of the cannabis community–and has yet to run into some significant problems besides initial skepticism from municipal officials.

“Cops haven’t shown up, we haven’t had to kick one person out. Everything has been fuckin’ amazing, frankly,&rdquo. “The community was so supportive of us. ”

Rest assured that there ’s a small version less than an hour’s drive away.

A Word From a Cannabis Commissioner

boston freedom rally shaleen title
Shaleen Title, a member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission, spoke to the audience about the requirement for equity in the newly legal sector. In the next issue of our information podcast, “The Roll-Up,” we’ll hear more about how steep licensing fees could be keeping out small companies. (Adlin/Leafly)

Saturday on the Frequent

Day two of the Boston Freedom Rally started under cloudy skies, but festival goers didn’t even seem to care. Turnout was easily double or triple Friday’therefore, and all three stages (full schedule here) were going strong by early afternoon, with musical performances, celebrity speakers, and educational panels throughout the day.

The sun peeked out from behind the gloom about 3 p.m., brightening an expanding tent city of vendors and food stands with free giveaways, two-for-one deals, and deep discounts on a number of products, including a range of glass–some of it made by hand right here in Boston.

boston freedom rally glass artists
There’s a fair amount of lookalike glass here, but if you look hard enough you’ll find good choice of local bits, like these by Somerville–established artist Visionary Glass. (Adlin/Leafly)

While there’s a very clear focus on consumption–if you’ve got a nose, it’s hard to ignore–the festival is multidimensional. There are stations to learn about terpenes, advocacy groups signing up volunteers, and speakers highlighting the need for continued policy reform.

Bring Your Own Bud, Press Your Own Rosin

New this year to the Boston Freedom Rally is a booth run by rosin press maker Rosin Tech that allows visitors to press their own cannabis into delicious-smelling rosin (like we did once with our rickety Walmart-bought dab press). You’ll find the booth at the Cannabis Education Village, a 21+ area where I keep hearing there are free samples, though I’t haven’t really seen many.

When I stopped by on Friday evening, Blake Marinaro of Chumsford, MA, was at work pressing a couple of homegrown g of this strain 5G’s Blue.

Friendly folks at Rosin Tech’s booth, in the Cannabis Education Village (21+), will let you turn your buds into powerful, delicious rosin for dabbing. (Adlin/Leafly)

It’s a hands on means to assist customers on the East Coast, where dabs still regularly raise eyebrows, better understand the relationship between extracts and blossom. If you had the foresight to bring your own cannabis, pay Rosin Tech’s booth a trip and get squishing. Theyrsquo;ll even let you borrow a rig–although you may as well pick up one of your own on the cheap from one of the festival’s many vendors.

This is a keytar busker at a massive fuzzy sock monkey head. This ’s all we know. (Adlin/Leafly)

Pushing for Continued Progress

” New Jersey–established cannabis activist Ed Forchion, aka NJWeedman, shouted from the St. Charles stage, noting that he missed last year’s Freedom Rally since he had to manage criminal charges in his home state.

“Over the years I’ve been jailed, imprisoned for telling the truth publicly,” he said, explaining that he’s beaten most of those fees as the result of jury nullification.

While steady progress has been made by New Jersey it & rsquo; s far behind Massachusetts — a beacon of progress on the East Coast.

“rsquo & I;m very happy to be in Boston this year,&rdquo. “Smoke up it, feel great. You’re on the side that is winning. ”

Ed Forchion, aka NJ Weedman, brings greetings from the Garden State. (Adlin/Leafly)

Bong ring toss: as popular as candlepin bowling. This girl won a pre-roll. (Adlin/Leafly)

Friday: Kicking Away the Party

BOSTON — rsquo & The East Coast;s cannabis festival kicked off Friday afternoon with tens of thousands descending on the park to celebrate new freedoms and push for advancement.

The Boston Freedom Rally held in 1989, is the country’s HempFest s second-largest yearly gathering dedicated to cannabis reform after rsquo & Seattle, and this year &rsquo event comes at an odd time in Massachusetts history. Voters here legalized cannabis nearly two years back, but so far not a single retail store has opened, for lighting up in public and festivalgoers are warned of steep fines.

Offering or Seeking?

Part of this action on Friday afternoon.

“Remember, you’re not supposed to smoke bud on the Common,” as he kicked off the festivities on Friday, Bill Flynn, president of event organizer MassCann, said.

After all this is an event that’s all about civil disobedience. And it’s widely understood that while Boston police haven’t quite reached the level of Seattle’s–who are known to hand out munchies to elevated Hempfest revelers–it’s still fairly safe to light up. Just be smart about it, one tells me as he pops open a container for me.

Getting high, though, is just 1 reason people. The Freedom Rally is also one of those East Coast’s largest free music festivals, with nearly three full days of live performances (you can see the full lineup here). In addition to that, there are great deals on glass and other accessories, a bounty of food that is honest, and a variety of different vendors, information booths, and activist organizations.

Never been? Check out our event guide for suggestions on how to perform the Boston Freedom Rally right. As for me, I’m off to find some food and wander up to the top of the hill, which is an ideal place to spread a blanket out and enjoy the sights.

We’re Underway. Douse That Joint!

Where’s everyone? At the food trucks.

Are you in the region? Drop by! I’ll be wandering the Frequent all weekend, and the remainder of the Leafly team will be manning a booth at the event’s “Education Village,” educating people about terpenes and getting ready for the launch of the East Coast’s regulated retail cannabis industry.

Legalization isn’t here in its entirety, but you can smell it coming.

Released at Sun, 16 Sep 2018 21:00:36 +0000

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