Victorville Officials Refuse To Permit Weed At Chalice Festival

Victorville Officials Refuse To Permit Weed At Chalice Festival

California’s Chalice Festival is easily among the largest glass, hash, music and art festivals in the United States. And in exactly four weeks, the 5th annual Chalice Festival will kick off at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville. Last year, Chalice drew over 35,000 million attendees, and event organizers anticipated to surpass 45,000 this year.

California, of course, is no stranger to hosting enormous cannabis-themed events. But adult-use legalization has had the paradoxical effect of making it harder for events like Chalice to take place. Now at the mercy of local authorities, Chalice organizers have to convince Victorville officials to give them the green light. So far, however, Victorville is refusing to permit weed at this year’s Chalice.

Cannabis-Themed Occasions Face Resistance From Local Officials

The Chalice Festival will run from July 13 through July 15. In addition to a huge array of food, beverage not to mention cannabis sellers, event-goers will be treated to headline performances from iconic artists, such as Ludacris, Sizzla, The Pharcyde, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

What’s less clear, however, is if Chalice attendees will be able to buy and publicly consume cannabis at the function.

When events like these were strictly unofficial, they more or less simply occurred. Venue organizers have been in charge of regulating the goings on. And local city councils actually didn’t have a lot of say in the matter.

But now that cannabis is fully legal in California for adults 21 and over, cannabis events have to comply with a ton of new rules.

In the first place, California law mandates that any “temporary cannabis occasion ” occur only at publicly-owned places –county fairgrounds and agricultural districts, specifically. Second, any vendors interested in participating in a cannabis event must carry the proper licenses to sell and distribute weed. On top of this, the event itself must receive a permit from California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control.

To put it differently, refusal from local officials can prevent the BCC from licensing cannabis sales and consumption at the event.

And that’s exactly the obstacle confronting this year’s Chalice Festival. The hosting city, Victorville, is so far refusing to provide the massive hash bash their blessing.

This Isn’t Victorville’s Stand-Off With Cannabis Event Organizers

California’s adult-use cannabis law, Proposition 64, gives individual municipalities the power to restrict or outright ban commercial cannabis operations within their limits. And Victorville opted to ban all commercial cannabis action with the exception of medical cannabis deliveries. What’s more, the city has “strictly prohibited” temporary cannabis events, based on city spokesperson Sue Jones.

This isn’t the first time Victorville has refused to permit a cannabis occasion, either. City officials were against Chalice when it came to town for the first time in 2016. But the City Council could write a letter to the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds board of directors asking them to not host the event. The board refused that request, citing the economic advantages of festivals like Chalice.

“We have a unanimous consensus among our board members that Chalice California, and similar events, while they may potentially run counter to our respective personal ideology, are safe, well run, professionally created events that offer a significant effect to both the Fairgrounds, and our local market,” the board composed in reply.

Now that cannabis is legal for adult use, however, Victorville’s City Council has far more say over the fate of events like Chalice than before. And this year, it seems they need to dig in their heels.

High Times Sets Historic Firsts For Licensed and Regulated Cannabis Occasions

Citing the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s own rules and regulations regarding temporary cannabis events, Chalice Festival founder Doug Dracup insists the event will take place in Victorville, offer cannabis and allow public consumption.

If Chalice is finally able to get a license from the BCC, it will become the third fully licensed cannabis event to take place in California this year. But it’s going to be the first to land approval in Southern California.

The award for first-ever cannabis event permit belongs to High Times, because of their Central Valley Cannabis Cup. High Times was able to secure BCC licenses because of its early May event at the Cal Expo fairground at Sacramento.

Earlier this month, High Times made history when it obtained local and BCC approval for its NorCal Cannabis Cup.

Technically, state law requires temporary cannabis events to get local approval a full 60 days in advance of the event. Neither of High Times’ two events managed to do so. But recognizing the job High Times organizers were doing to comply with the new regulations, the BCC bent the rules twice. And that allowed organizers to get approval just days before the events started.

The Fate of the Chalice Festival Could Be Decided In The Last Minute

It’s likely the BCC will be willing to bend the rules for Chalice just as they did for HighTimes. Especially if local approval comes through before July 13.

Failure to obtain the proper approval and requirements hasn’t halted events like these before. But it’s put a damper on them.

Just 48 hours before the start of High Times’ SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino, for instance, city officials announced they would not OK cannabis consumption and earnings.

The SoCal Cup happened anyway. And attendees and vendors said it went down much like it had in previous decades. But worries about possible repercussions should regulators crack down on the event discouraged hundreds of vendors and thousands of attendees.

Released at Fri, 15 Jun 2018 17:04:55 +0000

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