SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Marijuana could be sold legally by vendors at this year’s Outside Lands music festival in Golden Gate Park if a permit can be issued in time.
If the permit is approved by the city, it would be the first time the sale and consumption of marijuana would be allowed at a festival in San Francisco.
Clusterfest, the annual comedy and music festival held at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza, broke new ground in June by partnering with a marijuana dispensary so attendees could purchase and consume pot products. But consumption was only allowed on the premises of the dispensary’s nearby location and not on the actual festival grounds.
“We want to make sure the community feels like they are safe,” said Marisa Rodriguez, director of the city’s office of Cannabis.
Rodriguez said vendors would be allowed to sell weed under certain conditions. The marijuana would be scientifically pre-tested and regulated. The area where it is consumed would be fenced in and clearly separate from the rest of the festival. Rodriguez said regulation would make it safer.
“By regulating the sale and consumption of cannabis at local events, we’re hoping to mitigate the need for the public to rely on unregulated sources,” Rodriguez said. “We want to make sure that people have access to safe product.”
The three-day music festival will begin August 9th in Golden Gate Park.
Last year, organizers cordoned off an area called “Grasslands,” which featured vendors promoting cannabis-related products and services, but no marijuana was available for sale in the area. The official request for a permit, if granted by San Francisco city officials, will change that.
Local residents didn’t seem to think having a designated for marijuana sales and consumption was outlandish.
“I mean, I live in the Haight. You could smell it for years. But especially with Outside Lands,” said Michelle Rivet of San Francisco. “It’s not a surprise they are selling it because — what’s the difference, really?”
No final decisions have been made, but the city has begun a process which involves public comment. If approved, permits could be issued in the first week of August, just in time for the festival.
This year’s edition of the festival will feature headlining performances by artists including Twenty One Pilots, Childish Gambino and Paul Simon. Tickets for the festival are still available at the Outside Lands website.