Cannabis Gets Green Light for Outside Lands

SAN FRANCISCO—This weekend’s Outside Lands festival will be the first event in San Francisco where adults can legally buy and consume recreational cannabis, the San Francisco Office of Cannabis (OOC) and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department announced today.

The announcement kicks off a new era of legal—and highly regulated—cannabis consumption at qualifying events.  The temporary cannabis event permit, issued by the OOC and the state Bureau of Cannabis Control today, will ensure safe consumption of lab-tested cannabis products at the three-day festival. Only concert-goers 21 and older will be admitted to the Grass Lands area, which is separated from the rest of the festival by opaque fencing. Only safe, tested cannabis products will be sold through local vendors, and a point-of-sale system will track purchases to ensure each individual remains within the legal limit for purchase. Security officers will be on site throughout the festival, along with police and rangers.

“Permitting Grass Lands as the inaugural event is the first step in creating a safe cannabis event space for those aged 21 years and older.”  OOC Director Marisa Rodriguez said.  “Attendees will be able to purchase and consume lab-tested products away from the rest of the venue’s attendees. We’re excited to finalize the temporary cannabis event rulemaking – in collaboration with our City partners – and in support of the Temporary Cannabis Events Pilot Program.”

San Francisco’s Office of Cannabis completed an extensive regulatory process, collaborating with city and state partners and the public, incorporating their feedback into regulations for the pilot program. The experience at Outside Lands will also inform future policy and regulations.

Assembly Bill 2020, chartered in September 2018, authorized local jurisdictions to approve venues for cannabis events. The OOC established its pilot program in April after Supervisor Rafael Mandelman sponsored legislation regulating safe consumption and sales at events.

“San Francisco is a city that has long embraced community festivals and gatherings, as well as the cannabis industry,” Mandelman said. “Outside Lands is an exciting opportunity for us to host our first event with legal cannabis sales and consumption and do so in a way that supports local businesses and puts public safety first.”

To be considered for a temporary cannabis event permit under the pilot program, events must have been previously held on a regular basis, received city permits in prior years, and had significant unregulated cannabis sales and consumption.

Outside Lands, which highlights the City’s music, arts and culinary offerings, draws more than 2 million visitors and contributes an estimated $66 million annually to San Francisco’s economy. Produced by Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly, and Starr Hill Presents, it is in its 12th year in Golden Gate Park.

“Outside Lands has been an exceptional partner with a proven record of delivering safe, fun events,” said SF Rec and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg. “Every year we work together to enhance the festival and Golden Gate Park in ways that are authentically San Francisco.”