This year the Gentleman had the honor of sponsoring the National Cannabis Festival in Washington DC. What an amazing day it was, my beasties! NCF is the event of the year for the local cannabis community, drawing dispensaries, weed brands, and enthusiastic visitors from across the United States to the RFK Stadium grounds since 2016. The festival is typically held on a weekend near 4/20, but it was postponed last year and delayed in 2021 like gestures broadly everything else. Despite the intense August swamp-heat, you could tell the crowds were excited to return to this familiar oasis of normality. That feels like an odd thing to say about a giant, open-air weed party, but here we are.
Ok, let's get to the highlights! First, it was awesome to see both Neptune Seedbank and DC Seed Exchange at the show. Marijuana seed brokers have taken the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp to have de facto legalized seed sales, since the THC percentage is assuredly under the .03% THC federal limit. Neptune had this enormous binder full of seeds that people could peruse and purchase from, which I thought was pretty nifty. I'm in Maryland so I can't legally grow myself, but the state NORML chapter said they're fighting for home growing along with adult-use legalization when they had the stage. Maybe next time NCF comes around, I'll be able to pick myself up some beans. I'm actually really looking forward to learning how to grow my own weed.
Second, there were a solid handful of Virginia brands represented at this year's National Cannabis Festival. The Commonwealth legalized marijuana this year as you are doubtless aware. As we hypothesized in our Virginia legalization article, there are some dauntless companies looking to fill the gap between now and when licensed, adult-use dispensaries are able to open their doors to the public. Fortune favors the bold in my experience, and forgiveness is easier procured than permission, as far as gray market cannabis goes. We bid these intrepid ganjapreneurs Godspeed!
Oh! And they had wrestling this year. Yes, for real! Local group C3W put on a suplex show for the crowds and the absurdity was simply delicious. The winner was walking away with a trophy cup full of buds! I had to eke out some time away from the GT booth to watch a match for myself. C3W stopped by our booth with a positively delightful surprise, bestowing the honor of congratulating the winner upon your Gentleman. Summoning my masterful skills as an orator, I commended the champ's "cool belt, good wrestlin'!" Oooh, maybe they'll let me call a match next year. At least until they get tired of me screaming "BAH GAWD THAT'S STONE COLD'S MUSIC" into the mike.
There was also a couple that got married on stage at National Cannabis Festival! How sweet is that? I was bummed to have missed watching it, but I could hear the proceedings from the parking lot, where I was switching into incognito mode for the rest of the day.
Speaking of my fabulous hat! Anecdote d'jour was when a vendor called me over- I thought he was trying to get the Gentleman's attention- but he had no idea who I was, he just wanted to buy my sweet-ass steampunk top hat. No dice, Bryce! I love that hat, picked it up at the Renaissance Festival a couple years ago. It got awfully heavy after six hours, though. Should have availed myself of a massage from Euphoria Wellness in the GT VIP area, but there was still a line of eager patients as the day wound down, and I wasn't gonna miss Method Man & Redman. You could tell the headliners were as excited to be performing live again and delivered a powerful, hyper-kinetic performance of classic tracks like Red's Da Goodness to a very receptive and enthusiastic audience. Yung Baby Tate's set before them was really impressive, too.
It was good to see I71 represented so heavily this year. After five years, you can see how much DC's gifting market has matured. Tons of new brands, both storefronts & delivery services, had booths alongside names that have remained stalwarts of the scene for years. I got to catch up with so many old faces from the early days of non-stop pop-up events, plus meet some new friends at our own booth. Well, we needed somewhere to give out all the tee shirts, stickers, ashtrays, and lighters with the fresh new fade, plus all the pre-rolls courtesy of Gifted Curators! And I might be a little awkward about it, but it was pretty cool to hear from the folks who enjoy my work here. Onwards and upwards, friends- the Gentleman had a fantastic time at this year's National Cannabis Festival and is very much looking forward to joining y'all again at the next. Cheers!