National Cannabis Festival Prepares To Kick Off Amid Rising COVID-19 Concerns

Cannabis connoisseurs are set to congregate at D.C.’s RFK Stadium this weekend for the fifth anniversary celebration of the National Cannabis Festival.

The event, which takes place on Saturday, August 28, will be the District’s first major outdoor event since the start of the pandemic. Last week, the festival changed its attendance policy to require full proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours.

With coronavirus case counts mounting across the D.C. region, the pressure will be on for organizers to prevent a potential superspreader event. The festival is now expecting around 20,000 attendees after being cancelled in 2020 due to coronavirus restrictions.

In a statement, Caroline Phillips, the founder and producer of the festival, said organizers are taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously.

“We are proactively doing what we can to ensure a safe experience for our attendees,” Phillips said in a statement. “The National Cannabis Festival hopes to be an example of how to move forward in this new era and safely host large-scale events.”

As of Wednesday, masks are not required at the festival, though organizers are encouraging attendees to wear them while not eating or drinking, and to keep social distance. On-site rapid COVID testing will be available for a fee at the festival’s Lot 5 parking area.


All images courtesy of the National Cannabis Festival.

All images courtesy of the National Cannabis Festival.

Since its launch in 2016, the daylong festival has attracted a mix of cannabis aficionados, industry professionals, researchers, and advocates from around the country.

Headlining the festivities this year are Method Man and Redman, the East Coast hip-hop duo that, among other stoner classics, brought us the 2001 weed flick “How High.” Both rappers have long been outspoken cannabis consumers, and Method Man even launched his own line of pot products in Colorado this month.

The concert line-up also includes Young M.A, Backyard Band, Antibalas, The Archives, Lee, Blackwood & Graham and DJ Farrah Flosscett.

“The cannabis community is ready to listen to good music, with good friends, while raising awareness of federal cannabis legislation and the work that activists are engaged in to advocate for greater equity, accessibility and comprehensive reform for the cannabis community,” said Phillips.

Along with the concert, attendees will get to attend educational panels, demonstrations, contests, and even yoga classes as they mingle with dispensary owners and medical professionals. Panel discussions this year will focus on cannabis health, policy, culture, and cultivation.

Another perk this year: Festival-goers will get the first sip of local brewer DC’s Brau’s new “Legalize it! Lager,” a cannabis-themed beer made exclusively for the event.

General admission tickets can be purchased for $65 on the festival’s website, or $75 on the day of the event. The Outlaw Report is sponsoring this year’s festival, and will be hosting a booth at the event to engage with readers and the local cannabis community.

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