California’s ‘Northern Nights’ to be first overnight festival to allow marijuana use and sales

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Now that Coachella has opened up the outdoor festival season, the upcoming Northern Nights Music Festival plans to distinguish themselves as the first 3-day overnight experience to include legal cannabis use and retail sales.

While ticket holders can enjoy live acts like Big Wild, Desert Hearts, and Mikey Lion, they can also visit a section designated for marijuana vendors and consumption.

“We are going to have a cannabis retail and consumption area that goes by the name of the Tree Lounge. It is 21 and over area and cannabis sales and consumption are restricted to that area,” Northern Nights co-founder and compliance manager Peter Huson told YourEDM. “Essentially it is an onsite temporary dispensary. It has all the same rules you would have at a dispensary, it’s just inside a festival.”

The lounge is slated to contain up to 10 cannabis vendors to provide recreational sales, including the farmers themselves, so guests can purchase directly from the source and get to know their favorite cultivators.

The event will also allow alcohol sales and consumption, which isn’t normally permitted in the same area as marijuana. However, Northern Nights will take advantage of the festival grounds, which falls on two separate county lines. The Tree Lounge will be located on the Humboldt County side of the event, while alcohol consumption will be allowed on the Mendocino County side without cannabis.

“Everyone is going to be comfortable in both the alcohol and the cannabis spaces,” Huson told Billboard. “We separated them by county because our event happens on the county line with the idea that you can demonstrate compliance and responsible management of these areas. We want to help get to a point in the future where you could have both cannabis and alcohol in the same county and at the same event.”

The Northern Nights Music Festival returns to the Cook’s Valley Campground July 19-21. Tickets are available now.

Oscar Pascual is the editor of Smell the Truth, syndicated on GreenState and SFGATE. Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by Hearst. The authors are solely responsible for the content.