(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Outside Lands becomes first SF event to get permit for legal sales and consumption of cannabis

San Francisco hit a major cannabis milestone Wednesday when the Outside Lands music festival received The City’s first event permit to allow the sale and consumption of marijuana.

The event permit approval came just two days before the festival begins and just a day after the Office of Cannabis established the permit application process.

The Office of Cannabis approved the application Wednesday afternoon and the state soon followed with approval.

Cannabis sales and consumption will be allowed only in a special area called Grass Lands. Only those aged 21 years or older are permitted into the area.

Since smoking tobacco is illegal in the park and state law doesn’t allow consumption of cannabis where smoking tobacco is not allowed by law, a temporary waiver to the no-smoking law was granted on Aug. 1 by the Department Of Public Health for the Grass Lands area.

But that doesn’t mean The City intends to allow smoking of tobacco in the Grass Lands area. A cannabis event permit regulation states: “Any Person found engaging in the sale or consumption of alcohol or sale of tobacco products within the cannabis goods sales and consumption area of the Event will be immediately removed from the premise.”

The regulations also say “tobacco consumption will be prohibited in the event, in addition to the specified cannabis consumption area.”

The permit is granted to Highlands Events, Inc., a cannabis events organizer.

The Recreation and Park Department, which oversees the three-day festival and Golden Gate Park where it takes place, announced the approval along with the Office of Cannabis in a press release at around 7 p.m.

“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,” Office of Cannabis 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.”

Outside Lands is in its 12th year and is produced by Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly, and Starr Hill Presents.

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

Cannabis at events was made possible by the passage of Assembly Bill 2020. In April, the Board of Supervisors approved legislation introduced by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to establish a local events permit program allowed under the state law.

“San Francisco is a city that has long embraced community festivals and gatherings, as well as the cannabis industry,” Mandelman said in a statement. “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.”

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