This year’s Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif. has been full of surprises, including a pregnant Beyoncé dropping out and promoters Goldenvoice being hacked. But a more welcomed surprise comes in the form of a “Marijuana Oasis” opening six miles from the Empire Polo Club grounds.
Weedmaps, essentially the Yelp of dispensaries, and marketing firm Talent Resources are teaming up to offer VIPs legal access to weed during the festivities. The Weedmaps app allows users to find dispensaries near them, rate strains and even provides places where people can acquire a medical marijuana license.
Thanks to Proposition 64, which was approved by California voters in November, it is now legal for adults 21 years of age and older to use marijuana both medically and recreationally in the state. More than half the states in America have legalized weed for medical use, and as of the day after the November election (Nov. 9, 2016), California became one of seven states that legalized the recreational use of the plant.
While the law states that Californians can legally use marijuana, it remains illegal to light up in public. So festivals like Coachella are still banning it from their sites. Luckily for festival-goers, the weed oasis will be nearby to responsibly get high prior to entering Coachella grounds.
According to TMZ, the Weedmaps compound will reportedly feature two grow houses and a greenhouse. There will also be five geodesic domes for consumption, presumably for maximum enjoyment and to adhere to the private property stipulation in the law. Each of the domes will offer different ways for people to get high, including edibles, vaping, and regular smoking. The pot will be provided by the GenX, Brass Knuckle, and West Coast Cure dispensaries. “Budologists” will also be on hand to make recommendations.
Perhaps the craziest part of the compound is that all the bud will be given away for free. Giving away free weed is great publicity for Weedmaps and the participating dispensaries, but it may also have something to do with the California law’s restrictions. While people in the state can legally smoke pot, carry up to roughly one ounce and grow up to six plants, they still can’t purchase weed from a dispensary without a medical marijuana license. Within the state however, someone with a medical marijuana license gave give away up to an ounce of weed to someone without a license. California legislators are still fine-tuning ways to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana and aren’t expected to have the finalized rules until Jan. 1, 2018.
California authorities have also made it clear that people can receive a DUI for being high if it impairs their driving. So anyone attending the oasis should consider using rideshare apps or hopefully there will be a gang of pedicabs waiting outside the compound to whisk them away in the California sun to an evening with Lady Gaga and her little monsters.