For 1st time, cannabis sales will be at San Francisco's Outside Lands festival

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Smoking weed has always been a part of the annual Outside Lands summer musical festival in San Francisco.

This will be the first time, though, that it will be legal for adults to legally buy and consume it.

"Every year we work together to enhance the festival and Golden Gate Park in ways that are authentically San Francisco," San Francisco Recreation and Parks General Manager Phil Ginsburg said. 

The joint announcement Wednesday by the San Francisco Office of Cannabis and the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department kicks off a new era of legal—and highly regulated—cannabis consumption at qualifying events. The three-day festival kicks off Friday in Golden Gate Park. 

The announcement did not receive unanimous support.

Anti-pot activist Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, told the Los Angeles Times:"Smoking of any kind is not allowed, for good reason, in any San Francisco park. Making an exception here for today's ultra-potent marijuana would be a terrible precedent and giant step backwards for public health." 

The temporary cannabis event permit, issued by The City's cannabis office and the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, means that only lab-tested cannabis products will be sold at the festival.

Plus, only concert-goers 21 and older will be admitted to the Grass Lands area, which is separated from the rest of the festival by opaque fencing.

City officials emphasized in a news release that "only safe, tested cannabis products will be sold through local vendors, and a point-of-sale system will track purchases to ensure each individual remains within the legal limit for purchase."  Last year, the Grass Lands area was open for viewing, touching and smelling cannabis products, but not for consuming because the festival didn't have the right permits.

Assembly Bill 2020, chartered in September 2018, authorized local jurisdictions to approve venues for cannabis events. San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman sponsored legislation regulating safe consumption and sales at events. 

"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." 

To be considered for a temporary cannabis event permit under the pilot program, events must have been previously held on a regular basis, received city permits in prior years, and had significant unregulated cannabis sales and consumption.

Outside Lands, which highlights the City's music, arts and culinary offerings, draws more than two  million visitors and contributes an estimated $66 million annually to San Francisco's economy.

Produced by Another Planet Entertainment, Superfly, and Starr Hill Presents, the festival is in its 12th year in Golden Gate Park.  Act this year include the Counting Crow, The Lumineers, SNBRN, Lil Wayne, P-Lo and more. For a full lineup, click here.