No word yet on this event's name, dates or site in Hazel Park, but it's intriguing enough for a preliminary preview.
A local event producer plans an outdoor festival in April where attendees over 21 can buy and smoke marijuana. "We have officially submitted our application to the state of Michigan to host, to our knowledge, the first licensed event where you can consume and sell marijuana," Tatiana Grant tells Crain's Detroit Business. "It will be a public event featuring a celebrity host," food trucks and entertainment.
"We'll have lots of local participants on the cannabis brand side and local Southeast Michigan-specific small businesses. ...
"We're seeing companies that don't have locations in Southeast Michigan or Detroit, but want to try to market in this region. Some companies are closer to the middle of Michigan and don't have any other means to get access to this market. The event will allow them to have a presence."
Grant, a public relations professional who calls herself a serial entrepreneur, runs a 10-month-old Farmington Hills consulting agency called Cultivate MI Solutions. She has a marijuana event organizer license from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, which opened the way to seek a festival license from the Marijuana Regulatrory Agency.
"This license allows a Marijuana Event Organizer to run an event – which has been approved by the local municipality – where the onsite sale or consumption of marijuana products, or both, are authorized at a specific location for a limited time," the official language says. "Licensed retailers and microbusinesses may participate."
Grant, 35, doesn't say whether the event will run more than one day and is mum about what it'll be called. Similar fairs elsewhere include Mardi Grass in Australia and GrassLands in San Francisco.
High Times magazine last year hosted a two-day Cannabis Cup event in August and a weekend Cannabis Bazaar in October, both at Russell Industrial Center in Detroit -- though vendors couldn't sell pot to anyone without a medical marijuana card. (Sample give-aways were allowed.) That won't be the case in Hazel Park, now that sales are allowed statewide under Proposal 1, passed by voters in 2018.
"These events are going to allow people not comfortable going into a dispensary, giving them the green light to check out what's happening at this sort of event," Grant tells Dustin Walsh of Crain's.
"They have less pressure and if they feel the need or desire to partake, they can. And your true die-hard consumer who has been doing it for years will be right at home. This is probably a celebratory thing for them, a way to publicly engage and enjoy [marijuana] at an event."
The nation's first event of this type was a Cannabis Cup festival and concert in May 2018 at the California Exposition and State Fair site in Sacramento, sponsored by High Times.