Plastic bags of kettle corn sit in a pile during an event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near San Diego.

Lin Mei

San Diego Cannabis-Themed Festival Cancelled by Fairgrounds

The Goodlife Festival, a cannabis-theme event set for late September, has been canceled by the Del Mar Fairgrounds despite the organizer saying he would rewrite the contract to hold the festival without cannabis after the District Agricultural Association board canceled the event’s contract, the San Diego Tribune reports.

Lawrence Bame, CEO of the festival, indicated he was “willing to agree to anything” but the board refused to negotiate and told him “don’t come back.”

“Nobody wants to put anything in writing, especially the board, especially for a smoking policy,” he said in the report. “I just got a phone call saying ‘You can’t go back to the board this year.’”

Tim Fennell, CEO of the fairgrounds, declined to address Bame’s allegation that Fennell refused to put anything indicating the deal was off in writing.

“Lawrence Bame is welcome to bring this issue before the board later this year,” he wrote in a statement to the Tribune. “The 22nd DAA is waiting for the Department of Food and Agriculture to provide rules and regulations in order to proceed with these type of events.”

Cannabis would not have been sold at the event, even under the stipulations of the original contract, but attendees would have been allowed to bring their own cannabis and smoke it in designated sections. Bame had lobbied for the event since 2010 and called the decision by the board “schizophrenic” because the DAA board allows other events that draw cannabis consumers – just less overtly than the Goodlife Festival.

Adult-use cannabis legalization is set to take effect in California starting January 1.

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