Shawn DeNae Eddy Wagenseller
Washington Bud Company
Smokey Point, WA
April 20 was a Wednesday this year and my activities spanned the date weekend to weekend, feeling a bit like the build-up to the celebratory week of gatherings between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
The old-school crowd gathered on the 17th for a Hempfest fundraiser at the Crocodile Café in downtown Seattle. We were one of only two sponsors. The recreational businesses have shown a dire lack of support (and respect, in my opinion) for the legacy cannabis community. Local businesspeople who profit off the industry were present with their $22 entry as were the usual suspects of Hempfest volunteers, but gone was the big stage displays of commerce sponsorships. The Cannabus showed up with its roof-top smoke lounge though — that was fun!
The Rollin’ Hills Golf Tournament attracted nearly 100 of us to Echo Falls on the big day. My husband, Bill, and I were on the Washington Sun and Craft Growers team with Jeremy Moberg and state Representative Shelley Kloba. The event was a fundraiser for our sister trade group, The Cannabis Alliance, so we laughed with many familiar faces despite the rain that circled us all day.
I would be remiss if I did not share that the day ended in a raid on the smoke tent by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. I understand the licensed sponsors of the tent were sharing labeled and non-labeled products with attendees and the LCB took it all, leaving no accounting of the inventory nor paperwork of a violation. This sent me into a paranoid tailspin as the Craft Cannabis Cup was happening 72 hours later.
Saturday, the sky was blue and the mood was frantic as the sponsors, food truck and smoke tents arrived for the annual Craft Cannabis Cup. Only a few of us were aware of the threat of raid, but we reminded sponsors to be compliant in their cannabis sharing. I was emcee of the evening and while awards were announced, I kept a keen eye on the door. The event was a tremendous success, and I nearly collapsed in relief when we wrapped up the evening without a visit from the LCB. I have much appreciation to all who participated. Thank you!
I am not certain which story to believe about the origin of 4/20; maybe they all had some part to play in influencing the cannabis holiday. But I view the date as a day to gather and share life stories while consuming cannabis. And everyone has at least one cannabis story to tell, whether they consume it or not.
I am glad the holiday got etched into the public eye even though it hasn’t made it to most calendars like the heavy drinking day we celebrate in March does. We’ll know when prohibitionist thinking has waned when we see that happen!