ROYAL OAK, Michigan (CBS DETROIT) – For the first time, the Arts, Beats and Eats Festival features a dedicated area for selling and consuming cannabis.
House of Dank has been part of the festival for three years, but this summer marks the first time a cannabis zone has been approved at the old festival.
Mike Dilaura, House of Dank’s chief corporate officer, says it’s been a long road of regulation, but the city council finally got on board.
“Not only did they say ‘yes’, but this time it was unanimous,” said Dilaura.
Royal Oak Mayor Mike Fournier says the cannabis area is new, but should not be a distraction.
“We’ve decided to try something new this year. But it’s important to know that this event is family-friendly. The focus is and will always be on the art, the beats and the food as it has been for the last 14 years. Fournier said.
Dank Way is the largest event of its kind in Michigan. The 21+ event is completely fenced so outsiders can’t see anything related to cannabis, and is equipped with over 60 industrial fans and charcoal filters to ensure no odors escape.
Inside, festival-goers can buy cannabis and then watch a professional joint roller.
Among the festival-goers, Detroit hip-hop artist Fat Ray expressed his enthusiasm for the cannabis zone, describing it as “refreshing.”
“People who use cannabis as a peace mechanism and to heal from the trauma they have experienced. This is epic,” he said.
Fat Ray and others in Dank Way support the integration of cannabis, saying it is natural and legal.
“It has to be accepted everywhere; I mean, it comes from the earth. What’s wrong with a little weed,” said the visitor, Stacey Wiggins.
However, not everyone is on board with the concept.
“There’s always the ‘Not in my backyard’ crowd.” There’s always the question ‘Will kids take more drugs?’ crowd,” Dilaura said. “So much of it is rooted in misinformation and old information, if you think about it.”
Dilaura expects more festivals to follow in their footsteps and predicts a future of greater cannabis acceptance.
“Would it be so crazy to think that there might be a cannabis section at a Tigers game? Would it be so crazy to think that when we go to all outdoor concerts in Michigan in the future, there will be a space where you can consume safely and hang out and watch the tape? I think things like this are inevitable.”
Arts, Beats and Eats continues through Labor Day. Tickets start at $7 and can be purchased on the festival’s website.