“Royal Oak’s Labor Day Festival Embraces Cannabis Sales and Consumption for the First Time”

The Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats festival is embarking on a groundbreaking venture by introducing an unprecedented facet to its festivities – the public consumption and sale of cannabis, during the upcoming Labor Day weekend. This pioneering move positions it as the largest event of its kind in Michigan, where the four-day extravaganza, commencing on Friday, September 1st, typically draws around 350,000 attendees to the heart of downtown Royal Oak, offering a vibrant blend of art, music, and gastronomy.

In a designated enclave within the festival grounds, a specially curated space known as “High in the Sky” will be dedicated to the purchase and consumption of marijuana products. This space is designed to provide festivalgoers with an immersive and comfortable experience, featuring plush seating, ambient lighting, LED clouds, fog effects, glow sticks, ventilation systems, and even skilled joint-rolling experts. An impressive array of up to 40 cannabis products, ranging from gummies and vape pens to pre-rolled joints and flower, will be available for purchase. The operation of this cannabis enclave is being overseen by festival sponsor House of Dank, and they are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that attendees have a memorable time.

According to Mike DiLaura, the Chief Corporate Officer at House of Dank, this event holds a special place in their calendar, akin to the Super Bowl of their year-long planning efforts. The enclosed cannabis space, located in an alley between 6th and 7th streets and Washington, will be accessible through age-verification entry points and will be fortified with robust security measures.

Remarkably, this cannabis space, accommodating up to 362 people, is intended for a diverse spectrum of individuals, from seasoned cannabis enthusiasts to curious newcomers. In a state where no comparable event of this magnitude has taken place, organizers are venturing into uncharted territory with the potential to set a precedent for future events featuring designated cannabis zones.

The significance of this pioneering initiative has not gone unnoticed by Arts, Beats & Eats producer Jon Witz, who acknowledges its potential ripple effects on the cannabis industry. Witz emphasizes that they are setting an example for other event organizers and communities, with cities, departments, and event producers closely monitoring their approach. The responsibility to execute this endeavor flawlessly is not lost on them.

Mike DiLaura envisions a future where consumption areas for cannabis will become as commonplace as alcohol at concerts, sporting events, and large-scale festivals. As cannabis continues to integrate into mainstream culture, its presence at events and concerts is poised to increase, and this endeavor serves as a harbinger of what’s to come.

DiLaura even speculates about the possibility of a designated consumption zone at Comerica Park, where Detroit Tigers fans could enjoy a ballgame while indulging in cannabis.

However, reaching this milestone was far from straightforward. Since 2021, House of Dank had been a major sponsor of Arts, Beats & Eats, but regulations prevented them from selling cannabis or providing a space for its consumption. Instead, they offered music from DJs, CBD products, T-shirts, and promotional materials, but the actual consumption of cannabis was off-limits.

In 2022, House of Dank approached the Royal Oak City Commission with a proposal for a designated cannabis zone, encompassing both sales and consumption. Initially, the proposal faced opposition, particularly from the then-newly-appointed police chief, Michael Moore, resulting in a 4-to-3 vote against it.

Over the following year, House of Dank worked diligently to build a rapport with Chief Moore and council members, assuring them that the cannabis zone would prioritize safety and security and remain separate from family-oriented areas. On Valentine’s Day, the Commission unanimously approved a one-year trial period for cannabis sales and a consumption area. Chief Moore did not express opposition or endorsement of the plan.

“This inaugural year is essentially a test,” notes Jon Witz. “We are taking a cautious approach, ensuring it remains inconspicuous and separate from family attractions, food vendors, and the majority of the festival. An advanced filtration system will prevent the cannabis smoke from spreading extensively. Most attendees may not even notice it unless actively seeking it out.”

In conclusion, the Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats festival’s foray into the realm of cannabis represents an audacious and trailblazing step forward, offering a glimpse into a future where cannabis consumption zones become as commonplace as those for alcohol at large gatherings and events. This pioneering effort is being executed with meticulous care, setting the stage for potential industry-wide transformations and responsible cannabis integration into diverse public spaces.

What is the name of the festival that is introducing cannabis sales and consumption during Labor Day weekend in Michigan?

Soaring Eagle Arts, Beats & Eats festival.

How many people typically attend the festival in downtown Royal Oak?

Around 350,000 people.

Who is managing the operation of the cannabis space at the festival?

Festival sponsor House of Dank.

What significant role does Mike DiLaura, Chief Corporate Officer at House of Dank, attribute to this festival?

He views it as their “Super Bowl” and a pivotal event in their calendar.

What does the festival producer Jon Witz believe the event’s impact on the cannabis industry could be?

He believes it could set a trend for other events and communities, serving as a model for responsible cannabis integration.

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