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Legal pot sales become big business at Outside Lands; 'I just like the vibe of it'

'Curated cannabis experience' Grass Lands returns to Outside Lands
'Curated cannabis experience' Grass Lands returns to Outside Lands 02:14

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- The 2022 Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival featured the popular Grass Lands "curated cannabis experience" for a fourth year.

"I just like the vibe of it," first-time festival attendee Ellen Bezanson from Benicia said on Sunday as she checked out the Grass Lands.  "We're being a little bit more accepting of it, it's not like, kind of, as stigmatized as it was in the past."

Grass Lands allows people 21 and older to buy marijuana products which they can consume onsite in a closed-off area where ID checks are required before entering.

"We get to show them that, in a recreational environment, you can still relax, feel good, be at ease," said Martin Olive,  owner of the Vapor Room in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. 

Olive has worked in the industry since 2002. He says his dispensary is the oldest in the city and he continues to seek out opportunities to educate the public so there is more acceptance of cannabis. 

"Festivals are intense. You're on your feet for three days bouncing back and forth so it's nice to be able to give people a respite," said Lauren Carpenter, CEO of Embarc Events. 

Carpenter's company works with the festival to make sure they are meeting all local and state regulations to have cannabis sales and consumption scaled up for such a large event. She says Outside Lands and San Francisco have helped others around California to see that marijuana can be a success at large gatherings as more organizations choose to include it in their events. 

"We have to bring cannabis to events where folks are, including folks who may not ever have interacted with cannabis before," Carpenter told KPIX. 

As awareness and education continue, the work to eliminate the stigma and advocate for legalization at the national level remains a major goal  for the industry. In the meantime, Outside Lands helps smaller brands get major exposure in front of thousands of customers they may not meet otherwise. 

"We definitely need to keep turning states and let that tide keep going," Olive said. 

The presence of Grass Lands at this festival motivates customers to look for more experiences like it in the months ahead. 

"We're all here to have a good time," Bezanson said. "I hope more events do this so it's just even a safer experience, a more calming experience."

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