For the first time since Coachella’s inception, the surrounding festival parties aren’t limited to fashion and alcohol-brand sponsored events anymore. Starting this weekend and going into next, the desert will host four large cannabis soirees in celebration of legalization and the world’s trendiest music festival.
What makes these pioneering music-festival-cannabis-parties fascinating is that “adult-use” cannabis still technically doesn’t exist yet. Only medical marijuana does, and the state won’t issue licenses until January 2018 (so they say), so it’s still illegal to sell recreational weed. In other words, most of—if not all— the herb and related “green” products available at these parties will be free. So if you’re looking to get high but spent all your money on festival tickets and hotel accommodations, these desert mansion marijuana fiestas are definitely where you want to be—if you can get in, that is.
Most of the parties are invite-only. But if parties aren’t your thing, local collectives are getting in the Coachella-spirit, too. With the help of Lowell Farms, Palm Springs Safe Access (1247 S. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs) is selling cannabis-flower-crowns equipped with crystalline-nuggetry woven into a white petal-halo. Lowell Farms is also selling packs of pre-rolled joints filled with their “Music-Festival- Blend” cannabis.
Canndescent, a Coachella Valley cultivation group, has released five exclusive “festival flower strains.” They also put out a festival box loaded with an eighth of sparkling sticky cannabis, and branded hemp wick, matches and rolling papers. Add a cross body bag and clutch for the festival and collaborations with local dispensaries, and Canndescent knows how to do Coachella right.
So if you’re participating in the two-week festival fire-drill and want to get in on the greenery, here’s the unofficial Coachella cannabis party agenda. Don’t forget to pack your doctor’s recommendation!
CannaSpa For Lupus Support by Culinary & Cannabis: Weekend 2
Happening April 21-22 in a sprawling Bermuda Dunes mansion nine miles from the Polo Fields, CannaSpa For Lupus Support is one of the few parties for which the general public can purchase tickets. And a portion of all proceeds go to the Howse Foundation for Lupus Support.
It’s not going to be the weed-equivalent of a kegger. Culinary & Cannabis is one of the pioneers of herbal-tasting events, and the intention isn’t about getting stoned. The events are designed for the sophisticated cannabis user who appreciates and understands the art of culinary, too.
But their Coachella event is taking their signature experience to a new level. Tamara Anderson, the Irvine-based CEO of Culinary & Cannabis, and her team traditionally curate events with low-dose canna-chef competitions, vendors, and health and wellness treatments. But next weekend’s event will offer canna-yoga, canna-cocktail tasting and canna-art— where cannabis will literally be a part of the paint, Anderson explains.
Her event’s received a bit of spotlight within the last week due to the original name of the party: Coachella CannaSpa. “The lawyer of the festival called me to tell me I had to change the name of my event or they were going to have to move forward with action,” Anderson said, shocked. “I couldn’t believe it!”
What makes her events unique to the others is that Anderson’s party is a cannabis spa and fine dining experience. Renowned “culinary-architect” Chef Higher is providing a five-course meal on Night One of the event— we recommend checking out his drool-worthy Instagram. You’ll also be able to get cannabis-infused massages and facials—and there will be a gifting suite where you’ll be loaded up with products to medicate with.
“We’ll be giving away a Cannador at CannaSpa…,” says Zane Witzel, CEO of Cannador. “It’s a rewarding endeavor– renowned chefs preparing exquisite infused foods during one of the most exciting festivals of the year, all for the support of people’s health and wellness–we hope to raise significant proceeds and awareness for this important cause.”
There’ll also be a shuttle going from the festival to the CannaSpa party. “If you park your car at the festival and there’s no one you want to see performing for a while, you can hop on the shuttle and come relax at CannaSpa,” says Anderson. “And the shuttle will take you back… This is the way we do cannabis.”
Tickets available at culinaryandcannabis.com
The Green Oasis: Weekend 2
For the third year in a row, Long Beach-resident Susan Soares is hosting the Green Oasis, a Coachella-artist herbal wonderland. Soares is the executive director of C.A.R.E, a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis awareness, research and events. But unlike her other panel-based events, the Green Oasis is geared to give Coachella performers a break from the road. And when we say break, we literally mean a place where they can throw off their kicks and carelessly leap around a luxurious desert-estate turned cannabis-land.
The property is loaded with gourmet food, a full bar, activities, music and places to chill. Oh, and there’ll be top-of-the-line cannabis swag bags equipped with all kinds of products. Annabis, the fashion-forward cannabis odor-block purses—which made our Trendzilla must-have-for-festival list—will be one of the products gifted at the event. Sherri Bell and the Jelly Shamans will also set up her signature glamping experience and provide organic medicated jam for those who wish to indulge.
“I’ve gained a reputation as the ‘Weed Fairy,’” Soares laughs. “The agents and managers know I’m going to take care of their artists, so we don’t have to pay them to be there, which is normally how celebrity parties work.”
Last year, Soares recalls, Matthew Healy from the band The 1975 gave her a huge hug on his way out and told her the Green Oasis was “the ultimate green room.” Even the executives from Weedmaps crashed Soares’ party. Despite saying they were headed to Vegas for the weekend, they stayed all three days because they had such a good time, according to Soares.
(What’s ironic is Weedmaps is now throwing their own party called “Marijuana Oasis,” an invite-only 420 party located less than eight miles away from the Polo Grounds during weekend 1. Imitation is, in fact, the sincerest form of flattery!)
Although this is a private Coachella-artist 420 party, the intention behind the Green Oasis is to educate artists and musicians about cannabis, who, in turn, can educate the masses and further destigmatize weed. “Education is at the root of every event, including this one,” says Soares. “This is how you normalize cannabis on a larger scale.”
Marijuana Oasis: Weekend 1
The Yelp of the cannabis industry is also throwing a massive three-day party six miles from Coachella. Weedmaps’ “Marijuana Oasis” has received most of the pre-festival hype—but none of what’s currently published about their event can be confirmed or denied. According to rumors reported by TMZ, Spin and several other outlets, Weedmaps is collaborating with Talent Resources marketing firm and building a mini cannabis-world. With two grow rooms, a greenhouse and five domes dedicated to tasting and testing different strains of flower, edibles and oils. Some of the brands supposedly sponsoring the event are GenX, Brass Knuckles and West Coast Cure.
“Budologists” will be onsite to make recommendations for attendees. Although there’s still much to be known about the mysterious Weedmaps fiesta, one thing is certain: everyone there will get outrageously happy. This party is invite-only, but if you know someone who knows someone—and most people who go to Coachella do—you might be able to land your name on that coveted list.
Galore’s Bash: Weekend 1
Galore is throwing a fashion-oriented cannabis party this weekend, too. Organic cannabis farm Humboldt Brothers and Merry Jane (a cannabis-focused digital media platform launched by rapper Snoop Dogg )will sponsor a cannabis-only bar for attendees to utilize and medicate. “Live events are the perfect platform for spreading cannabis culture – music and cannabis go hand in hand,” says the Merry Jane team. “Festivals are a natural channel to continue promoting the positive benefits of weed and really reach core consumers.”
Dipstick Vapes is also hosting an invite-only dinner party and a VIP after-party where medicating will be one of the only things on the late-night menu. Although these marijuana parties have no official connection with Coachella, the festival can nevertheless boast of inspiring the industry to normalize cannabis in the real world in new ways.”
“We are so blessed and privileged to have a whole host of ‘firsts’ being laid out in front of us” says Jeanine Moss, the CEO of Annabis, referring to the emergence of cannabis parties and the youth of the cannabis industry in general. “I just want to keep blazing trails and pioneering more firsts.”