eliza berkon is a journalist and musician based in washington d.c. 

Gucci Mane Is Headlining A New Cannabis And Hip-Hop Festival

Last Friday, rapper Gucci Mane released a rather catchy song likely to be on his forthcoming album, with Kodak Black and Bruno Mars called "Wake Up in the Sky." The opening lyrics?

I drink till I'm drunk, smoke till I'm high, castle on the hill, wake up in the sky. You can't tell me I ain't fly.

These and other pot-infused reveries will take center stage this weekend at the inaugural Green Haus Festival. Held at RFK Stadium, the event melding music and marijuana is similar in format to the National Cannabis Festival, begun in 2016, yet runs two days and will feature hip-hop acts such as Gucci Mane, cannabis advocates, and live art.

As with the National Cannabis Festival, you can’t legally consume or smoke marijuana at the 21+ festival, nor can you buy it. But after Initiative 71—the ballot measure legalizing the recreational use of marijuana—was passed by a majority of voters nearly four years ago, festival owner and co-producer Ray Voigt says he saw an opening for a new event.

“We want to celebrate the initiative, and we feel as if the music and cannabis go hand in hand,” says Voigt, former manager of D.C.'s now-defunct Fur Nightclub and Lotus Lounge. With business partner Steven Clayton, he has co-produced several cannabis-adjacent events, including the Chalice Festival, a large-scale music, art, and cannabis held annually in California (postponed this year amid a legal dispute, though Voigt and Clayton were not part of this year's iteration).

So what can your weekend pass ($110 for regular, two-day admission) get you?

Plenty of music.

In performances that span two days on two stages, hear music from Gucci Mane, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Dipset and BlocBoy JB among the dozen artists playing.

Some compelling live art.

Local artist Todd Sentell, aka Action Jackson, will be working with several other artists from the area to create 20 or more pieces of art on large canvases, and may pull in audience participation.

A lineup of cannabis advocates.

A handful of marijuana proponents will speak at the festival, including Steven Hawkins, newly appointed executive director of The Marijuana Policy Project. Also on the docket is local "cannabis crusader" Adam Eidinger.

Vendors galore.

Food trucks will be on hand, such as DC Slices, Peruvian Brothers, Big Cheese Truck, Myra's New Orleans Cuisine. And more than 50 so-called "I-71 compliant" vendors.

The inaugural Green Haus Festival will take place on Sept. 22-23 at RFK Stadium from 12 - 9 p.m. Tickets are $70.00 - $245.00. Attendees must be 21 or older.

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