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Monday, October 19, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bellingham Budfest blooms in July

New event to normalize cannabis, promote tourism

Zuanich Point Park (Courtesy photo)
Zuanich Point Park (Courtesy photo)
Kay James EVERCANNABIS Correspondent
When Amanda Mac moved to Bellingham from Arizona four years ago, she had an idea: to organize a community cannabis festival that would be accessible to everyone. So, she bought the web domain Mac is the marketing manager at Confidence Analytics, an independent lab that tests cannabis products, and hosts a radio show on KZAX-LP 94.9 FM with Stacy Bloch, called Bloch Off!, that covers cannabis, politics, music, and more. One day, Bloch mentioned the need for a cannabis festival in the community. Mac already owned the web domain, so Bellingham Budfest was born. “Bellingham is the right place, and it’s the right time,” Mac said. “It is a unique community. It’s eclectic and eccentric.” Bellingham Budfest will be held on Sunday, July 14, at Bellingham’s Zuanich Point Park, from noon to 9 p.m. The event will include live music, food, and vendors, and feature up to 100 booths for Whatcom County both cannabis and non-cannabis businesses and nonprofit organizations. “When it comes to normalizing cannabis, we need to break out of the normal circle we hang out with, and we need to invite and host others so we can start integrating ourselves into society more,” Mac said. Hammerhead Coffee will be selling a special Bellingham Budfest blend, and Whatcom glass artists will showcase and sell their pieces. The festival also will prohibit the sale or promotion of alcohol, tobacco, or imported glass. Five educational panels inside the Squalicum Boathouse will be moderated by Dr. Dominic Corva, with topics covering differences in CBD products, cannabis and seniors, and therapies for anxiety and depression. Budfest is working with Sustainable Connections to be a “Toward Zero Waste” festival with water refill stations, restriction of selling single use plastic, and requiring compostable utensils. A silent disco with several DJs will be operating throughout the day. In a silent disco, listeners wear special wireless headsets and can tune to different music channels for a customizable experience. Admission will be free and open to all ages; however, IDs will be checked. The organizers are working with local law enforcement and will have a team on staff to ensure public safety and discourage underage consumption. The main goal of the event is to promote tourism. “We want this to grow, the event itself to be a hub of tourism. We’re staring with this 1-day event, but we have hopes to expand it to a Sundance-type festival where there are many events going all over town,” Mac said. Event sponsors include Confidence Analytics, Ganjapreneur, and Stickers for Dave, among others. “Cannabis transcends social boundaries. There should be something for everyone that comes to Bellingham Budfest,” Mac said.
Kay James is a Spokane-based freelance writer.
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