Marijuana festivals in Colorado: Is the state oversaturated with Cannapaloozas?

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Cannabis Festiva, an event booked for Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City on August 21, was designed for thousands of attendees -- but only hundreds showed.

Could it be that potential attendees were already at the THC Music Festival that same weekend in Alma? Or perhaps folks were feeling burned out after a never-ending stream of local cannabis festivals, expos, conventions and competitions.

"Maybe people are realizing we don't need a festival every other week," says Vincent Palazzo of the nonprofit Medical Marijuana Assistance Program of the Rockies.

And not only were some of these events poorly attended, but several have been plagued by scandal. The Colorado Cannabis Convention last April almost went up in smoke; the title sponsor, Kush, took the reins at the last minute. And HempCon, a convention in San Jose last month, was blasted for running what appeared to be a marijuana prescription mill.

Still, the cannapalooza craze rolls on. The swanky Plant Medicine Expo and Healthcare Provider Conference will take over the Denver Sheraton Downtown from September 24 to 26. And Kush founder Michael Lerner plans to top the first Kush convention -- which, with 20,000 attendees, was reportedly the largest cannabis event anywhere -- with KushCon II, a three-day extravaganza featuring benefit concerts and indoor skateboarding ramps at the Colorado Convention Center from December 16 to 18. "You can't guarantee success just by putting on an event," says Lerner. "People want to walk in and say, 'Wow.' It has to be fun, entertaining and informative. You have to cover all the bases."

Lerner plans to have all bases covered in May 2011, when he puts on the first World Cannabis Convention -- a showstopper designed to fill all half-million square feet of the Colorado Convention Center.

Let's just hope Cannabis Festiva II isn't scheduled for the same weekend.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.