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The Northwest Chronicle

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Hempfest turns 25 in style BY LESLIE KELLY | lkelly@soundpublishing.com

John Davis remembers the early years of Hempfest well. “We had about 15,000 people show up and we thought, ‘Oh, my God, we’re on the map,’ ” Davis said. “It was really moving.” But it was a far cry from what Hempfest would become, with crowds estimated to be upward of 300,000 for the three-day event. Davis, a building project manager by profession, attended his first Hempfest in 1994 because of a desire to promote social change. “It was the hypocrisy of the drug war,” he said of his reason for getting involved. “For me, it’s never been about the use of cannabis, per se, but rather about how we can affect social change.” He was concerned about the mass incarceration of people who were using cannabis, some of them in prison for life, and families who were split up and children taken away simply because the parents smoked pot. Davis ran early 1990s campaign initiatives for the legalization of marijuana and, in doing so, he met Rob Kampia, who would become the executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, D.C. “We were both just kids, talking about what we wanted to accomplish,” he said. “He asked me, ‘Tell me, if you get it on the ballot and you lose horribly, is that a good thing or a bad thing?,’” Davis said.

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That made Davis begin to think that education and conversation about marijuana was what was needed. So, he invested his time with Hempfest as a way to reach people. He used his skills as a carpenter to help build the stage where Seattle grunge bands, such as the 7 Year Bitch, would sing, and took on overseeing the permitting of the event and working with the Port of Seattle, the City of Seattle, and the Seattle Downtown Association, making sure everything went off without a hitch. In 2006, when the group that put on Hempfest became a nonprofit, he was appointed to the board of directors and has been volunteering ever since. “It’s fascinating work,” he said. “We put on the world’s largest rally where people openly smoked pot and we’ve been able to permit it every year. It’s been satisfying to interact with the system and to change the system.” In 1997 there were 70 arrests, Davis said. “Working with the police, keeping in mind that our goal was and is public safety, we’ve been out to gain their (the police and law enforcement) respect,” he said. “We’ve made public safety important. We’ve improved and we’ve policed the event ourselves.” That’s not to say, however, that smoking marijuana at Hempfest is a “no-no.” Continued on Page 8


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“The way we look at it, if a couple is sitting in the grass smoking pot, especially now that recreational marijuana is legal, that’s not disturbing anyone,” he said. “To make a big deal out of that would be a big disturbance. So we leave that alone. “We’re not the police and we can’t arrest anyone. We can’t take pot away from them. But we will intervene if we see that the public’s safety is at risk.” One thing is for sure, however. Festival officials don’t allow pot to be sold at the event. “That takes away from our message of education,” he said. “It’s all an interesting balancing act when it comes to smoking in public but not selling in public.” Davis thinks it’s no coincidence that Washington state was among the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. “There were a lot of people working here for that, for social change,” he said. “Hempfest certainly contributed to that because it’s the largest event where anyone can come to be educated on issues surrounding marijuana and affect social change. “And even those who are opposed to marijuana use come and engage in the conversation. That’s the only way we’re ever going to get anywhere.” Continued on Page 10

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Davis said he’s often asked whether Hempfest is still important, now that marijuana is legal in Washington. “We’ve got a lot of work left to do,” he said. “Prohibition of cannabis was a dismal failure. It did nothing but fill our jails. We have work to do to educate people that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and yet alcohol doesn’t have the stigma that pot does.” The conversations, then, must include how to educate youth about marijuana and its uses. “We’ve got to continue our message and have all the stakeholders involved,” he said. “We need to have some real conversations.” With the passing of the years, the crowds at Hempfest have grown and changed. “Early on, we saw young people who were disenfranchised,” he said. “The ‘tie-dye burnouts.’ Professional people who were users didn’t want to be associated with the movement. They feared for their professional lives and they stayed away. “But the crowd is very diverse these days. We still see those people who dress the part. It is, after all, a summer festival. But many of those who attend, and many of the youth, come to learn and to see what others have to say. They know that Hempfest is a place for real exchange of ideas.” With this year being the 25th anniversary of Hempfest, it’s bound to be a big celebration. But organizers like Davis say it will remain true to the purpose of education and conversation. “Marijuana is still legal in only four states,” he said. “People are still being arrested for smoking cannabis. And there’s still the black market out there which needs to be dealt with, and that’s affecting what the state does in taxing cannabis. States also need to have regulation that allows treatment on demand for those who need it, too.” “Newbies” are welcome at Hempfest. “We don’t turn anyone away,” Davis said. “It’s a beautiful park right on the water. We have good times. There’s great entertainment and there’s the opportunity for everyone to interact and see what’s going on in the world of cannabis. “Come see what’s being talked about on all sides and engage in the conversation.” For a complete history of Hempfest, including what talent appeared each year, go to www.hempfest.org/about/history.

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He’s been around as long as Hempfest BY LESLIE KELLY | lkelly@soundpublishing.com

Ask anyone about Seattle’s Hempfest and they’ll point you in the direction of Vivian McPeak. A former rock band member, McPeak is like a walking dictionary of anything and everything Hempfest. He’ll tell you that nobody set out to have a hemp fest. It just came about. “It was August of 1990 and we were having a peace concert in Gasworks Park,” McPeak said. “There was about a hundred people there and we got the idea that we weren’t going to leave the park until the U.S. got out of Iraq. (The U.S. had just invaded Kuwait.) “The authorities told us we had to leave. But Gasworks Park was a 24-hour park. So there was no legal reason they could find to remove us. We stayed six months.” During the year that followed, those in the peace movement joined with those who were forming the state’s NORML organization and planned Washington Hemp Expo at Volunteer Park in August 1991, where it would take place for three years. “The author of ‘The Emperor Wears No Clothes,’ Jack Herer, came to speak,” McPeak said. “At the time, that book was the Bible for those in the movement to legalize marijuana. When we got to the park, it was really full and we thought it had just been overrun with homeless

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people because it looked like they were all camping out. But we soon learned that the people there had come the day before from Oregon and Idaho and camped out just to be at our event.” The first “Hemp Expo” saw about 500 people attend. By the following year, the crowd had grown to 2,000. And by 1994, crowds were 15,000 to 20,000. “The first year it was a lot of young men with long hair and black leather jackets,” McPeak said. “Within a few years, we had people with ball caps on. And now, the people come from all walks of life.” Often called a “protestival,” Hempfest’s purpose is to educate the public on the myriad applications of the cannabis plant, the laws about its use, efforts for reform, and conducting business in the new legal environment. McPeak has great memories of Hempfest throughout the years, and has acted as its emcee often. “When I was up on stage emceeing the first year, all of the sudden, people started cheering,” he said. “I couldn’t figure out why they were liking what I said until I turned around and saw that some guys were moving big budding pot plants onto the stage.” By the second year, some people on stage were throwing joints out into the crowd. “But we had to stop that for safety reasons,” he said. “People were charging the stage.” In years since, working in cooperation with the Seattle Police Department, safety has come first, he said. Today, the festival takes place between Myrtle Edwards Park, Centennial Park and the Olympic Sculpture Park, covering more than 1.5 miles. It lasts three days and crowds number more than 100,000 people. There’s plenty of music, food booths and an arts and crafts area. This year, there will be special memorabilia, with the festival’s 25th anniversary poster art on it (including shirts). And that’s something that many people don’t stop to think about, McPeak said — the economic impacts of Hempfest for the local economy. A study by the University of Washington showed that Seattle Hempfest patrons spend approximately $7.1 million in King County in relation to their visits to the festival. Volunteers and musicians are estimated to have spent $226 million in relation to their participation in the festival. And in 2014, Hempfest generated 234 jobs in King County, led to $18.145 million in output (sales of all industries), and generated $8.172 million in labor income. Of the 120,000 who attended in 2014, 48.9 percent came from King County, 31.6 percent from elsewhere in Washington State, and 19.5 percent from out of state. “For this area, Hempfest is an economic boom,” McPeak said. “The economic impact of all those people coming to Seattle, eating and Continued on Page 16

16 The Northwest Chronicle “He’s been around“ Continued from Page 15

staying here is tremendous.” A core group of about 120 people work year-round to produce Seattle Hempfest. More than 1,000 volunteers show up on the weekend of Hempfest to make the event happen. McPeak said although the event is free to attend, it costs upward of $850,000 to put it on. Funds are raised from vending sales, sponsors, memberships, program advertisements, merchandise sales, and a VIP party that happens on the Friday evening of the festival. McPeak said newbies are always welcome to the event. “The same things happen there that happen anywhere at any summer festival,” he said. “Except there’s definitely more pot smoking.” One of his most favorite memories of all Hempfests happened in 2013, after recreational pot became legal. The Seattle Police Department handed out Doritos with a message on the bag asking festival-goers to party carefully and within the law. “Oh, my God,” he said. “The media went crazy over that. I got calls from China and France. It was the best thing that ever happened in terms of publicity. For years, we worked and worked to get lots of media and it was the Doritos that took us international.” Hempfest is Aug. 19-21 in Seattle. To find out more, go to www. hempfest.org.

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Advertiser Locater Map Retail Locations







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Map Sponsored by: 18 The Northwest Chronicle


See marker “T”








b Aberdeen


Elma 12



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B Bellingham







Mt. Vernon



H 5

Whidbey Island













U V T Bremerton W X Port Orchard



K Bainbridge Island

N Redmond

M Seattle P


O 405








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Strain and products reviews Here are a few suggestions from the Northwest Chronicle’s reviewer, Nicholas Dewey, bud tender at Paper & Leaf on Bainbridge Island. • Cheesequake, by grower Heavenly Buds, listed as a indica dominate hybrid with a total cannabinoids 19.7 percent and converted THC of 17.4 percent. Tastes sweet and earthy with a bit of pepper. A light head high with a better body high makes it feel pretty relaxing. It made for some great movie watching with my wife this weekend. I really enjoy the grow, manicure and the care that goes into the buds by Heavenly. • Exodus Cheese by Phat Panda. Nice tight roll that probably could have used a little more massaging. The flavor was a lightly sweet with a slight spice on the back end. Not a heavy hitter but sat nicely at the front of my head. Made me nice and smiley for an end of the night chat with coworkers. Very enjoyable and will be picking up more. • Peppermint Cookies by Gold Leaf. It has a sticky putty consistency that is light brown in color. The flavor profile of the flower comes through beautifully on this dab, very prominent cookie flavor sharp, sweet and slightly minty. I was planted in my seat for a good 10 minutes, letting the dab take hold. It had a delayed cough that came on as the high amped up. It was dead center of my forehead high that radiated through my chest and down to my legs. I was pretty sore from the day and it helped to calm my knee pain. I thoroughly enjoyed this concentrate and recommend others try it!

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24 VOTED BEST Recreational Pot Store in Snohomish County! The Northwest Chronicle

Recreational 21+ Coming Soon Medicinal

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4218 Rucker Ave Everett, 98203


www.purplehazellc.com Sun- Thu 9:30am – 10:00pm Fri & Sat 9:30am – 11:00pm

This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit forming. Marijuana can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. There may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. Keep out of the reach of children. 1636786

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A beginner’s guide to concentrates BY KC DOCHTERMANN

New to Washington? Or just new to the world of cannabis? Either way, if it is your first time inside one of Washington’s cannabis retail stores, the selection of products – and especially concentrates - can be “mind blowing,” to say the least. Don’t feel bad; even Cheech and Chong would be scratching their heads trying to figure out what to buy. So, let’s have a look at some of the concentrates that are currently available. First, there is good old hash, the original black-market concentrate that people have been enjoying for thousands of years – ever since the first person figured out how to mechanically separate parts of the plant that contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. Hash, or mechanically separated concentrates, include dry sift, or kief; water and/or ice hash, and rosin, an oil form that is produced from any type of hash product with pressure and heat. Then, there are the hydrocarbon extraction products (commonly referred to as BHO). These products are derived by using liquefied hydrocarbon gases to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material. Gases commonly used include propane, n-butane, and iso-butane. Hydrocarbon extraction is known for its ability to preserve and Continued on Page 26

26 The Northwest Chronicle “Concentrates” Continued from Page 25

extract a high amount of terpenes, the chemicals responsible for flavor and smell, because of the cold temperatures of the process. Product constancy can range from waxes to oils and shatters. A turn-off to some: hydrocarbons, like butane, are known carcinogens. Another category of products is derived by using carbon dioxide for extraction – so it is usually labeled or identified as CO2. This is one of the cleanest and safest methods of extraction, as carbon dioxide is an inert gas that is not toxic. The equipment used for this method is rather expensive and time consuming, which typically makes the final product more expensive but results in one of the purist and safest products. There are a number of CO2 products currently available, including shatter, live resin, sap and oil. They are also commonly found in vaporizer cartridges. This basically covers most of the major product lines, though there may be a product or two not covered as the industry is constantly producing new varieties of concentrates. One more thing: when shopping for oil, be sure and check if it contains additives, especially glycols. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of glycols, approval was intended for topical, oral and IV administration. Inhaling glycols can potentially have harmful side effects, including headaches, dizziness, wheezing, and reduced lung function. Other additives typically used are fractionated coconut oil (also known as MCT), hempseed oil and re-introduced terpenes (terpenes that were removed during the extraction process, or ones that were derived from other plants than cannabis). For more specific information about any of these products, be sure and check with bud tenders at the outlets; most are extremely knowledgeable about what is on the shelves. No matter what you choose, remember that concentrates are “concentrates” and are more potent than flower. It’s like drinking whisky instead of beer, and active ingredients like THC are typically at much higher levels. So take it slow and easy, so that you don’t overindulge. Otherwise, you might get too high and miss all the fun things that make the Evergreen State such a great place. — KC Dochtermann is director of sales and marketing for Interra Oils.

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HWY 420 prides itself on educating customers BY LESLIE KELLY | lkelly@soundpublishing.com

In the almost two years that HWY 420 has been open, owner Annette Atkinson has learned a lot. And she’s still learning. That, precisely, is why she’s in business. “There’s a lot to be said for education yourself about marijuana,” Atkinson said. “That’s really why we’re here. From the very beginning we’ve approached this as a business where we want to know our products, know our customers and be able to help them with whatever they need.” HWY 420 opened in fall 2014. As the first cannabis shop in Bremerton, quickly became known as the place to go. In its first year of operation, it was the store with the most sales in Kitsap County. Since then, more state licenses have been granted and more stores have opened. According to Atkinson, the average price of a gram of marijuana has gone from $35 to $12. Even with that, “business is good,” she said. “There are now more stores and more producers,” she said. “And with medical marijuana folding in with recreation, it’s not certain what that will mean. But here at HWY 420, we’re focused on education ourselves so that we can educate our customers.” Her staff of 10 attend conference all over the country to learn about cannabis products, and to truly “learn about the endocannabinoid system.” “And now that we’re going to have medical marijuana patients coming in, we need to know how to help them,” Atkinson said. “So we’re going to a conference in Portland where doctors and naturopaths will help us connect the dots.”

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The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is requiring cannabis shops to have employees get a medical certification through workshops such as this one, she said. She also is working with the University of Washington and Bastyr University have resources for anyone who comes in with medical questions. “I think (when medical is folded in with recreational) we’ll see many new and many older customers who will want to try medical marijuana,” she said. “We’re not doctors and we can’t prescribe. But we want to be able to direct them to a doctor who can give them care.” Continued on Page 32

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As an entrepreneur, Atkinson was one of the first people in the state to get a license to open a retail cannabis business through a drawing held by the state. She’s started several businesses in her career including a thrift store in Port Orchard named “Twice Around the Closet.” She decided to give the cannabis business a try, even though she was not a user. “I never had anything against it,” she said. “I’ve always had friends who smoked (pot). I just saw this as an amazing opportunity to open a new business.” As she’s gotten into the business, she’s tried some products so that she can speak to customers about them. And she has one rule when she hires. “Unlike most other businesses, here you have to fail a pee test,” she joked. “You have to be a smoker. You can’t truly understand (cannabis) without using the products.” The store has all the items anyone would ask for, including cannabis by the gram, edibles, vape pens, papers, pipes and bongs. They also have a “green light” special every day at 4:20 p.m. And they have sponsored events on April 20 each year, to mark 4-20, a number that traditionally equates itself with marijuana. “We cross marketed with our neighbors,” she said. “We had a scavenger hunt where people could pick up clues at businesses in the area.” They even had pot trivia night and a “Build-a-Bong” contest, using recycled plumbing pipes, tin foil, rubber hoses, and fruit. Continued on Page 34

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“It’s part of our mission,” she said. “We want to be part of the local community. That’s why I joined the Bremerton Rotary and the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce.” And each month they give a percentage of their sales to charity through their “Karma Pot,” a glass jar that sits on the counter, where customers can contribute. Last September, the Bremerton Back to School drive received $1,360. They’ve helped nonprofits such as the Kitsap Humane Shelter, toy drives, veterans, and the Rotary. The store also sponsors mixed martial arts fighter Dustin Paddex. The decriminalization of marijuana is something Atkinson devotes time to and works through the Seattle Hempfest to free individuals who are in prison for life on marijuana convictions. “I’m now a huge advocate and have a strong interest in the plant, itself, especially hemp,” she said. “Hemp could change the world. I advocate the full use of the plant.” As for the past year and a half in the business, Atkinson said not much has surprised her, except, maybe, her clientele. “People come in here from all different backgrounds,” she said. “I have been surprised by the diversity.” She prides herself on the fact that her employees know most all customers by name. “We want to be that kind of place where everyone feels welcome,” she said. “And we want to be here for those people who just want to come in and ask questions.” As the store’s logo reads: “We welcome all generations.” And soon, there will be a second location in Silverdale, near to The Trails shopping center. It’s scheduled to open this month and will carry the same logo. For more, go to www.hwy420.xyz, or stop by 1110 Charleston Beach Road West, Bremerton, or call 360-932-3182.

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