A Saskatchewan cannabis producer, distributor, and retailer successfully collaborated to bring cannabis sales to a large outdoor music festival in July.
Producer Western Cannabis, in collaboration with cannabis distributor Weed Pool and retailer Wiid Boutique, operated a retail sales booth, the first of its kind in the province, at Country Thunder, a four-day festival from July 9-12.
Festival goers could order their cannabis at the booth, run by Western Cannabis, and have it delivered by nearby retailer Wiid Boutique (pronounced “Weed”).
Although a lack of cannabis sales on site as well as a formal consumption area put somewhat of a damper on sales, Western Cannabis’s CEO Alex Kratz says business was still steady for most of the festival.
He hopes to work with both the SLGA, as well as the municipality of Craven where the event is held, to see those kinds of changes by next year.
“We definitely had some people come by and when they saw that they couldn’t just grab a pre-roll or an edible, they just left,” says Kratz. “But we did have a steady flow of sales. So it’s a good first step.”
“I think with a festival like this, it helps us stand out. People see our name, see the retailer’s name. I think that helps, too.”
If possible, Kratz says he would like to see on-site sales as well as a consultation area similar to a beer garden, where festival goers could both purchase cannabis on-site and have a comfortable place to consume it while enjoying the concert.
Although a producer and not a retailer, Western Cannabis secured its spot as a way to help promote their products and those sold through their partners at Weed Pool. The dried cannabis and pre-rolls consumers could order from Wiid Boutique were all produced by Western, while other products like edibles and beverages came from other Weed Pool partners.
Country Thunder is a country music festival brand that hosts several concerts in North America each year. It comes to Calgary from August 21-23.
Although the stigma around cannabis consumption remains a barrier, as well as municipal bylaws and sometimes provincial and federal regulations, consumption spaces at events are becoming more common.
Several recent cannabis industry events in BC and Ontario have had large consumption areas. The BC government is looking at the issue of cannabis lounges in general and is expected to issue a report by the end of the year. Manitoba also began looking at the issue in 2020.
At a recent folk festival in Edmonton, Alberta, a cannabis consumption space sponsored by a local producer made its return after a several-year hiatus due to covid.