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Follow The Band: What To Know About Cannabis and Concerts

With warmer temperatures and the summer approaching us, the outdoor concert and music festival season is on the horizon.

It's common to see a slew of festivals, events, and concerts take place all over the country. The buzz of excitement that fills the atmosphere as favorite bands visit local venues is something that avid concert-goers look forward to every year.

But in addition to enjoying the music at these concerts and events, some attendees like to enjoy a little recreational cannabis - many say it helps them feel the music on a much deeper level.

Cannabis and concerts isn't exactly something new. In fact, they often go hand-in-hand. You'd be hard-pressed not to smell cannabis in a crowd of music lovers at many shows.

But smoking marijuana at a concert can be disruptive to others who may not necessarily want to get high while enjoying their favorite band.

Some concerts may have minors, families, or people with respiratory issues that could be exacerbated by the inhalation of marijuana smoke, much like the smoke from tobacco cigarettes. Like anywhere else, it's common courtesy to be conscious of who's around when lighting up.

Further, it's imperative that local laws are adhered to, or one could potentially land themselves in hot water. While the legalization of recreational marijuana is growing by the state, it's still not legally widespread - and law enforcement tends to be active when it comes to regulation.

Not only that, but marijuana is still outlawed on a federal level, so all things considered, it's important for concert goers and marijuana enthusiasts to be familiar with the laws before they use marijuana in a public space.

Concert venues, in particular, are subject to strict laws when it comes to the use of marijuana, including in states where cannabis is legal.

Even in states like California, Colorado, and Nevada where recreational cannabis is legal, there are still strict rules about where it can be used.  

California cannabis laws, such as Proposition 64, prohibits the public consumption of marijuana in California, including at concert events. In fact, that seems to be a common theme across legalized states: just because it is legal to possess and use cannabis does not mean it can necessarily be used in complete freedom in any and all venues.

In fact, marijuana can't be used in public places, even in legalized states.

Plus, local jurisdictions also have the power to control marijuana-related events, creating more obstacles for venues and events.

Other Ways to Discreetly Use Marijuana

While smoking has been a common and classic way to consume cannabis, there are plenty of other, more discreet, ways to enjoy the plant that won't infringe on anyone else's enjoyment while at a concert - or any other public venue. It's clear how and why smoking marijuana amongst a crowd would be disruptive, but other modes of consumption would have little to no effect on the person sitting next to you.

If you want to enjoy cannabis at your next concert, try these smoke- and odor-free methods:

Edibles. These days, you can find all sorts of yummy confections, like gummies, chewing gum, candy, chocolate, and baked goods. You can either enjoy them before you head off to the concert or bring them with you, and no one would be the wiser.

Tinctures/oils/creams. If you're using medical marijuana for pain relief, tinctures and creams are often the product of choice for users. In this case, carrying around a bottle of medical cannabis cream shouldn't send off any red flags.

Capsules. Perhaps the most convenient way to take cannabis, capsules and tablets can be taken before or during the show to help you achieve the specific state of mind or even to alleviate any uncomfortable symptoms you may be experiencing. Medical marijuana users often use this format because of its convenience and ease of use.

Smoke before the show. You can avoid plenty of hassle by simply smoking your marijuana before you head to the show. Just be sure to have a sober driver or take public transportation, as driving while under the influence of marijuana is unsafe, and is illegal everywhere.

Some people have taken to vaporizing marijuana smoke. While it may be a safer way to consume both recreational and medical marijuana (as it doesn't irritate the lungs like smoking a joint would), it's still not legal to use in a public space like a concert venue, as state public smoking laws may still apply.

Vaping at a concert will almost certainly have you evicted from the venue, as many vapers have already discovered the hard way.

The Future of Concert Venues and Marijuana

Private businesses - such as concert venues - could prohibit the possession and use of cannabis based on their own rules, even if recreational marijuana is legal in that respective state.

But the future of concert venues and their public spaces could see a different landscape as far as the use and even the supply of marijuana, as long as certain precautions are taken.

For instance, it may be possible for concert venues to allow marijuana use at certain values, as long as no alcohol is also served. The effects of both marijuana and alcohol on the mind are already quite powerful on their own.

Combining them could pose a real problem that most venue organizers and owners would likely not want to have to deal with. As such, venue owners may have to decide between selling one or the other.

For instance, under Colorado state law, a marijuana-friendly venue can't serve alcohol as well. Plus, guests would have to bring their own stash, as it’s illegal for sites like these to sell THC-laden cannabis.

Venues could technically implement their own rules and dictate the modes of consumption that would be permitted. Rather than allowing joints to be sold - and we've already touched upon why this would be disruptive - venues could offer up their own cannabis products that would still give patrons the ability to enjoy their marijuana without forcing other non-marijuana users to be subject to an uncomfortable situation.

While only licensed dispensaries are allowed to sell marijuana in all states at the present time, the future of marijuana at concerts could look much different.

Given how quickly laws are changing - as well as the cannabis industry as a whole - it's highly possible that we may soon see concerts selling variations of marijuana, such as edibles, and cannabis-infused beverages. These smoking alternatives will still allow patrons to enjoy their high without disrupting those who don’t smoke.

Final Thoughts

A concert can be a great place to enjoy cannabis. But it's important for venue owners - and cannabis users - to understand that the laws continue to change on a regular basis in states across the US. By keeping on top of the marijuana laws in your local jurisdiction and state, as well as what may be happening on the federal front, you’ll be able to have a great cannabis-influenced concert experience.

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