On a map, the distance from Los Angeles to Indio where the massive music festival that happens over the course of two weekends and draws over 150,000 people known as Coachella is only 120 miles away. While everyone else was headed to enjoy the endless range of bands from AC/DC to the Alabama Shakes perform, I was headed to somewhere nearby that would even more magical: Cannachella.
When I pulled up in front of the impressive house surrounded by an 8-foot stucco wall, I knew I had arrived at the Green Oasis. The event was organized by the indefatigable Susan Soares, who helms the group Cannabis Awareness Research and Education (CARE).
Soares is a reformed Mormon who turned to medical cannabis when traditional medicine failed her, following injuries sustained playing street hockey in 1996. Her use of cannabis caused her to be to be rejected by the faith she grew up in and this galvanized her. She turned to cannabis activism to promote awareness of all of the amazing, healing benefits of the plant and founded CARE in 2013. In the short time it’s been around, the organization has grown into a small, but highly respected, resource and education outlet.
Green Oasis was created for the artists to come and get away from the madness of the festival while also being educated about cannabis. The amazing property was beautiful with lush, landscaped grounds, a pool and hot tub and multiple outside spaces to chill. Sponsors like Korova edibles, Mary Jane wines, Sungrow Dispensary supported the even that also had professional chefs to cook for all of the guests. I was generously sponsored by Nectars Collective who both paid my way and donated one of their delicious jellies and sugars as well as some Terp Juice. Gold Drop also contributed some of their awesome concentrates as well.
Walking into the house I was blown away by the high-beamed ceilings, wrought iron fixtures and the open, flowing floor plan. There was a billiards room, a poker room and lots of bedrooms sprawling in every direction. The outside was even cooler with two levels of grassy yard – one of which featured a croquet set and the other the pool, hot tub and cabana. It was a true paradise to be experiencing the luxury of this baller mansion surrounded by enough food and cannabis products to get most of the attendees at Coachella high.
The following day, attendees began to arrive and yours truly was their to act as Ganjier for the event to help people to better know and appreciate cannabis. Just like a good sommelier, a ganjier needs a broad knowledge of all aspects of the plant and its derivatives. Fortunately, I was up to the task. There was also a doctor in residence to write recommendations, as CARE had required anyone present to have a recommendation.
As planned, artists from Coachella did attend but no pictures were allowed. Over the course of the weekends many other bands came but none were as fun or as graceful as the lead singer of the Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard and her background singers.
Kyle Kushman, winner of many Cannabis Cups, High Times cultivation editor for many years and creator of the Vegamatrix style of veganic cannabis cultivation was also in attendance. He brought has award-winning Strawberry Cough.
Chef Nugs who does the cooking show “Highly Seasoned” on B Real TV roasted not one but two whole hogs and turned them into a variety of both medicated and regular delights, including pulled pork, carnitas and tacos which were in abundance all Sunday afternoon. We also enjoyed cannabis-infused Pinots a Chardonnays from Mary Jane Wines.
We also held a small people’s choice cup where we invited anyone present to participate. There were six samples which allowed folks to taste their way through over the course of the afternoon. I guided people new to cups through the experience, encouraging people to enjoy the process.
All but one of the entries were sungrown with the majority coming from Casey O’neil’s Sunny Daze Farm. His Cherry Kush was the winner barely edging out his Strawberry Headband – my personal favorite of his. Other entries included Animal Cookies indoor, and of course OG Kush.
Overall the weekend was a huge success and truly speaks to the ways in which cannabis can heal and help bring people together.
What’s your best festival experience involving cannabis? Tell us about your experience in the comments.