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DC’s National Cannabis Festival Celebrates Legal Weed

National Cannabis Festival 2024
Wu-Tang Clan + Redman headlined Saturday's 420 concert. PHOTO Alive Coverage


DC’s National Cannabis Festival Celebrates Legal Weed

Washington, DC’s 8th annual 420 festival celebrated the high holiday, bringing together 30,000-plus attendees.

No two people have the same story about the origins of how “420” and cannabis came to be correlated. Some say it’s police code for “marijuana consumption in progress,” others say it’s just some high school folklore: a group of students—stoners for the sake of staying on brand—in San Francisco’s Haight Ashbury neighborhood would meet up  at 4:20pm at the football bleachers and smoke a joint together. It started happening daily, more people started to join and talk about it, and eventually, the movement took on a life of its own beyond the bleachers, to what we now know simply as 420.

This past weekend, Cannabis Now attended the eighth annual National Cannabis Festival at the RFK Stadium campus in Washington, DC. Thundercat headlined the 420-themed event Friday while Wu-Tang Clan and Redman headlined on Saturday, April 20. The two-day sold-out event saw upwards of 30,000 smiling, happy people walking its grounds in celebration of legal weed.

Among the plethora of vendors, food trucks and various buskers, a first-of-its-kind activation that caught mass attention was the Shops of Shaolin tent: a market dedicated to all things Wu-affiliated. Because LiveNation owns the rights to the iconic Wu-Tang Clan “W” logo, merchandise of that likeness couldn’t be sold at the show. However, each member of the Wu has an affiliated brand (and products) and took advantage of the opportunity to shine.

This included Method Man’s Tical Athletics, TICAL Official, and RX Water; Ghostface Killah’s Killah Koffee; RZA’s Park Hill Clothing; Raekwon’s Hashstoria and Compliments of the Chef; and brands representing YDB, Cappadonna, DJ Mathematics, U-God and Inspectah Deck. It was an interactive shopping experience like no other.  But that wasn’t all that was happening at the tent—graffiti artist Adam Stab created a mural in real-time outside the shops.

Shops of Shaolin
The Shops of Shaolin tent offered an interactive shopping experience for Wu-Tang Clan fans. The custom mural by Adam Stab was yet another highlight that drew people in.

“Teaming up with the Wu-Tang family for the Shops of Shaolin at the National Cannabis Festival was an incredible way to celebrate the biggest day in cannabis culture,” said Jeremy Brodey, brand chief at Hashstoria, New Jersey’s largest dispensary and a unique consumption lounge founded by Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan that’s set to open this summer in Newark.  “Connecting with die-hard Wu-Tang fans in an atmosphere rich with the familiar scent of incredible weed was truly magical,” Brodey continued.

On Friday, prolific musician Thundercat, best known for his bass guitar and multi-instrumental abilities (and, yes, being the bassist for Kendrick Lamar as well) brought down the house. His energy on stage was palpable and he had the whole crowd singing, dancing and partying to his mixture of jamming and playing hits he’s become known for. Saturday brought many acts, but none more energetic and electrifying as Wu-Tang Clan with Redman. Cultural icons, their set became somewhat of a karaoke session for the thousands in attendance; everyone was singing along to every song. Then, Method Man and Redman did their thing and the crowd exploded. Seeing these two live should be a bucket-list item for anyone who loves hip-hop. The show was electrifying and capped off a weekend of smiling, happy, proud people showing up for their love of the plant that’s touched so many people from all walks of life.

“Everyone is always in their highest mood and seemed so happy just to be there,” said Richard Taylor of Very Rich Studios, a local content creator hired to capture the event. “Freebies, food and education on everything Cannabis. This year the festival seemed to have more going on with more booths, workshops and even a new half-pipe for the skaters,” he said. “It was such a vibe, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been part of it.”

National Cannabis Festival 2024 was an incredible experience and celebration of a plat that’s touched us all in meaningful ways. From beginning to end, it was nearly flawless (other than the torrential rain on Friday), with plenty of food (the fried chicken sandwich was something to behold), vendor options (all the tie-dye you could dream of), and entertainment to keep everyone distracted, dancing and happy.

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