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'It's going to be a party': Weed prepares to host blowout 420 cannabis festival

woman in store

Where else would you expect a 420 party celebrating marijuana but in the Northern California city named Weed?

The Siskiyou County festival will be centered at a dispensary where you can rent a bong in its "consumption lounge" and there are shops on either side of Weed Boulevard that offer souvenir T-shirts and mugs that proclaim "I (heart) Weed."

The La Florista Cannabis dispensary at 242 Main St. once again will host a cannabis festival on Wednesday, April 20, that promises to attract hundreds of out-of-towners.

"We're going to have the whole street shut down," said La Florista's Jackie Jones, one of the dispensary's inventory managers.

"It's going to be a party. We're so excited."

Last year's 420 festival included the Perfect Union dispensary across the street, but Jones said that cannabis outlet shut down a month ago.

"We're the only dispensary in Weed right now," she said.

Wednesday's party will feature live music in the vape lounge, a DJ and a taco truck for those with munchies.

Customers who buy cannabis products will be able to purchase a $10 or $20 swag bag. Jones said they've prepared 500 swag bags and the dispensary will have lots of promotions.

"We'll have tons of promos for flower, pre-rolls, cartridges, concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, capsules," she said.

'Consumption lounge'

One of La Florista's unique features is a city-approved lounge bar where guests can consume cannabis carefree. No alcohol, other drugs or tobacco products are allowed.

Stoned guests can use a pool table, an air hockey table, a Nintendo Switch and play other games like Jenga and cornhole.

"They can smoke. They can rent a Puffco. They can rent a bong, which we clean after every use," Jones said.

"They don't have to feel any discomfort of anybody like telling them, 'No, you can't smoke' or anything like that."

Jones explains a Puffco "is an electronic rig that they can rent. It turns on at a perfect heat. You can drop the little concentrate into the bowl and then it vaporizes and you smoke it. It's so nice, yes sir."

New era for Weed

Times have changed for a city that once was reluctant to embrace the cannabis counterculture. The dispensary is distributing flyers for its fourth annual festival and even the Weed Chamber of Commerce promotes the "420 Downtown Event" on its calendar.

Forget the snickers surrounding a city named Weed and jokes that residents have endured for years. A sign displayed earlier this year at a local souvenir shop reads "Weed City Limit. Pop. 420. Elev. High."

For the record, the city with a 2020 Census count of 2,862 residents is named after Abner Weed, a 19th-century pioneer and local lumber mill founder. The city says on its website that Weed favored the location because its strong winds helped to dry lumber.

The city has cashed in on the name after the City Council imposed a 3% local sales cannabis tax in January 2021, according to a Mount Shasta Herald article last April.

"We roughly estimated that the 3% would bring somewhere close to $100,000 per year,"

City Manager Tim Rundel said at the time.

Jones said La Florista opened in 2018 after its sister store, Mount Shasta Patients Collective, opened in the city of Mount Shasta in 2016.

"When it finally went to recreational, we found this really nice spot on Main Street in Weed, California. Miss Elizabeth had a really good reputation in our town and she's involved in a lot of things and the Chamber of Commerce," Jones said.

Elizabeth Tabor, a Redding native, is La Florista's owner.

Hundreds of people expected

Jones said last year's 420 revelers came from the Bay Area, Oregon, Redding and points farther south.

"I want to say we had maybe 500 people last year so we're expecting more this year ... just because it's Weed," Jones said. 

"You've got to buy weed from Weed, California."

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