Stopped by my City Hall to see how the legislative process works. The planning commission is meeting on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in regards to amending Title 20 of the San Jose Municipal Code (the Zoning Ordinance) to add Cannabis Manufacturing, Cannabis Testing, and Cannabis Distribution as newly enumerated restricted uses in specified industrial zoning districts, and making other technical, non-substantive or formatting changes.
SACRAMENTO CA — Get ready to pack legal bowls at the Hollywood Bowl, the Rose Bowl and maybe even the location of California’s next Super Bowl. While still pipe dreams, all will be legal possibilities next year under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday.
Assembly Bill 2020 vastly expands the type and number of venues than can host licensed cannabis events. Currently only two state fairgrounds have been able to host cannabis competitions, smokeouts and sales. Now that AB 2020 is law, promoters can stage events at loads of public and private venues and outdoor spaces — concert halls, amphitheaters, art museums, stadiums, parks and urban streets; basically anyplace local officials allow them to be held.
“It opens up the market,” Fernando Alvarez, a San Jose promoter of boutique events, told Leafly. “There’s nothing really wrong with county fairgrounds or agricultural centers but people have to travel far out to get to them.”
“It’s a great day for cannabis events,” said Jim Lewi, a national concert promoter and music manager with Red Light Management who’s working with The Emerald Cup, the acclaimed Northern California festival that’s returning to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in December.
Until AB 2020 takes effect Jan. 1, state regulations allow events only at state-administered fairgrounds and agricultural district properties — venues perfectly suitable for carnivals and 4-H shows but not necessarily the best venues for an emerging industry to strut its stuff for mainstream, perhaps even upscale, audiences. There’s dozens of county fairgrounds around the state, but to date, only Santa Rosa and Sacramento have permitted cannabis events at fairgrounds within their city limits. Officials in cities like Victorville and San Bernardino have rejected cannabis events at fairgrounds in their city limits.
Oakland, Los Angeles Events Are Coming
The City of Oakland co-sponsored AB 2020, with an eye toward cannabis sales at Art + Soul Oakland, the street festival held each summer in a downtown location well-served by public transportation.
“With this bill now law, any local jurisdiction can choose to take part in this robust industry, while supporting small businesses, enhancing regional economic opportunities, and maintaining safety,” Oakland councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said in a statement released by the bill’s author, Assemblyman Bill Quirk.
Alvarez said he’s approaching museums and jazz festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area and envisions highly curated events for smaller audiences, a fraction of the size of The Emerald Cup or High Times’ Cannabis Cups.
“The possibilities are endless,” Alvarez said. “Brand-name comedians want to work with us. Grammy Award-winning artists want to work with us. Executive chefs want to work with us. We’re just trying to land a venue.”
While The Emerald Cup eyes statewide expansion, Lewi said it’s too early to identify any venues.
“We need to look at paths to compliance,” the concert industry veteran told Leafly. “For instance, in Los Angeles, the city is and will be supportive, but they just aren’t ready yet.”
Lewi said community outreach is a must, whether the venue is the Hollywood Bowl, the Rose Bowl or a community playhouse.
“Every time you think about a venue, you can count off reasons why it won’t work, at least not at this time,” Lewi said. “We need to have dialogues with communities.”
Thank you assembly member Bill Quirk & Council Member Rebecca Kaplan!!! This is huge! Cities Now Have Authority to Approve Temporary Cannabis Events.
What does this mean for VaporTent Lounges? Well, we are one step closer to hosting an event at a Jazz Festival, Local Museum or Art show (as an example) as long as we have local jurisdiction approval! Can’t stress how significant this is! We’re super excited! #VTLEvents
SACRAMENTO – Recognizing a gap in cannabis licensing and permitting, Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) authored AB 2020, to grant local jurisdictions the power to determine what venues temporary cannabis events can happen in. AB 2020 was signed into law by Governor Brown today. (9/26/18)
“Cannabis events support local economies and small businesses. Despite the fiscal and communal benefits such events bring to a city or local community, current law prohibits local governments from approving applications for cannabis sales at special events if they are held anywhere but on county fairgrounds,” explained Assembly member Quirk. AB 2020 remedies this gap by allowing local governments to approve temporary cannabis event licenses at any venue they wish to permit.
In some counties, the distance to get to the county fairground can be hundreds of miles away and take hours to get to. Several cities have expressed interest in approving temporary events but were frustrated by unnecessary hurdles in statute.
AB 2020 has provisions granting the Bureau of Cannabis Control, and law enforcement, the authority to revoke a permit or end an event for any unlawful or unpermitted activity identified at the event. Additionally, these events must respect any local and state ordinances regarding second hand smoke.
“I want to thank Assembly member Quirk for his leadership, hard work, and determination in authoring AB 2020 and his efforts with getting the bill to the Governor,” said Rebecca Kaplan, author of the first “tax and regulate” law for cannabis in the nation and council member at-large for the City of Oakland, the sponsor of AB 2020. “I also want to thank Governor Brown for signing this landmark legislation. With this bill now law, any local jurisdiction can choose to take part in this robust industry, while supporting small businesses, enhancing regional economic opportunities, and maintaining safety.”
AB 2020 was a collaborative effort among industry experts, local governments, and law enforcement.
“I want to give my appreciation to everyone who took part in the discussions around this issue, and thank the Governor for signing this important piece of legislation into law. Under this bill, the state has given our cities more autonomy in determining where and how temporary cannabis events take place throughout California,” said Assembly member Quirk upon learning his bill was signed.
AB 2020 will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
BOOM!!!! Phase 2: Annual License Complete!!! License #:CEO14-0000005-LIC (Only the 2nd in the state) Onward to Phase 3: Local Jurisdiction Approval #VTLEvents
#BOOM! And there it is, approved by the State of California! Such a huge milestone for VaporTent Lounges, LLC & #VTLEvents. A sincere "Thank You!" to everyone who has supported me from a visionary concept, to early stage start up, to being officially licensed by the State of California's Bureau of Cannabis Control. (http://bcc.ca.gov/) None of this would of been possible without my friends and family supporting me through the trial and error of curating private events exclusively for responsible patients & wellness advocates of the cannabis industry. As this licensed approval is definitely a milestone to celebrate, there is still a lot more work ahead...
With that being said, I'm optimistic & confident for the future of VaporTent Lounges, LLC!!! (Enter Sexy House Music Song)
Next Steps? Although approved by the state, there is still a lot more coordination to be done at the city & county levels. Some jurisdictions welcome cannabis, others do not while even more have moratoriums in place until further notice. This is completely understandable, as we are all working to properly navigate what will be the #1 cannabis market in the world. At the very minimum, I have an official seat at the table, utilizing my professional work experience and applying it to this industry, continuing further dialogue regarding cannabis events in California.
Again, a sincere thank you to the friends & family and the business professionals, lawyers, doctors & executives that attended our events who all contributed to breaking down the pre-existing stigma associated. I'm extremely excited for the opportunity and look forward to the professional challenge to continue curating our events, providing a respectful & responsible evening to relax, mingle & socialize with like-minded individuals. More importantly, continuing to build a brand led by responsible consumer engagement. Fully understanding the importance in setting a positive example, following the proper business guidelines as well as local & state laws.
Your continued support and this license, confirms we are heading in the right direction!
Fernando E. Alvarez - Founder
VaporTent Lounges, LLC - Private Event Planning
Strictly Referral Based, 21 & Wiser Only, Membership is Limited.
We are extremely excited about this!
When creating this company, it was done so with a core paramount principle that we build a brand led by Responsible Consumer Engagement.
We are extremely excited for the opportunity to partner with UBER and utilize their new feature called "Uber Events".
What is Uber Events?
Essentially, VTL Members who have RSVP'd to our scheduled events will be provided a "Customized Discount Code" towards an UBER ride! Simply tap the app, (use the customized discount code), get a ride and provide an example on how VTL Members travel responsibly.
Why are we doing this?
Simply, it's the right thing to do! We are all adults and if we are going to continue to build a brand led by responsible consumer engagement, this is another positive step in that direction. We've always accepted feedback from the local community and incorporated many of their suggestions into planning our events.
With that community collaboration in mind, VaporTent Lounge events are always:
- Private Member Only Events. VTL Events are NOT accessible to the general public.
- New VTL Members can ONLY be referred by an existing VTL Member.
- We only partner with Local Businesses that want to partner with us.
- VTL Members: Always 21 & Wiser!
- Vaporizer Only: No open flame, smoking (of anything) or any other combustion type of consumption allowed! We hate smoke! Don't want it at our events. This is Strictly Enforced!
Now... VaporTent Lounges, LLC is extremely excited to provide UBER Events to our loyal members. We truly believe this is another positive step towards establishing our brand, led by responsible consumer engagement.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out...
Fernando E. Alvarez
CEO & Founder - VaporTent Lounges, LLC
San Jose, California
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.VaporTent.com
More About Uber Events: https://www.uber.com/events
Memorable years not only measured in accomplishments, but also in significant milestones. As 2015 comes to a close, VaporTent Lounges is proud to have accomplished quite a few milestones and is grateful to those VTL members who made it all possible. As we are a referral based & member supported community, without you, there is simply no us!
VaporTent Lounges, LLC. A Slice of History - From Concept to Production:
- 2014 - Warm up: Vetting the concept, lawyers, business models & compliance. Is this type of business even possible? - We were able to check this off the list and move towards the next phase. :)
- 2015 - Practice: "We talkin' bout practice?!?!?" - Milestones such as forming the company, getting a business license, bank account, filing with the state, completing the website & social channels.... and more importantly, finally getting a "Yes" to host an event... "The Martian" & "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" - Not to mention the LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION of our events! We simply couldn't have asked for a better partnership! Much love to Claudio & Kym, the General Managers of our business partners. They were the first business to host our member events and for that... they have a loyal customer for life!
- 2016 - What time is it??? Game Time!!! - As we enter the new year, we look forward to expanding our events & continuing to grow our referral based community! Following our paramount principle that VaporTent Lounges, LLC events are led by responsible consumer engagement, fully understanding and accepting the importance of setting a positive example! Providing evidence that VTL events are done in a respectful & professional manner. I can't stress this enough....It's extremely important for the success of the company now and in the future!
All that being said.... I'd like to personally thank each of you for making this concept a reality! We want to wish you a very Happy New Year & look forward to seeing each of you, as well as your newly referred members in 2016!
Happy New Year!
Fernando E. Alvarez
CEO & Founder - VaporTent Lounges, LLC