What would have been San Diego’s largest-ever cannabis festival has gone up in smoke after its organizer says the Del Mar Fairgrounds quietly shunned his efforts to rewrite the contract and hold the festival without marijuana on site.
Lawrence Bame, CEO of The Goodlife Festival, had wanted to hold the festival as planned on Sept. 23, despite the 22nd District Agricultural Association board’s decision to cancel his contract two months ago for fear of legal and professional liability in the face of federal law that continues to hold marijuana in a criminal light.
At a packed hearing on May 30, the DAA’s board of directors demanded that Bame stipulate that cannabis not be allowed into the festival. When he hesitated to make those assurances, the DAA canceled the contract and asked him to draft a new one that expressly discourages cannabis on site.
Roughly a month later, Bame said he received a phone call from a fairgrounds employee telling him the deal was off. He said he does not have that in writing.
“We were willing to agree to anything and they said, ‘Don’t come back,’” he said. “Nobody wants to put anything in writing, especially the board, especially for a smoking policy. I just got a phone call saying ‘You can’t go back to the board this year.’”
Tim Fennell, CEO of the fairgrounds, did not directly address the allegation in a statement sent to this newspaper.
“Lawrence Bame is welcome to bring this issue before the board later this year,” he wrote. “The 22nd DAA is waiting for the Department of Food and Agriculture to provide rules and regulations in order to proceed with these type of…
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