Medical marijuana advocates gather for Hemp Expo in Oakland

Medical marijuana advocates can trade fighting City Hall for lighting up in front of it as the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo blazes on in Oakland today. The two-day pot street festival, which starts at City Hall and spans several blocks including Frank Ogawa Plaza, is designed to be a forum for public awareness, education and advancement of the hemp industry and medical marijuana community, organizers said.

Fair organizers have also coordinated with city officials and police to establish City Hall as a designated “215 area,” referencing California’s Proposition 215 — the ballot measure that legalized the personal use of medical marijuana in 1996. Those with a valid medical cannabis card can smoke, vaporize, or ingest marijuana in front of the building during the showcase.

The festival’s location was chosen to draw attention to “Oaksterdam,” an area of downtown Oakland that houses many medical marijuana dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses. It is also home to Oaksterdam University, an institution that prepares its students to enter the medical cannabis industry — offering courses in horticulture, cooking, law and business.

Dozens of businesses will showcase hemp products and cannabis services at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo, which will resume at noon today. The festival is open to adults and tickets are $20. With a valid wristband, fairgoers can also visit an open house at Oaksterdam University,at 1600 Broadway, starting at 3 p.m.

via : Mercury News

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