Support The Seattle Hempfest As It Turns 25

By David Rheins

The longest-running hemp and cannabis festival in the world is turning twenty-five this year, and it’s looking for a few good sponsors to help them celebrate. The Seattle Hempfest, August 19, 20, 21st, is the granddaddy of all hemp festivals, attracts hundreds of thousands of peaceful hempsters every year to the sprawling “Protestival” along the banks of the Puget Sound.  The best deal in entertainment all year, The Seattle Hempfest is a mile and a half of hemp happenings over three days:  speeches, music,  exhibitor booths and even an educational “Hemposium” — all FREE to attendees (a suggested donation is requested at the entrances, but sadly many folks just walk on by).

“There’s nothing in I-502 that allows a community to opt out,” Washington state Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith said. If a marijuana retailer meets the state’s requirement for a license then it will be granted.

The Largest Protestival in the World Turns 25

It is a daunting logistical challenge to build, operate, tear down and clean up the event, one that falls to General Manager Sharon Whitson, who is in charge of both operations and sponsorship.   “The Seattle Hempfest enters its 25th year with a volunteer event staff of 1,000, and operating 6 stages of non-stop speakers and music & 400 arts, crafts, food, and informational vendors,” Whitson told MJNewsNetwork. “Hempfest is a non-profit, so how do we run things? With generous and like-minded businesses’ support and co-marketing.”

For its special 25th anniversary, Sharon and her team have put together a comprehensive suite of marketing packages designed to help marketers reach the influential marketplace all year long.  Sponsorship pricing begins at $2,500, and goes up to $50,000; packages include premium vending placements, informational displays in a range of print and online media, banners on stages, and logos on advertising & marketing materials.

“The work’s not done, man! Sure you and I can buy outrageously expensive herb at stores here in town, but the Feds think it’s a felony and a hard-core narcotic! Six-hundred and eighty-thousand Americans were arrested last year for marijuana-related offenses! Our war veterans don’t have access to it to help with their PTSD, and parents are having their kids taken away for using it as medicine all over the country!”

The Seattle Hempfest

“We are where the cannabis industry, entrepreneurs and consumers, come together to show the world who we are as a culture,” Whitson told MJNN. “Going into our 25th year you will get the best of both worlds by attending & vending at the world’s largest & oldest cannabis event.”

For more sponsorship information, call Sharon at Hempfest Central 206-364-4367 or Email:

Puget Island May Embrace Marijuana Production, Though Begrudgingly So For Many

WASHINGTON: This community of corn fields and dairy cows could soon be growing a more controversial commodity.

Aspiring marijuana farmers have filed two applications with the Washington Liquor Control Board to locate along State Route 409, the main drag across the island. The applications have thrust the rural area into a debate facing communities across the state — despite voter approval of Initiative 502 in 2012, should marijuana businesses be allowed in communities that may disapprove of it?

“I just don’t believe that we need it here in the county,” said Wahkiakum County Commissioner Dan Cothren said. “It sends the wrong message to our youth.” [Read more…]

Ah Warner: Back To Cannabis Basics

WASHINGTON: It’s a chilly fall morning in Seattle, and so in need of warm sustenance I go ahead and order a large coffee and a bear claw and settled down in a corner table at Uptown Espresso to await the arrival of Ah Warner.

Founder and CEO of Cannabis Basics, Ah is at the center of the Women of Weed movement here in Seattle, and a part of the vibrant topicals scene in the Puget Sound that includes Gig Harbor-based Kush Creams, Sequim’s Sativa Valley, and Seattle’s Vita Verde.

Warner is no stranger to the sativa scene. She has been involved in one way or another with the Hemp and Cannabis scene since the nineties.  Way ahead of her time, it seems the world —and the marketplace – are now ready for a line of fertile hempseed and premium cannabis-infused botanical topical treatments (“please don’t call them lotions”).

Women of Weed: Morgan, Ah Warner, Giana Lampreda, Daniela Bernhard

Ah unpacks her bag and shows me the Cannabis Basics line , a wide selection of healing products that includes: Sole’s Desire Repair Cream, Satin Skin, XXXBody Rescue Balm, Naked Lip Butter, The Remedy Pain Stick, and introducing Ink 20/20 – a relief stick for recent tattoo recipients.

Winner of the Hemp Times 1999 Bioneer award for “Outstanding Achievement in Body Care,” Ah also is a Washington sales representative for Dixie Botanicals and Wicked Wick, and a member of the NORML Women’s Alliance.

And if that weren’t enough, Ah co-founded Women of Weed with her business partner, Shawn DeNae Eddy, six months ago. Their mission statement: “To Build a Safe Community for Like Minded Women to Support and Nurture Our Individual Goals.”

The WOW meeting I attended last week was packed wall-to-wall with professional business women from every cannabis category  —packaging, retail, products, legal, testing, media, medibles, real estate, networking and sharing tales from the front lines.  The Women of Weed are force to be reckoned.

You can catch Ah Warner next month, speaking at the 2nd Annual Marijuana Business Conference and Expo on the topic of Ancillary products in the burgeoning 502 marketplace.


Original Reporting by Morgan/MJNN