National Cannabis Festival celebrates 420, encourages small-business owners

The National Cannabis Festival brought live music, entertainment and education to D.C. for 420, with musical guests, such as Ludacris and DJ Biz Markie. But it’s also giving small-business owners a space to spread their message while encouraging others to do the same.

Cherron Perry-Thomas with the Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities was among the thousands of people who came out for this year’s festival, and she said for her the highlight is seeing so many services offered to visitors.

“Voter registration. You have HIV education, so it’s not even just about cannabis … There are so many other aspects,” she said.

Thomas was also there to encourage minorities to be active supporters of marijuana in more ways than one. “Just like in the tech industry, we have to be owners; we have to be originators,” Thomas said.

Ebony Payne was doing just that with her company, District Herbs, which provides marijuana and herbal options she said are healthier than some of the sugary products currently on the market. “We’re just excited to be here and to be a part of the change … my life revolves around 420 now,” Payne said.

Marquel Bugg and her husband, Andre, attended Saturday’s event to take in the entertainment and latest educational discussions within the industry.

“My husband is a connoisseur of marijuana, so I decided to bring him for his birthday,” Bugg said. For Andre, it was a birthday celebration with like-minded people that he just couldn’t pass up. “I’m enjoying myself so far,” he said.

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