FAQ: 2022 National Cannabis Festival in DC

More than just your average “pot luck” get-together, the 2022 National Cannabis Festival is coming to D.C. this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know.

  • Q: What is the National Cannabis Festival?
  • As one might guess, the NCF celebrates marijuana in its various forms. It was founded in 2015 by a small group of cannabis enthusiasts to celebrate marijuana legalization in D.C. and across the U.S., according to its pun-heavy (“WEED LIKE YOU TO ATTEND”) website.

  • Q: When is the National Cannabis Festival?
  • The National Cannabis Festival is Saturday at the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Lot 8.

    The gates open at “high noon” (early-entry ticket holders can go in at 11 a.m.) and there’s a 10 p.m. curfew.

  • Q: Do I need a ticket?
  • Sure do. Tickets are on sale now and come in a variety of flavors, though many are already sold out.

    One-day general admission passes are $85 and 2-day tickets are $115, for example.

    Get more info at the National Cannabis Festival website.

  • Q: Are there any age restrictions for the National Cannabis Festival?
  • Yes. You have to be 21 or older with a valid, government-issued identification.

  • Q: What are the events?
  • Not to be blunt about it, but there are too many events at the National Cannabis Festival to list here — music, exhibits, food, marijuana policy discussions and more.

    Check out the official program guide.

  • Q: Is there food?
  • Of course. The NCF has its own “Munchies Zone” with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.

    There’s also a drink area with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

  • Q: Who are the vendors and sponsors? be
  • There are a ton of vendors and sponsors, with the list signifying how the cannabis industry has moved into the mainstream.

    Companies such as Lyft, DC Brau, the Takoma Wellness Center, Byrdland Records, Eaton DC (the official hotel partner), the Joyful Bath Company and others will intermingle with product brands, retailers, testing laboratories, vape stores and even a cannabis-focused university.

    A full list of exhibitors is available on their website.

  • Q: Will there be weed for sale?
  • Congress won’t let D.C. sell weed and, since we aren’t a state yet, what Congress says goes (or doesn’t go).  So, no. Other than medical dispensaries, it is still illegal to buy or sell marijuana in the District.

    While there won’t be any medical marijuana dispensaries at the NCF, there will be dispensary representatives and medical professionals available for questions.

  • Q: Can I smoke weed at the National Cannabis Festival?
  • D.C. wants you to keep that behind closed doors.

  • Q: Can I bring edibles?
  • You can’t bring any outside food or drink into the festival.

  • Q: OK, so how do I get there and is there parking?
  • The main entrance is at the RFK Festival Grounds, Lot 5.

    There’s parking, but it’s $20 (cash or card) in Lots 1, 2, 3 and 6. Parking charges apply all day.

    There’s no parking in the neighborhood; vehicles parked in the neighborhood will be ticketed and towed, the NCF site says.

    No RV/Recreational Vehicles.

    Ride share is Lot 3.

    ADA parking is Lot 4 and you must display a handicap permit to be admitted. ADA Shuttles will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    If you wanna take Metrorail to get there, you want the Stadium Armory Metro Station (the Orange/Blue/Silver lines). For Metrobus, take the 96, 97 or B2 to Stadium-Armory Station and Bus Bay, then walk.

    Below is a map of the location.

  • Q: Am I allowed to re-enter if I leave?
  • Nope. Once you leave the gates, you’re not getting back in without buying another ticket.

  • Q: Is there stuff I shouldn't bring?
  • Yeah. Don’t bring any of these, they’re all prohibited, per the NCF’s FAQ:

    • No metal or glass containers of any kind;
    • No backpacks or large bags over 14″x 14″;
    • No large flags, banners or totems;
    • No poles or staffs;
    • No weapons of any kind, including num-chuks or magical wands;
    • No outside food and beverages;
    • No coolers or containers of any size;
    • No professional cameras with detachable zoom lenses and/or tripods;
    • No video cameras;
    • No animals except service animals;
    • No fireworks, whistles, laser pointers, adhesive stickers, air horns, vuvuzelas, kites, missile/projectile-like objects, frisbee or inflated balls, confetti, streamers, drones, open flames or torches of any kind.

    And don’t fight.

  • Q: What am I allowed to bring?
    • Collapsible lawn chairs, blankets, yoga mats and seating cushions;
    • Slack-line hammocks;
    • Empty plastic water containers and/or camel backs (a free water station will be available on site);
    • Backpacks/bags smaller than 14″ x 14″;
    • Sunglasses, sunscreen, ponchos, collapsible umbrellas;
    • Costumes are encouraged;
    • Hula-hoops;
    • Inflatable flotation devices.
  • Q: Will there be security at the festival?
  • Yep. As a safety requirement, both D.C. police and private security will be there.

    There will also be paramedics at the medical tent located at the front gates and next to the main stage.

  • Q: Will there be water?
  • Yeah. There are free water stations listed on the festival map. Bottled water and cups can be bought in the bar and merchandise area.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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