‘Canna Jam’ festival offers music, comedy and marijuana in an Ypsilanti park – MLive.com
YPSILANTI, MI – Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park will play host to the fourth-ever state-sanctioned cannabis consumption festival this weekend.
Of-age attendees at Canna Jam can enjoy standup comedy, performances from a Pink Floyd cover band with a laser light show and other acts, as well as enjoy marijuana from a slew of vendors in the public park along the Huron River. Festivities begin at noon Saturday, Oct. 9.
“If we’re going to legalize cannabis like alcohol, or regulate it like alcohol, there’s got to be situations and settings where its social use is acceptable and not a taboo,” said organizer Michael Komorn, an attorney whose firm works in cannabis licensing.
Events like Canna Jam are targeted at breaking down the stigma of cannabis use in social situations, Komorn said. “We’re still a long way away of walking into a place and having a safer alternative than scotch and liquor and beer.”
Some 500 tickets for the event have been sold or given away so far, Komorn said.
The event is the fourth “temporary marijuana event” allowed under state law since since the permit became available in November 2019, according to Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency spokesperson David Harns. The law normally prohibits consumption in public spaces.
Canna Jam, however, hasn’t yet received final approval, Harns said in an email on Monday, Oct. 4, declining to discuss specifics.
Komorn said he’s is confident the permit will clear the final hoops this week.
“It’s all very, very highly regulated,” he said, down to the ashtrays and plans for disposal of roaches at the festival. One of the biggest challenges was securing insurance for the event, due to the few underwriters working in the space, he said.
Festival-goers can sample food trucks alongside licensed cannabis vendors OZ Cannabis, The Botanical Co., Sticky Ypsi, Pure Lapeer and Quality Roots.
The entertainment includes an eclectic grouping of stand-up acts and musicians.
Comedian Mike Young, a “rising star” originally from Southfield, will take the stage, Komorn said, following former professional hockey star Darren McCarty, who has turned to standup after a career that saw him win four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
Musical acts scheduled for Saturday include Tony “T. Money” Green, a bass player known for his work with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac, among others. Also performing are Razor Ray, guitarist with Detroit metal band Motown Rage, and Ypsilanti DJ Joey P. The Fox and the Fiddle will play a acoustic and fiddle set in the early afternoon, in addition to an acoustic Bob Dylan cover set by songwriter and poet Randy Kaplan.
Echoes of Pink Floyd, a cover band, will play a two-and-a-half-hour set with a laser show in the evening, Kormon said.
A booth dealing with expungements for previous marijuana offenses and a presence from sponsoring nonprofits and cannabis cultivators are also part of the event.
Tickets to Canna Jam are available online in advance and start at $30. They’ll be $40 at the gate, organizers said. A portion of the proceeds will go to the John and Margaret Sinclaire Foundation and the Redemption Foundation, which supports people incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses.
The event will take place rain or shine, organizers said, with limited tent space available for inclement weather.
“Ypsilanti’s been on the forefront of progressive cannabis policies in years past and they’ve been a pleasure to work with,” Komorn said.
Four Ypsilanti police officers will be assigned to the event, Ypsilanti Special Events Coordinator Wendy Estey said. Attendees are welcome to bring their own marijuana, but festival-goers must be at least 21 years old, and no alcohol is allowed, organizers said.
“It goes to the old adage of: You give a group of people a case of beer, they’ll start a fight. You give a group of people a bag of cannabis, they’ll start a band,” Komorn said. “That’s what I anticipate the theme to be.”
More from The Ann Arbor News:
Psychedelic shroom fest gets green light from University of Michigan
Ypsilanti community gathers for ‘Peace Day’ in response to vandalization of BLM mural
Tree Town to Flavortown: Blimpy Burger closes for filming of Food Network’s ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’