DENVER (KDVR) — The Mile High 420 Festival organizers have carried over a permit from two years ago, pre-pandemic, for the upcoming event on Wednesday at Civic Center Park.
“Under that permit to have a free event in parks, you had to have all ages,” said Ashley Chubin, COO of FlyHi Cannabis Delivery — one of the organizers for the event, along with Eufloria.
Chubin said they have paid $125,000 for private security at the event. That includes off-duty police. The Denver Police Department will also have patrol in the area. But Chubin said they will not be checking ids at the main entrances.
“We can’t ID this year, we don’t have the capacity, so we thought what else can we do?” Chubin said.
She said they learned of backlash about the event being for all ages from the group One Chance to Grow Up, where students who are recovering from addiction expressed worry.
“The people at those places don’t care how old you are. They want to make friends. They do that by handing out those substances,” Kate Zigler, one of the students, said.
Chubin said they agree that marijuana is a 21 and up industry and organizers didn’t learn until Monday about a special permit that could make the 420 Festival for ages 21 and up, but it was too late.
“It was too close and we wouldn’t be able to do it logistically,” Chubin said.
She said they have taken steps recommending people only 21 and older attend. She said they’ve posted that on their website and social media pages. She said the tents with vendors within the park will ID.
“We do think it’s important that this is recommended that this is 21, but we can’t force it ’cause our permit doesn’t allow it,” Chubin said.
Chubin said for 2023, they are planning to use the permit to make the event 21 and up only.
“We have been trying to contact the city for the past couple of weeks and I think that put pressure on them, like this is serious,” Chubin said.
The City and County of Denver is asking vendors to remind customers and potential customers of the rules of marijuana usage:
Only those 21 years old and older or individuals with a medical marijuana registry card can possess up to 2 ounces and consume marijuana. Marijuana can only be consumed in a private residence, in a licensed marijuana hospitality business, or in a licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales business.
It is illegal to consume marijuana in a place that is observable by the public or to which the public has access without restriction. This includes, but is not limited to, indoor spaces such as the common areas of buildings and facilities, hotel rooms, businesses that are not licensed for marijuana consumption, streets and highways, transportation facilities, places of amusement, parks and playgrounds.
The consumption of marijuana at the Mile High 420 Festival is strictly prohibited.
Penalties can range from a fine to possible jail or prison sentence, depending on the type of offense. The Colorado Revised Statutes and the Denver Revised Municipal Code detail the specific penalties for various violations.
No bags will be allowed at the event unless they are clear, according to Chubin. She said there will be metal detectors at all main entrances.