It’s no coincidence that organizers of the new Palm Springs Cannabis Film Festival and Summit picked the weekend of April 20 to help kick off what they anticipate will become an annual event.
With the legal sale of marijuana in effect since Jan. 1 in California, the cannabis culture has been high on the minds of many who are curious to learn more about the green rush and want to know how to navigate the culture whether recreationally or medicinally.
The festival runs April 19-22 at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs — soon to be renamed the Palm Springs Cultural Center — and will include a variety of films and educational panel discussions on everything from the impact of cannabis on pets and children to how regulations affect the market.
Organizers say the event will help provide a platform for local and state government, medical researchers and practitioners, legal experts, culinary professionals, growers, artists and vendors to network and “effect positive change.”
“Cannabis is probably, since the Gold Rush, the largest cultural shift ever. It’s totally going to change the way we work and live. And especially in a tourism community, it really is a huge cultural shift,” said Michael Green, executive director at the cultural center.
With the new year, California became the largest legal marijuana market in the country with about a dozen local dispensaries able to sell recreational marijuana to those 21 or older. Those dozen dispensaries have a temporary commercial cannabis licenses good for four months, while in the process of applying for permanent ones.
Organizers said it was imperative that the cultural center, which encourages art programming, provides a farmer’s market and hosts live performances and a lecture series, host such an event to be a part of the “biggest national and global conversations.”
“As a cultural center you have to be relevant. The center had to find a way to engage its audience,” said Miriam Blume, a programmer at the center.