We moved into our offices a few months before the 2012 Hempfest, which was somewhat dominated by heated debate about the controversial Initiative 502. There were organizations participating from both sides of the issue, and Hempfest’s guest speaker line-up included Alison Holcomb, the principal author of the initiative, and Rick Steves, travel guru and high profile sponsor of I-502. Music performances included hip hop recording artists Potluck, Northern California’s Human Revolution, Diemonds from Ontario, Canada, and movement and culture personality Rocker T.
Immediately after Hempfest, we went right to work building our hemp boutique and 420 culture store, Hempfest central. On our November 15th grand opening there was a line of folks waiting to get in. Featuring an initial inventory of industrial hemp goods such as quality soaps, oils, bags, and other gear, Hempfest Central also carries books, custom glass, 420 wall art, handmade earthenware, posters, and assorted Hempfest event merchandise. Eventually, 90% of the Hempfest Central inventory will be up on this website, available for purchase on-line.
As history will record, I-502 passed by 56%, making simple possession of one ounce of cannabis legal for adults in Washington State. Colorado voters simultaneously passed Measure 54, also legalizing an ounce of cannabis for adults. The result was a media firestorm, with Seattle Hempfest spokespersons appearing on international news media, including Al Jazeera English, Current TV, FOX News, BBC, and Japanese, Mexican, French, Canadian, and Chinese media.
The passage of these two citizen’s initiatives is the biggest event since prohibition began, and the momentum for continued reform is increasing with each passing day.