Events

Victorville City Council agrees to special meeting on Chalice marijuana festival

Victorville City Council will hold a special meeting next week to discuss whether they will sign off on letting people buy and consume marijuana at the Chalice festival, coming July 13-15 to the San Bernardino County fairgrounds.

Councilman Jim Kennedy pushed for the move during Tuesday night’s meeting, just hours after Chalice organizers sued the city and the California Bureau of Cannabis Control over their refusal to issue permits needed for the event.

Chelsea Lewis of Sacramento shares a smoke with Michael Carpenter at the 2017 Chalice festival, held at the San Bernardino County fairgrounds. (Sarah Alvarado, Special to The Cannifornian)

The festival has been held at the fairgrounds in Victorville since 2016 without incident. But state regulators say California laws that kicked in Jan. 1 require organizers to get permission from local authorities before they can get a state permit for cannabis consumption and sales during events at public fairgrounds.

Victorville officials have so far refused to offer permission. And prior to Tuesday night they had voted against even discussing the issue in public, triggering an editorial in the local newspaper headlined “Chalice Festival deserves to have its day before city council.”

“Three of us were criticized for making what appeared to be a close-minded decision two weeks ago without a full airing of the facts,” Kennedy said. “So, in the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to agendize that discussion and ask staff and our police chief to provide all of the information we have about the cost and benefits of those events in the past.”

A report from fairground staff states last year’s event brought $34 million to the area economy with zero public safety incidents.

Discussion on the Chalice festival will take place starting 5 p.m. June 28 in Victorville City Hall, 14343 Civic Drive.