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Community Advocacy Organization

420 Cannabis Festival 2021-Defining and Embracing Diversity

Courtesy Photo (L to R) Germaine Redding and Yanice Jackson-Mr. Redding Co-Founder CEP(College Entertainment Productions) talks about taking a dream from "concept to reality", while providing a guided tour for attendees.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the 420 Cannabis Festival(Powered by JARS) This event took place on August 13-14,2021 at Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing Michigan. This was a two-day event of music, harmony, and ingenuity.

I had the opportunity to closely observe this event from start to finish and was impressed with the precision and professionalism of the event. I learned that this was the first official (legal) Michigan marijuana smoker friendly event. I was invited to the event by Promoter Mark King (Co-Founder of CEP College Entertainment Productions) I must admit I wasn’t certain what to expect, but after witnessing the planning and execution of the event, I am convinced the best is yet to come!

Courtesy Photo (L to R) Jay Price, Yanice Jackson and Mark King-A quick photo before Co- founder CEP Mark chats with one of his longtime mentors (Jay Price) before providing a guided tour around festival.

The 420 Cannabis Festival helped me get past the stigma attached to marijuana consumption (of any kind.) I’ve now seen an entirely different side of the cannabis community. I was able to talk with people from all walks of life (Smokers and Non-Smokers) We shared stories about cannabis improving the quality of life for loved ones battling cancer and other illnesses. Some I chatted with shared how they were able to reduce and eliminate use of addictive prescription medications used for pain and anxiety by responsibly consuming cannabis. I was also able to speak to many small business owners from all over the country.

Photo Credit (Yanice Jackson) Local cannabis dispensary talks about sale items with event attendees

I was impressed by the level of professionalism and organization involved with this event. I saw several young black entrepreneurs hold an event, which allowed people observe a culture that isn’t as taboo as some would let on. I engaged with many black vendors and business owners ready to engage the Lansing Community with a fresh perspective. This event left me with the impression that it is okay for people to celebrate their differences instead of shaming them.

Photo Credit (Yanice Jackson) A peek from backstage during Saving Abel performance August 13th.

This was an opportunity for me to see how true diversity and inclusion goes beyond race. As more begin to explore the beauty of being different, communities naturally thrive. So, in closing, I would like to thank the organizers of this event for investing in the Lansing Community. It was great to see others willing to take a chance. Through this event people from various walks of life came together and discovered another dimension of inclusion within Lansing! I hope our community remains open to events celebrating the beauty and power inclusion and not just the mere appearance there of.

Courtesy Photo-Yanice Jackson enjoys her first beverage from Exotic Pops Michigan


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