Silicon Valley Business Journal

Highland Events Celebrates Passage of AB2020

The company co-sponsored the legislation that permits legal cannabis sales at special events

Oct 30, 2018, 12:33pm EDT

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Highland Events, the nation's leading specialist in curating legal cannabis event concessions, sponsorships and activations for music events, festivals, concerts and venues, announced that a bill it co-sponsored, CA AB2020, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill provides for legal sales of cannabis products at specially permitted events.

Under the previous law, the permitting of cannabis sales at special events was very limited, despite the fact that California had legalized the sale and use of cannabis to adults over 21. Event organizers applied for permits to sell cannabis, only to have the applications rejected because of strict limitations placed on local governments. Furthermore, local jurisdictions were not allowed to apply for a temporary sales license for their own events.

AB 2020 provides a common sense, local control solution to this problem. Specifically, the bill allows local governments to grant a temporary license to allow for the purchase and consumption of cannabis at special events held at a venue expressly permitted by a local jurisdiction.

Martin Kaufman, co-founder of Highland Events, said that the bill just makes good sense.

"Cannabis has always been a part of music concerts and events, but up until now it was unregulated and illegal," he said. "AB2020 allows responsible companies to bring safe, tested, and compliant cannabis products to events, where permitted."

Highland Events works with producers of music concerts and festivals to integrate legal cannabis into their events. The company utilizes its vast expertise in regulations and compliance, as well as its proprietary methodologies, to create upscale, one-of-a-kind cannabis experiences that complement an event's brand and attendee demographics.

The Market

According to research from the University of Minnesota, a whopping 48% of people drink alcoholic beverages at sporting events. Beer sales at NFL football games account for over $500,000 in revenue per game. Factoring in all major sports, beer sales at sporting events exceed $1 billion per year, according to Slate magazine.

Music tours grossed over $5.6 billion last year, with over 66 million tickets sold, according to Statista, and is forecast to reach $12 billion within the next 3-years.

The biggest sponsors of music festivals are major beverage companies. Anheuser-Busch InBev has partnered with 31% of U.S. music festivals. Other major sponsors include Pepsico, Coca-Cola, Heineken and Red Bull.

One of the hottest channels for expansion for beverage manufacturers is with cannabis infused drinks.

Coca-Cola, Molson-Coors and Anheuser-Busch InBev are all making news about their interest in the cannabis sector. Constellation Brands has already invested $245 millioninto the sector, according to Bloomberg News.

Recently, Lagunitas Brewing (wholly owned by Heineken), released Hi-Fi, a cannabis-infused beverage developed in partnership with Cannacraft, the nation's leading medical and recreational cannabis manufacturer. 

Industry leaders are predicting that this is just the beginning of what will be one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world.

"Soon, enjoying a low-dose cannabis-infused beverage at a concert will be just as common place as drinking a cold beer at a ball game," Kaufman said.

And in California, that time is already here.

For more information on Highland Events, visit: http://highland.events.

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Katelyn Petersonbatch-2, 2018