High times are ahead at central Illinois’ initial cannabis festival.

It has been four years since Illinois legalized recreational cannabis. Since then, there has been a significant increase in events that cater to cannabis sales and consumption. However, it is worth noting that none of these events have taken place south of Interstate 80.

This April will bring about a significant change.

A team of professionals from the cannabis industry has come together to organize the inaugural cannabis-friendly festival in central Illinois. This unique event will be held at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Lincoln, and promises to offer a themed experience for all attendees.

According to Tiffany Jackson, a co-founder of the cannabis consulting firm Sour Diesel Group, industry professionals believe that the area is long overdue for its own festival.

“It’s something we’ve been thinking about for a few years now,” Jackson mentioned during an interview. “We couldn’t help but notice the disparity: there are countless events and festivals taking place in the Chicago area, they’re everywhere. However, when it comes to central Illinois, there is a significant absence of festivals and opportunities for 420-friendly activities.”

On Saturday, April 20, Sour Diesel Group and its partners are set to launch the 420 Illinois Festival, aiming to bring about a change.

According to Jackson, with the cannabis industry expanding and gaining more acceptance, it became essential for central Illinois to establish its presence. He emphasized the need to be recognized and acknowledged in the growing industry.

Jackson explained that there was some initial opposition, but ultimately, the county fairgrounds in Lincoln was selected as the festival venue. This decision was primarily based on its close proximity to a dispensary she co-owns, called Mystic Greenz, as well as Illinois’ largest cultivation center, which is owned by Cresco Labs.

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“We have always aimed to nurture this partnership,” Jackson explained. “With the recent opening of our brand new dispensary in Lincoln, we are excited to bring this same level of enthusiasm and energy to the community. Our goal is to keep the momentum going in Lincoln.”

The festival will showcase a diverse range of attractions, including live music, food trucks, and vendors. Among the vendors are representatives from the cannabis industry who have exciting plans to distribute goody bags filled with free samples. Over 40 vendors have already confirmed their participation in the event.

Attendees will have the chance to partake in on-site cannabis consumption, including smoking, vaping, and other methods. According to Jackson, this aspect of the festival initially faced resistance but organizers were successful in addressing concerns by implementing security measures and designating a specific area for consumption.

Only individuals who are 21 years of age or older will be eligible for admission.

According to Jackson, the aim of the event is to recreate the peaceful energy of Woodstock, but with a more laid-back and responsible vibe. He assures that there will be ample security measures in place to ensure that the event remains contained to one area and that attendees won’t be freely roaming around. The organizers are taking careful oversight to maintain a controlled environment.

Tickets for the 420 Illinois Festival can be purchased through Eventbrite. The festival is scheduled to take place for one day, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. However, Jackson, one of the organizers, humorously mentioned that this ambitious group has grand plans for the future.

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“We have big plans to expand it every year,” she enthusiastically expressed. “For this year, we initiated with just one day. However, we are aiming to extend it to two or three days for the upcoming year. Who knows, maybe it will eventually become as grand as Burning Man? The possibilities are endless. We are filled with immense excitement as we are always keen on pioneering events: Mystic Greenz was the pioneer dispensary in Lincoln, the first in Decatur, and now we have successfully organized the first festival in central Illinois. We are gradually leaving our mark on the community.”

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