SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -Droves are celebrating this holiday weekend, and it’s not just Easter. The unofficial holiday for marijuana smokers, 4-20, falls on the same day Sunday. A South Lake Tahoe music and cannabis festival scheduled for 4-20 was forced to make a last minute decision move to Reno after a permit dispute Tuesday.
For two weeks, South Lake Tahoe City Council and Tahoe Wellness Co-Op founder, Cody Bass, went back and forth on temporary activity permits. Ultimately, the permit requests were nipped in the bud twice, even as alternative locations were proposed by both parties.In a 41 page document,
the city addressed concerns regarding the 4th annual TWC 4-20 Cup, a music festival and competition for medicinal users to try 42 different strains of marijuana. Among their concerns: violations of marijuana dispensary ordinances, adequate parking, and impact on neighboring businesses that did not support the event, even though it would take place on private property.
“What we did not see from the application material was that level of planning and organization that would be required for an event,” says Director of Developmental Services, Hillary Roverud.
An estimated 1,500-2,000 people were expected to attend the event, and the city believed an application for a special event and months of advanced planning would have been more appropriate.
Bass tells News 4 the decision came as surprise, since the event was successful in years past.
"We've done this for three years and never had a single documented complaint, or any kind of problems that was brought to us until about the first of April," he says.
The city says there were numerous noise complaints, and permit violations, such as blocking fire lanes. The police chief recommended the permit be denied for likely misdemeanor activities that could take place.
"There's no way that we can go wade into a group of a thousand people many of which are smoking marijuana and take enforcement action in that setting. We would be launching into a volatile situation without adequate resources to properly deal with that," says South Lake Tahoe Police Chief Brian Uhler.
Bass says he respects the city's decision but the concerns should have been brought to him earlier. His event company will start planning next year's cannabis cup Monday.
The music portion of the festival lives on. The Love of 420 Concert with Julian Marley and The Uprising Band plus many other artists, has been moved to the Knitting Factory in Downtown Reno. Doors open at 8:30 pm tomorrow.
Bass says he's excited to bring the artists to Reno, which is starting to implement new ordinances for medical cannabis.