This weekend, several thousand folks from all over the country will descend upon the Gorge Amphitheatre, the iconic and remote music venue that overlooks the Columbia River, for the Sasquatch! Music Festival.
Fans come first for the music, of course, but the reverie that surrounds live shows by acts like LCD Soundsystem, Chance the Rapper, MGMT — be it in the sprawling campgrounds or on the festival grounds itself — comes in a close second. With that in mind, we thought we'd check in with GoodBudS, the closest cannabis retailer to the Gorge, to see what a Sasquatch! weekend is like. There are other shops en route to the Gorge from Spokane, like the Grass Station in Ritzville, but GoodBudS is the only shop near the venue.
Located outside the rural community of Quincy about 18 miles from the Gorge, GoodBudS is gearing up for a rush of customers looking to stock up before the festival. For many of them, it'll be their first experience with Washington's recreational cannabis market.
"We get a lot of Canadian travelers [before Sasquatch!]. Canada is a little more lax, but it's not legal," says Sarah May, the manager at GoodBudS. "It's a really nice crowd. It's fun to just talk and just explain, and be a good example of what legal marijuana looks like."
The lead-up to a big show at the Gorge makes for a festive time at GoodBudS, says May. When Dave Matthews Band played last summer, the line was out the door and down the sidewalk. For Sasquatch!, GoodBudS plans to make things equally entertaining with specials on edibles, pre-rolls and variety packs of different strains and products, May says. And after you've shopped, the 11 acres of property that GoodBudS sits on serves as a fine resting spot while you wait to set up your caravan to head to the venue.
"We have swing sets and a basketball court, so it's a great meeting spot," says May, adding that the store was once a Seventh Day Adventist school, the irony of which is not lost on her. There's no consuming the product on the premises, of course, but folks are free to hang around and enjoy free bottled water.
When you get to the Gorge, remember that you're not supposed to be using cannabis in public, per Washington state law. And that's the rule that the venue follows.
"Many people now assume they are free to use marijuana following the recent changes in the law. But it is unlawful to open a package containing marijuana, or consume marijuana in view of the general public. A person who violates this law is guilty of a class 3 civil infraction — therefore the use or display of Marijuana at the Gorge is prohibited," says a statement by Live Nation, the entertainment behemoth that manages the Gorge.
If you've been to Sasquatch!, you may have seen Gorge security confiscate cannabis during pat-downs at the gate. You probably haven't seen many festival-goers get popped while discreetly smoking, or popping an edible. Good judgment makes for a good festival. ♦