First marijuana festival attracts 200 people

September 2nd, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

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First marijuana festival attracts 200 people

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

and Beth Quimby
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Josh Johnson, a horticultural student at Southern Maine Community College and sales associate at the High Tech Garden Supplies store in Portland, was one of the big hits at Saturday’s medical marijuana festival.

Not only were people lined up to receive a free gift bag stuffed with a lighter, a store catalog and other goodies, they were seeking his advice on how to grow marijuana hydroponically.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it is a great advertising venue,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who recommends a growing medium made of coconut husks, is a medical marijuana patient who grows his own organic cannabis. He and about 200 people showed up for the Atlantic CannaFEST at Deering Oaks park. As soon as the farmers’ market started clearing out, High Hopes, a Boston-area reggae band, struck up.

An occasional whiff of marijuana smoke drifted out from the crowd, and many sported dreadlocks and tie-dyed T-shirts.

The event included a handful of booths; a massage station; several political candidates handing out literature, including Dr. Jill Stein, a Massachusetts physician and Green Party candidate for president; a couple of craft dealers; and, oddly, a single food booth.

Matt Seavy, manager of Mike’s Rock ‘N Roll Sandwiches, said business was steady all day.

“The more their eyes are closed, the more they’re going to order,” Seavy said of his customers. “Everyone that

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