National Cannabis Festival
National Cannabis Festival 2021; Credit: Doug Van Sant

National Cannabis Festival at RFK Stadium

Four twenty … two, three, and four, blaze it? Close enough. On these days this April, weed aficionados will flock to D.C. for the sixth annual National Cannabis Festival. This year’s fest is bigger than ever; attractions include a new culinary pavilion and an expanded calendar featuring three days of events. The National Cannabis Policy Summit takes place on Friday, April 22, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Lawmakers and advocates will convene to discuss important cannabis policy issues, addressing financial, environmental, and legal concerns within the industry. The big show is slated for Saturday—an all-day affair at RFK Stadium celebrates progress on cannabis legalization while also calling for an end to its criminalization and the war on drugs. Caroline Phillips is the founder and executive producer of NCF, which is now the largest single-day ticketed cannabis gathering in the U.S. “I’m excited about all of the new experiences we are bringing to the community this year,” Phillips tells City Paper. “I can’t wait for folks to experience all of the programs in our education pavilions, the arts and crafts in the exhibitor fair, and all of the entertainment on the main stage.” Even non-smokers will enjoy the lineup of great musicians, with scheduled performances by Wiz Khalifa, Ghostface Killah, D.C.’s own go-go superstars the Backyard Band, Lettuce, DuPont Brass, Shamans of Sound, Golden Browne, Cramer, and DJ Farrah Flosscett. Headliner Wiz Khalifa is the perfect choice—in addition to being a prolific rapper, he oversees Khalifa Kush, which produces high-quality weed products. On Sunday, festivities move to Echostage for the National Cannabis Championship, an award ceremony that recognizes the best home growers in the mid-Atlantic. The event is sponsored by local connoisseur Joe Tierney, and will feature performances by hip-hop legend Slick Rick and DJ Footwerk. Tierney will also serve as a judge for the highly competitive contest. “I have spent the last six years proselytizing the criteria that will guide consumers to exceptional cannabis through my blog,” he tells City Paper. “Being a judge at NCC represents a culmination of my life’s work and I am honored for the opportunity. Bring on the competition.” The National Cannabis Festival runs from April 22 to April 24. Gates open at noon on April 23 at RFK Stadium, 2400 E. Capitol St. SE. $75. National Cannabis Policy Summit is free with registration; National Cannabis Championship costs $55.