This week O’Connor Brewing Co. is becoming O’Cannabis Brewing Co.
OBC is teaming up with Virginia NORML to present the very first Legalize Virginia Festival.
“We feel it is so important to support the use of medical cannabis for those suffering from cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, and other diseases and mental health issues,” stated Kevin O’Connor, owner and president of O’Connor Brewing Co. “Anything that can help lessen symptoms and improve the quality of life for those suffering.”
Each night the week of September 18 through 21 will be a different event designed to elevate the conversation about cannabis policy reform in Virginia. These include forums on marijuana and race in Virginia, and what a city like Norfolk can do to be more progressive and proactive about the issue.
“The polls overwhelmingly indicate that the citizens of Virginia are ready for faster progress,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. “We are grateful to the O’Connor family for providing this megaphone for reform. In states across the nation, we are seeing business owners like them step up and lend their voices to help lead the way. We know this is the just the beginning of industry support and community leadership in Virginia.”
On Friday, September 21, OBC will release “YES, NORFOLK CAN(yon)”: a twist on the classic Norfolk Canyon – a quadruple dry-hopped American pale ale brewed with hemp seed.
The event will also feature live glass blowing, local craft vendors, a live DJ yoga class with Sky’s the Limit Yoga and DJ Kenny Murray, and more. The wildly popular NOMARAMA Munchie Market will be on hand, with numerous local food innovators present, including Chip Chop, a new fry pop up; a new concept by Pendulum called Pearl; S’mores Amore; and Steel Spade Gelato.
The event runs from 3pm to midnight. Entry is free.
“This year the General Assembly unanimously passed a new law allowing for regulated production and expanded use of medical cannabis in the Commonwealth,” said Pedini. “We are at the very beginning of both a new industry and a new force of healing in Virginia. It is only fitting that we throw a big party to celebrate this year’s win, and get people who believe in reform ready for more big changes to come next year.”
A portion of proceeds of Legalize Virginia Festival benefit Virginia NORML, the organization leading the way toward marijuana law changes in the Commonwealth. At the 2019 General Assembly, Virginia NORML will be lobbying for both a decriminalization bill, and an expansion of the current medical cannabis laws.
“Doctors should be given permission and freedom to prescribe the best treatment for their patients – including cannabidiol oil, ” added Penny O’Connor, the brewery’s Chief Marketing Officer and VP.
States with medical marijuana laws are seeing stark drops in opioid overdose fatalities, opioid-related hospitalizations, and opioid use and dependency, while states implementing regulated marijuana industries are enjoying millions of dollars in new tax revenue streams. A healthier, greener, more economically robust Virginia is coming our way. Legalize Virginia Festival is meant to be a springboard to that day.
7-8pm Equity and Expungement: Talking Marijuana and Race in Virginia
Topics addressed will include the disparity in arrest rates among white Virginians and Virginians of color, the expungement of marijuana offense records, and how the brand new regulated cannabis industry in Virginia can best benefit all, including those that have been the victim of the War on Drugs.
Serving on the panel will be:
– Joe Dillard, president of the Norfolk chapter of the NAACP
– Bill Farrar, director of public policy and communications for the ACLU of Virginia
– Wanda Cooper, owner of The Cooper Law Firm, attorney who specializes in expungements, restoration of rights, and criminal defense
8-9pm Entering the Marijuana Industry in Virginia
Join the Virginia Cannabis Industry Association and Virginia Cannabis Group for an overview of how the marijuana industry will be developing in the Commonwealth now that legal dispensaries are on the way.
Virginia Cannabis Group is the foremost expert on the cannabis industry in Virginia. They assist businesses with obtaining licensing, government regulations, and more.
7-8pm Can Norfolk Legalize Marijuana?
Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, so no, Norfolk cannot legalize marijuana. But there are things that municipalities in Virginia can do to lessen the impact of the war on cannabis from now until prohibition ends.
Serving on the panel will be:
– City Councilperson Andria McClellan
– Norfolk Commonwealth Attorney Greg Underwood
– Virginia NORML executive director Jenn Michelle Pedini
8-9pm Activist School: Becoming a Kick Ass — and Majorly Effective — Marijuana Reform Advocate
Learn how to be the change you want to see in the world with Virginia’s leading marijuana policy reform expert, Jenn Michelle Pedini. She will walk you through the best way to use your time, talent, and resources to help move this issue forward in the Commonwealth. Topics discussed will include how to talk to your elected officials, what effective communication looks like, and how to organize to multiply influence and impact.
8-9pm Growing What’s Good: How to Grow Hops…. and Theoretically Also Hemp
Learn about the botany, the best time and place to grow, and more about these amazing plants that have long histories in the Commonwealth.
Jenn Michelle Pedini
3pm- 12am Legalize Virginia Festival + Yes We Can(yon) Release Party
Featuring NOMARAMA Munchie Market, independent vendors, the beer release, DJs, dance party, a pop up yoga class with Sky’s The Limit Yoga @ 7pm, and a bunch of fun surprises.
Grab your Legalize Virginia T-shirt here.