The Harvest cannabis and music festival slated for Oct. 16 was canceled at the last minute due to what the event holder said was pressure from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.
Just two days before the event, the Pozo Saloon restaurant and festival grounds outside of Santa Margarita posted on its Facebook page that The Harvest would be canceled due to “conditions beyond their control and pressures from the SLO County Sheriff’s Department.” The post also said Pozo Saloon was told its Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) license would be revoked and it would be assessed fines and penalties for “cannabis related activities on the property.”
In addition to music from Bay Area rapper E-40, and a handful of other acts, Pozo was also set to host a cannabis VIP lounge that would have allowed sampling and use of cannabis products, a dab station, and glass blowing demonstrations. It was an all-ages festival, but a Proposition 215 medical marijuana card was required for entrance into the VIP lounge. The Harvest would have been the second festival of its kind on the Central Coast.
Tony Cipolla, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office, said the post wasn’t accurate. Although, the department did give Pozo Saloon “a courtesy call notifying them that their ABC license would be in jeopardy,” Cipolla said it was because the saloon did not have the correct permits for cannabis products on the festival grounds.
“It was up to the owner to cancel the event,” Cipolla said.
Levi Beanway, who operates the saloon, said the wording of their social media post may not have been the best way to announce the festival cancellation. There were a few other factors that went into the cancellation of the show, “weather conditions and a few artists weren’t being fully committed to coming due to the weather,” he said.
House of Holistics, a medical marijuana delivery service, was providing The Harvest with its VIP lounge and cannabis products. Owner Helios Dayspring said one of the main reasons the event was canceled was because Pozo did not have dispensary permits to have products on the festival grounds. He said there was no disrespect from the Sheriff’s Office. “They set the regulations, and as a business owner I wasn’t willing to put my business at risk or another local business at risk, the saloon,” Dayspring said.
He and Beanway had several meetings to find solutions to the restrictions and possible lack of artists but reluctantly had to cancel the show.
“There aren’t many avenues in the Central Coast to entertain our customers and give back to our customers,” Dayspring said.
Dayspring said he and Beanway will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Office as they want to create a comfortable environment for this growing community.