Listen to a broadcast version of this story.
On July 31, Niles hosted its first ever recreational cannabis festival. And from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. the city’s riverfront park was filled with dispensaries, vendors, live music and people.
The Niles Cannabis Festival had been in the works for several months. Attendees could browse cannabis products from seven dispensaries and even consume them on site in two specially designated areas.
The festival also featured live music and entertainment from five acts, 25 vendors, four food trucks, a gaming area, free water and a photo booth.
George Pitenturf is the head of purchasing at the ReLeaf Center, a medical and recreational dispensary in Niles. He came dressed for the occasion in a suit patterned with marijuana leaves, complete with a tie and matching sunglasses. He said it’s his way of networking.
“I didn’t sew it myself,” he said. “I want people to come up and talk to me. I want people to ask me questions about our dispensary and other people’s dispensaries.”
ReLeaf was selling a variety of cannabis products — including edibles, chocolates, gummies, cartridges and waxes — all grown and made in Michigan.