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Hempfest says it's a 'go'

The 2008 Hempfest in Seattle.
The 2008 Hempfest in Seattle.

Seattle’s on-again-off-again festival celebrating all things cannabis seems to be on again.

Officials with Seattle Hempfest say they’ve resolved their dispute with the city and the event will be held as scheduled in mid-August at Myrtle Edwards Park. 

The city initially declined to give festival organizers a permit for use of the waterfront park because of a planned construction project. Hempfest filed suit in federal court, and further negotiations with the city resulted in an agreement that allows the annual event to go on.

Festival Executive Director Vivian McPeak said in a release this morning that he's pleased.

We are encouraged that the City recognizes that Hempfest is an important event that is good for Seattle ... The Pacific Northwest is at an important turning point, and this will be the most important Hempfest to date.

This will be the 20th anniversary of what claims to be the world’s largest annual gathering in support of marijuana reform.

Organizers are now faced with booking entertainment and vendors on short notice, as well as dispelling rumors of the event’s demise. The festival is sending out a call for a thousand volunteers to help staff the event on August 19th through the 21st.



Liam Moriarty started with KPLU in 1996 as our freelance correspondent in the San Juan Islands. He’s been our full-time Environment Reporter since November, 2006. In between, Liam was News Director at Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon for three years and reported for a variety of radio, print and web news sources in the Northwest. He's covered a wide range of environment issues, from timber, salmon and orcas to oil spills, land use and global warming. Liam is an avid sea kayaker, cyclist and martial artist.