New York has yet to have had a successful event in celebration of cannabis. There have been a few gatherings that claim to "fight for cannabis legalization" but end up being an unorganized, unprofessional mess. CannaFree NYC unfortunately is one of those events with no purpose - just a waste of time and hard earned money.
For an event held on 4/20, what herbalist would want to attend if they can't smoke? CannaFree was literally that - cannabis free. The venue somehow allowed vendors to set up shop and sell their glass, dab mats and other marijuana paraphernalia however, event goers were not allowed to bring any cannabis related items inside. Security was taking anything from dutches to flowers to edibles and placing them in a cardboard box on the floor. The box was filled with confiscated paraphernalia taken from individuals who purchased advanced tickets for $50. Some still attended the event while many left after losing their 4/20 goodies.
If paraphernalia was not allowed in the venue, there should have been proper signage informing people not to enter the building with it. The lack of informing event goers leads us to believe that the event host or venue (or both) had intentions of confiscating a large amount of marijuana and paraphernalia and keeping it for themselves. Security refused to return items to guests even if they decided to leave it outside or not attend the event at all. If the venue and event hosts were serious about not having illegal activity going on at the event, the confiscated property would have been thrown in the garbage, which was a few steps behind the security check. Instead, everything was placed in a box. (We wonder why..)
As stated before, if paraphernalia was not allowed in the event, then why were vendors allowed to sell glass inside? The venue agreed to make money off of vendors setting up booths and renting out the club to host CannaFree, and they will take all of your weed too! Space Ibiza and CannaFree charged a $50 entrance fee to shop at a few booths where you can't try the products before you buy them or see a demonstration. They strongly recommended that event goers bring money to spend (to put in their pockets), but did not put the same emphasis on the prohibition of cannabis at the event.
To claim that the event was pro-cannabis legalization, but had no speakers, panels or informational segments is absolutely absurd! The event allowed no cannabis inside and had no one advocating for legalization. CannaFree was also held in a nightclub, with DJ Whoo Kid headlining. There's a contrast when you have a party environment yet, you're supposed to be fighting to legalize marijuana.
CannaFree claimed to have special guest appearances from some well known people in the marijuana industry. However, the celebrity names and faces on the fliers continuously changed since the event began being promoted. Charlo Greene was supposed to appear but we were told she couldn't make it due to "some issues." We found out that Charlo was in Denver for 4/20, and so was Ghostfacekillah Killah and Killah Priest of WuTang, who were also supposed to appear. None of these people advertised for CannaFree on their social media accounts either, which leads us to believe that they never agreed to appear. WuGoo was supposedly a sponsor of the event and there was never any advertising on their social media accounts either.
Waka Flocka was added to the appearance list at the last minute and while he was in town, he was advertising his performance at Webster Hall. The cast of VH1's Black Ink Crew should have been there, along with Darnell Rawlings of the Chappelle Show, but neither appeared.
Since security at the front door wanted to confiscate items and give us a hard time, we did not go inside. We will say though, that CannaFree was a waste of a 4/20 in NYC. For those who were not able to get inside, we wish you the best of luck in getting a refund and recommend that any herbalists do not attend this event.
New York still has a long way to go for legalization, and it may be the same for cannabis events as well.