As I make my way up the waterfront towards the Hawthorne bridge I start noticing a bunch of people sitting in smoke circles scattered all on the grass which lead to a bunch of popped tents and a couple of stages. Then to push out any doubt I would’ve had, I smell beautiful ganja all around me and that’s when I knew I made it! Hempstalk 2015 in Portland, OR right on the waterfront itself (Tom McCall waterfront park to be exact).  Opened for all the public who wished to enjoy (or the occasional jogger who runs through it since it is a public park).

To a lot of people I spoke to this is not one of “the big ones” when it comes to weed festivals, but this was “the big one” for me, being my first official weed gathering I have ever been to.

The environment was awesome: good pothead friendly vibes, and great music from artists of all genres;  every song about the same girl, Mary Jane. It’s what every weed smoker could want!

Even some “big faces” in the marijuana community (such as Paul Stanford the founder of The Hemp & Cannabis Foundation, THCF Medical Clinics, and the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp) coming up to the main stage and speaking on marijuana and the progress of legalization.  Hosted by the hilarious Ngaio Bealum in his super green suit in between it all. Ironically no smoking of Marijuana was allowed and the Police patrolling made sure that rule was enforced. Yeah, a little bummer that was.

I learned that when I sat in front of the main stage to listen to a great bluegrass band play and I pulled one of my pre-rolled Jays out and started smoking it, an older guy seated next to me suggested I “hold it down” (weed talk for “make sure no one sees you puffing that”) and directed my attention to a group of police officers formed by us. That’s when I was told about the rule and that earlier that day there was a small tent up that had rigs inside with free dabs being given out!

They had a bouncer at the front checking IDs because they only allowed 21+. But was taken down fast by the Police. A little detour down the waterfront for a quick bowl hit was all that meant to me. I stood throughout the whole thing. When you have great music playing all which ways with friendly people all around and a sunset going down right on the shore of the small beach that’s right smack in the middle of the whole thing, it was hard to find a reason to leave.

For my first experience and coming from a place where marijuana festivals are not a thing I enjoyed myself tremendously. I met many people who all share a passion for this plant we all love, I got to listen to live music (always a plus in my book), and I even picked up a grinder and nice piece!

Hopefully next year we get to light it up!!



Jimi Nowell

Jimi Nowell is a freelance writer/ Gonzo journalist. He is the founder of the up and coming PLG Company (Peace Love and Ganja). Snapping DOPE pictures of weed and weed smokers, designing clothes, and writing is what I do! Originally from New York, he moved to Oregon at the end of 2015 to start his career in all things Marijuana! Follow him on Instagram @plg_company

One thought on “Hempstalk

  • February 23, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    What a great article! Makes me want to check out next year’s festival. Looking forward to more!


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