Since 2014, the Chalice Festival has celebrated music and marijuana in Southern California. In 2018, the gathering will become the first such festival to allow recreational marijuana to be purchased on site from legal vendors. Slated to take place at the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds in Victorville, CA, from July 13th to 15th, Chalice Festival will feature performances by Bassnectar, Ludacris, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Sizzla Kalonji, Curren$y, Cut Chemist, Pharcyde, and Thriftworks. While past events have catered to medical marijuana users and paraphernalia aficionados, this year’s event will allow on-site marijuana consumption and purchases for adults aged 21 and older. “On-site product vendors will be on hand to take advantage of the post-prohibition reality that legally mashes up recreational cannabis products with the large-scale music festival concept,” representatives from the festival reportedly said in a press release.Of course, the event will also showcase plenty glassblowers, hash makers, and street artists—just as it has since 2014. However, another thing that will set this year’s Chalice apart is the size. While the debut event drew 5,500 people to the fest, organizers are preparing for a crowd of at least 45,000 to show up in July.Voters in California approved a marijuana legalization initiative back in November of 2016, but the legal changes didn’t go into effect until January 1st, 2018. Once that happened, festival organizers around the state became eligible to apply for permits that allow them to host events where marijuana can be legally sold, smoked, and otherwise consumed, provided those events take place in one of 80 authorized county fair or district agricultural association properties in the state (such as the San Bernadino County Fairgrounds).Chalice has always been a marijuana-centric festival, so it’s no surprise that organizers have jumped at the chance to take advantage of California’s new approach to recreational marijuana. It’s a stark contrast with other Golden State festivals like Coachella, which won’t even allow attendees to bring their legally-acquired marijuana out to the festival grounds, let alone purchase it on site. “We’re expecting fifty to sixty thousand people this year, no exaggeration,” Chalice Founder Doug Dracup told Cannabis Now. “You know this isn’t just an opportunity for me, brands are bringing their A-game to really be seen and get put on the map. There are people coming from all over the world. For us, it’s just a crazy opportunity to show everybody what a legal cannabis festival looks like.”Tickets for the 2018 Chalice Festival are now on sale. Attendees must be 21 or older to enter the festival grounds.
ON DECEMBER 5 the Mexican government accepted a US$1·4bn bid from Transportación Ferroviaria Mexicana for the 50 year concession to operate the Ferrocarril del Noreste (RG 12.96 p805). TFM will also pay 0·5% of net operating income in each of the first 15 years and 1·5% for the remainder. There is also an option for a 50 year extension.Three groups were shortlisted to submit final bids on November 29: the TFM joint venture of Kansas City Southern Industries (51%) and Transportaciónes Maritimas Mexicanas SA (49%); ICA, backed by Union Pacific; and Grupo Mexico with US short line South Orient. A fourth grouping of Grupo Olmeca, GEC Alsthom and SNCF was eliminated. TFM’s final bid was nearly three times that of its two rivals. KCSI President & CEO Landon Rowland described the 4000 km Noreste, which moves 40% of Mexico’s rail freight, as the ’premier railway property in the world to be privatised.’ It links Mexico City with the ports of Lazaro Cardenas, Veracruz and Tampico, and the US border towns of Matamoros and Laredo. He said ’it is a powerful link to the most essential railroad market’, whilst Veracruz alone handles 25% of Mexico’s total freight.TFM General Director Mario Mohar said the company plans to invest US$700m over the first five years of the concession, including US$200m in the first year. Most will go on locos, rolling stock and communications systems, and on expanding capacity to handle the projected traffic growth and create an intermodal network. TFM expects an annual rate of return of 18% to 20%.KCS is to take over neighbouring US regional Gateway Western, which links Kansas City and and Springfield, Illinois, and has trackage rights into Chicago. Along with joint ownership of the Texas-Mexican Railway, this gives KCS a corridor from Chicago to Mexico City. oKey facts: