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.
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has announced that a number of United States agencies have come on board to assist citizens with voter education as part of the electoral process.US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann LynchOn the sidelines of an event on Friday, she indicated that United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and other agencies agreed to lend support after requests were made by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).“The State Department and USAID is providing assistance, primarily towards voter education, both in Georgetown and along the coast, but also in the hinterland. This is a very important part of the process and we’re thrilled that GECOM invited us in to assist. We’re aiding and assisting as best as we can,” the diplomat told reporters.GECOM Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette SinghUSAID was independently established by the US Federal Government, primarily for the purpose of administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.Meanwhile, a number of international observers have applied to scrutinise the entire electoral process in the lead up to and after the March 2, 2020 Regional and General Elections. After some delay, a number of international observers have been approved to ensure that the 2020 elections are free, fair and credible.Chairwoman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh had shared that the Commission welcomes the international observers, noting that they are critical to the process.In September, officials from the Carter Center would have visited to gain perspective on Guyana’s situation. Following a meeting with the Attorney General, Basil Williams, the Center’s Associate Democracy Programme Director, Brett Lacy told reporters that the organisation is trying to get the various perspectives of the current situation.“I can say from the Carter Center, we are really just here to listen and we are hoping to meet with different actors to understand everyone’s perspective on current events here in Guyana,” Lacy had said.Shortly after, the team met with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo where many matters were discussed, including the “conduct of elections, credible elections and early elections”. He had also facilitated discussions with the ABCE Chief of Missions which included Ambassador Lynch; Deputy British High Commissioner, Ray Davidson; Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee and Deputy Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Guyana, Philippe Coessens.GECOM also confirmed that the European Union (EU) would be fielding an observer team for the polls. Government nominated Commissioner, Charles Corbin was quoted as saying, “The EU team visited. They have engaged with the Government. And they have indicated they’re prepared to mount an observer mission. And basically, they have been engaging with other stakeholders in Guyana.”