Going Green

What’s cooking at Bellingham Budfest


What: Bellingham Budfest

When: 1 pm Sun., Jul. 14

Where: Zuanich Point Park

Cost: Entry is free


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

After recently deciding to take a break from smoking pot, it didn’t take long to realize my productivity levels for certain household activities had taken a plunge. I was coughing less, but dishes were piling up on the kitchen counter a lot more often, and I wasn’t finding as much meditative joy in spending three hours weeding my garden as I previously had after a few puffs.

One afternoon, while trying and failing to find the juju to enter into an afternoon of heavy-duty yard projects, I remembered I had stashed away a cannabis-infused lollipop gifted to me by an acquaintance last spring. It was homemade—meaning it didn’t have a state-regulated dosage, and had come with a verbal warning to “take ‘er easy”—so I just bit off a small chunk and waited to see what would happen.

Within 30 minutes of ingestion, I was happily mowing the lawn. That chore was followed by the completion of many others, and when dinnertime rolled around, I’d checked most of the pertinent items off of my to-do list. I know I could’ve completed these tasks without the edible enhancement, but I wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun doing so.

A few days later, I came across a reminder from the powers that be at the inaugural Bellingham Budfest that the “lifestyle festival” would be happening Sun., July 14. Closer inspection revealed the event at Zuanich Point Park was about a lot more the freedom to inhale, and that education was a key element of the gathering.

“One of Bellingham Budfest’s main objectives is to educate the general public about all things cannabis-related,” organizers say. “We truly believe that education is the key to ending the stigma and normalizing responsible cannabis use.”

In addition to panels focusing on everything from “Senior Access: Do’s and Don’ts” to “The ABCs of CBD,” “Applying Cannabis Policy at the Local Level,” “Cannabis and Beyond as Therapy,” and “The New Frontier: Media & Marketing in Cannabis,” there will also be live music throughout the day, silent disco, food trucks, opening ceremonies with city officials and political candidates, more than 50 vendor booths, info from local nonprofits, and a Q&A booth with police officers.

Pertinent to my current interests regarding switching from regularly smoking pot to occasionally ingesting it, the festivities will be emceed by Netflix’s Cooking on High star Ngaio Bealum, and there will also be a cooking demo from Vice’s Bong Appetit cannabis contestant, Unika Noiel.

The Seattle-based chef is known for her cannabis-infused soul food, and has made an effort to move beyond the sugar-based focus of many edibles sold at many dispensaries throughout Washington.

“As I started cooking with it, I started to think about various health conditions like diabetes and how most edibles are sweet,” she told the South Seattle Emerald in an interview last year. “I figured out how to infuse things that weren’t necessarily sweet, and it took off from there.”

The recipe she shared with the paper for cannabis-infused watermelon barbecue sauce sounded delicious, and I’m interested to see what other tips she’ll bring to Bellingham Budfest. I may not be smoking right now, but I’m eager to get cooking.

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