Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass Cannabis Education Coalition hosts 29th Extravaganja in Greenfield

Extravaganja returns after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19
Liesel Nygard / Daily Collegian.
Liesel Nygard / Daily Collegian.

GREENFIELD — The University of Massachusetts Cannabis Education Coalition (CEC) held its 29th Extravaganja on April 15 to celebrate and educate about the legalization of recreation and medical use of cannabis in Massachusetts. This was CEC’s first time hosting at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

This year’s Extravaganja marked the event’s return following a two-year hiatus during COVID-19. CEC President Liz Mawrey, a junior English major said this was her first time organizing the event. “We’re really happy to be back [and] it’s really great to have this community and the energy is really great,” she said.

Mawrey said 2,500 free tickets were reserved this year for all ages. Around 70 vendors were present, including local artists selling anything from crystals and THC shirts to candy edibles and colorful glass bongs with animal faces on them.

Liesel Nygard / Daily Collegian.

Vendors sold food like gyros and fried dough, which many attendees lined up for while smoking their blunts. People danced in front of the Blunt Park Stage while bands including Sunset Creatures and Reservations at 8 performed.

In the Roundhouse building, Robert Jeffrey and his team from the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition (MassCann) had an education village. Jeffrey explained that the organization is a nonprofit that travels across Massachusetts to educate and help “change and reform cannabis laws [while] also advocating for updating House bills that are in Congress now.”

Jeffrey added that MassCann attended Extravaganja to educate people on cannabis and “what it has done for the human body and society.”

“These people are a big f****** deal to be real with you,” said Mawrey about MassCann. She explained that MassCann organized the Boston Freedom Rally, the second largest rally for cannabis in the U.S., after the Seattle Hempfest. When asked if she personally got MassCann to attend Extravaganja, Mawrey nodded with a grin.

Secretary of the CEC Emma Comeau, a junior natural resource conservation major, said this was her first Extravaganja.

“[Organizing] it was pretty difficult,” Comeau said. “We’ve been working on it for a few months because it’s the first one in a while we kind of had to start from scratch…But I think it went well…and it’s going to give us a better base for next year.”

Comeau said she joined the CEC when she transferred to UMass last year and “ended up really liking it” because “everyone in the club was really welcoming.”

In the 21-and-over section, vendors such as Hadleaf Dispensary, Heirloom Collective, RedCardinal and Patriot Care had tents set up for selling their products.

Liesel Nygard / Daily Collegian.

The Heirloom Collective, a dispensary in Bernardston and Hadley, showcased its products while telling customers about its “4/20 deals.”

“We’re just super excited to be here at Extravaganja today,” said Angelo Mazzella, who works in the retail location in Bernardston. “We’re happy to see a bunch of new faces and some familiar faces as well, and we’re excited to help kind of educate Massachusetts on what the future of cannabis is looking like.”

Healing Hemp CBD sold blunts and different types of paraphernalia such as bowls.

Alex Cohen, manager of Healing Hemp CBD said their business is “farm to table and we basically grow our CBD products and provide them to our local community.”

“We pride ourselves [on] making all our products,” Cohen said. “We do an all no-till organic approach, and we use river fed water to grow.”

For most of the event, the sky was clear. At around 6:30 p.m., 30 minutes before the end of the event, incoming storm clouds caused vendors to begin packing up and either leaving the fairgrounds or moving their tents and items to the Roundhouse.

Liesel Nygard / Daily Collegian.

Before packing up for the day and going home to Boston, James Davis, the co-founder of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, attended Extravaganja to teach people about microdosing and “how it can relegate depression and PTSD when it’s done in a setting that’s supportive and focused on relaxing,” he said.

Davis said the community group has decriminalized psychedelic plants in Amherst, Northampton, Easthampton, Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has “filed the furthest reaching legislation to liberate these medicines nationwide.”

“We’re just creating a community space for people to talk about these incredible, incredible plants,” Davis added.

Greenfield may continue to be the future spot for Extravaganja, according to Liz Mawrey. “That’s the plan hopefully,” she said. “We’re excited for next year.”

After speaking, Mawrey examined the blunt in her hand. “I need a spark.”

 Liesel Nygard can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @LieselNygard.

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