The latest Ganja event for 2018 took a bold step by being the first to occupy such a well-known venue. Just 30 mins from UWI, and a short walk from Utech – home of the Ganja labs grow house. Scarce Commodity’s scarce festival was held at hope Gardens in Kingston Jamaica and of course Keef Magazine had to be there. The venue quickly filed with students from both campuses who seemed all too eager to participate in the goings on. The event boasted a wide variety of buds and businesses. Some we have met before like Kap Soma who produced cannabis capsules as potent as the herb itself, and Gorilla Buds, a crowd favourite known for their high grade herbs. A new company was spotted in the grassy park, their black tent a heavy contrast against the green and white landscape making them near impossible to miss. This was Tweed a Joint venture between the Canadian giant canopy growth and Grow House. They came out, introduced themselves to the cannabis landscape. We hope to be seeing a lot more of them in the future. Tweed is a medical cannabis company that will specialize in oils, resin, an even sale of the cannabis flower. Another collab was between Cartier Constraints and local company strain vault. Their booth showcased lovely terpenes, as aromatic as they were potent. Evergrow, a horticultural supplier was a key sponsor for the event. H&L Agro also made an appearance, being the second horticultural supplier to take an interest in these cannabis events.
The early afternoon sun couldn’t outshine the hot embers of lit spiffs that helped make the grounds festive and buzzing with life. It seems Kingstonians really like their Ganja. Art, jewellery, food and herb poured life into the venue; as every booth grew more and more packed with an unending flow of patrons – very different clientele from the usually Rastafarians, and tourists that populated Roots Fest and even Stepping High. This crowd was more youthful, energetic, quite unlike any of the other events we have been to. It was a friendly atmosphere, filled with chatter and laughing against the background of Chronixx and Sizzla tracks booming through the speakers. The event was already a success in my book. The evening went on. Skate boarders, a now booming subculture in the Kingston landscape, were represented in full force.
A mix of subcultures seemed more than appropriate for such an event. A good demonstration of how this Herb can bring people from different walks of life together. It created a new face for Ganja. One that hasn’t had the lime light before, in Jamaica. Amidst the Rastafarian roots that almost correlated with the plant, it is easy to overlook the budding youth. Whether by design or by default, Hope Gardens became a flurry of excitement as young adults entailed sampling edibles, under careful supervision, as everyone I spoke with kept emphasizing dosage amounts and how much is safe. As well as, learning about terpenes, and the possibilities that cannabis holds for us as a people, and as a nation.
I will admit I was excited to see more people my age while on duty. In contrast to the elders who usually occupy these Ganja festivals. I guess we could call it Ganja in the 21st century. Not much is said about the ‘youthie’ subculture that embraces Ganja. And since only medical marijuana is legal in Jamaica, their interests in ganja may go unnoticed for quite some time until we move forward. However without a doubt, the patrons gave the event a fresh and lively feel that could not be overlooked. Chatter filled the open field, and the music was not too loud to discourage conversation (something other events should consider paying attention to). The booths were constantly packed, and there was never a dull moment. Guest speaker DR Lakisha Jenkins, gave a wonderful presentation encouraging us not to sit idly by, but to take part in the building of the Ganja industry. Scarce commodity has unlocked a new avenue for Ganja festivals, whether by accident or purpose, by acknowledging the young adults who have an interest in the Ganja industry. They have set a new fire in the realm of Ganja festivals and created sparks in a few minds. Without a doubt Scarce Festival, although relatively new to the Ganja scene, was very well received. I am just sorry about missing last year’s event, but I look forwards to the one next year. And for those of you who still haven’t been to it. It really is a must see!
See you at Scarce Festival 2019!