Cannabis Festival comes to Berks – Reading Eagle

The Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival Fall Marketplace was held Friday and Saturday in Maxatawny Township

Maxatawny Township, PA —

Talk about great timing.

Just two days before the Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival Fall Marketplace kicked off in Maxatawny Township, Gov. Tom Wolf announced his support for legalizing recreational marijuana use in Pennsylvania.

Needless to say, Wolf’s announcement went over well with organizers, vendors and attendees at the festival.

„We got really lucky on that one,” said Jeff Riedy, executive director of Lehigh Valley NORML — National Organization for the reform of Marijuana Laws — one of the festival’s organizers. „It seems to be on everybody’s tongue.”

Chad Schlegal, owner of Althea’s Imaginarium in Kutztown, who was a vendor at the festival, agreed that the timing of Wolf’s announcement was great.

„It empowered a lot of people, I believe, and it makes everyone feel like we’re definitely on the right path,” he said.

The Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival was founded in Scranton in 2015. Its mission is to raise awareness to end cannabis prohibition in Pennsylvania.

The two-day event, which kicked off Friday, was held at Renninger’s Farmers Market along Noble Street. It was the first time the festival was held outside of Scranton.

It featured live musical acts, panel discussions, food trucks and vendors selling everything from pipes to clothing to tapestries to CBD products.

There was also a private medical marijuana lounge where licensed users can sit and medicate.

Schlegal, who opened his shop in 2011, was selling tapestries, glass smoking pipes and other items.

„If there was going to be a cannabis festival, we couldn’t not be involved,” he said.

Also on hand was David Dragonfly, owner of Dragonfly Studio and Gallery in West Reading. A glass artist, Dragonfly makes a variety of glass items, including jewelry, Christmas ornaments and, yes, smoking pipes.

„It’s a great opportunity for the new paradigm shift,” he said. „Things are changing, and it’s positive, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

With other states legalizing recreational marijuana, Pennsylvania legalizing medical marijuana and now Wolf supporting legal recreational marijuana, all agreed that there is definitely momentum for recreational marijuana being decriminalized, perhaps more than at any time in history.

„When Colorado started legalizing, it started a domino effect, and it’s going to keep going until we’re legal,” Schlegal said. „It’s going to happen.”

„Here on the east coast, we’re a little bit behind,” Dragonfly said. „He’s (Wolf) seeing the opportunity to be like New York and New Jersey. I love that he keeps changing his tune.”

While he also sees momentum, Riedy was a bit more cautious with his optimism. Pennsylvania’s legislature is very „stubborn,” he said.

„We have Republicans controlling the House and the Senate, therefore they control every committee and committee chairs,” he said. „Committee chairs decide what is talked about and what is voted on, and they seem to have put their foot in concrete on not talking about any cannabis reform right now.”

Contact Brad Rhen: 610-371-5047 or

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