49th Earth Day Sees Green, Some Cannabis Businesses Strut Stuff

At the first Earth Day almost half a century ago, not many “green” companies could be found and certainly no cannabis-related enterprises.   

The 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill greased the wheels for the nation’s annual Earth Day events and prompted Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council to stage this year’s April 26 to 28 festival at Alameda Park, which drew up to an estimated 36,000 people under mostly gloomy skies.   

About a dozen years ago, some Santa Barbara-area business observers still discounted the notion that green enterprises were serious commercial endeavors and that cannabis would remain an underground economy.   

However, most of that has changed and Earth 2019 was a showcase of ideas that are California trends that usually lead the nation. The latest trend stems from California voters’ 2016 approval of a referendum that legalize recreational marijuana.   

Earth Day food vendors sell products that contain locally grown and sustainably produced ingredients. Many of the foods are vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, organic, non-GMO, fair trade, paleo or GPC verified. Cannabis companies are required by the state to make products that are organic and toxin free. 

A new product was debuted at the festival: Crushtabs, “the healthiest toothpaste on Earth” from https://www.crushtabs.com/ Santa Barbara’s Be Well Labs. It’s a little bear-shaped product that can be chewed with tooth-brushing-like effects.

For the first time, Coastal Dispensary staffed a booth at Earth Day 2019, right next to four-year festival veteran AquaViable, which sells machines that make water from air.   

When it plans to open in July, Coastal Dispensary will sell a full line of cannabis products at its 1019 Chapala St. location.    

In the near future, Coastal plans to open shops in Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Goleta, Pasadena, Riverside and Chula Vista.   

To some folks’ disappointment, local favorite Handlebar Coffee Roasters was supposed to join with Santa Barbara-based Sugar Mill Farms to offer samples of the region’s only homegrown cannabidiol, CBD-fueled, nitro cold brew beverage during this year’s Earth Day Festival.  

However, county health officials put the kybosh on that notion. It’s unclear when Handle Bar and Sugar Mill will be able to serve up their CBD brew. 

Sugar Mill Farms sells CBD-infused edibles that contain almost none of the marijuana active ingredient THC. The CBD in the coffee that wasn’t served is a non-psychotropic extract from U.S.-grown and processed hemp. One 12-ounce serving has 25 milligrams of CBD extract, which is said to be therapeutic.   

Ironically, it is legal to grow marijuana in California, but not hemp, which is raised in states such as Kentucky. Cannabis products are illegal under federal law, but legal in some form in within the boundaries of 33 states.  

Santa Monica-based Vital Hemp had a booth at Earth Day 2019 where the company touted its cannabis clothing and tinctures.   

Earth Day’s Green Car Show seems includes showcase more alternative fuel vehicles each year. It’s always a popular electric vehicle showcase. 

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