TOKELAND — Tokeland is finally living up to the modern meaning of its name with the inaugural Cannabis Wellness Festival — or “Tokefest,” as the organizers are calling it for short.
Those who live there know the name comes from Chief Toke, a 19th century leader of the Shoalwater Bay Tribe. But visitors often link it to the modern meaning of “toke” — inhaling marijuana smoke.
So a cannabis-related event seemed like a natural fit to Zac Young, who purchased the historic Tokeland Hotel in north Pacific County in April 2018 with his wife, Heather Earnhardt.
“It’s kind of perfect,” he said. “We’ve been thinking of some way to take advantage of that since we bought the hotel.”
Still, don’t let the “Tokefest” moniker fool you: Visitors will not be allowed to smoke weed at the event.
The festival, set for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8, on the hotel grounds, will focus largely on the health benefits of cannabidiol, or CBD — a chemical compound extracted from marijuana plants. CBD is widely used to alleviate pain, anxiety and some other medical conditions; but it does not produce the “high” people can get from smoking the plant’s dried flowerbuds, which are rich in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Young said the concept is generating plenty of interest, and he’s hoping it will become an annual event. “As soon as we tell people what it is, they want to come.”
He said they’ve got “a decent number” of industry professionals committed to participating, including providers from as far away as Olympia and Seattle. He added they were in talks with a couple of “major CBD producers.”
A licensed therapist will be there offering short massages using CBD creams.
“Laura, who works with us, does reflexology. She’s really good,” said Young.
Wood, glass and ceramic art vendors also will be participating. For example, Jeremy Bartheld will be there with a selection of his hand-blown glass pipes and other creations.
Munchies will include burgers, burritos, pastries and shaved ice.
A beer garden will be sponsored by the Astoria-based Fort George Brewery, and there will be live music both days by several local artists.
“It should be a fun weekend — the first cannabis event in Pacific County,” said Sandy Prosser, president of the Tokeland-North Cove Chamber of Commerce.
“What could be more fitting than Tokeland?”