The Terptown Throwdown - A Summertime Celebration of East Coast Cannabis Culture

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East coast cannabis, art, and music lovers, get ready to Throwdown with the Beard Bros!

The Terptown Throwdown is less than a month away and Bill & Jeff Levers of Beard Bros. Pharms will be there at the Spencer Fairgrounds in Spencer, Massachusetts on July 6th for the first summertime music, art, & cannabis awards festival in the state’s history.

That’s right – the Bros are hopping on a flight back east to witness the first annual Terptown Throwdown in person and to take part in the daylong celebration of all things cannabis.

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A full century after becoming the first state in the U.S. to criminalize the recreational use of cannabis, Massachusetts voters flipped the script in 2016 and elected to legalize the adult rec use of the plant once again. Since then, the state has seen a boom in their green economy and a long overdue opportunity for some of the grassroots players who laid the foundation for it all to come out of the shadows a bit.

Much like the early days of The Emerald Cup here in Cali, The Terptown Throwdown is a celebration of that rebel spirit. From coast to coast, as cannabis clashes with capitalism, culture will become a valuable commodity and the founders of this event may not be rolling in cash, but they are flush with street cred and hard knocks experience.

An art and music festival at its core, the Terptown Throwdown is the brainchild of two men named Phil Hardy and Keith Kerrigan, both longtime operators in the east coast cannabis scene who decided to use their influence to create a festival to recognize the culture surrounding the home cannabis grower and to encourage and educate more people on this fundamental right.

We say “fundamental right”, but the fact is that many states are trying to enact cannabis reform without including this non-negotiable plank and Massachusetts residents should take advantage of the right. As Terence McKenna once said:

Hardy has worn several hats in his role of helping to advance the cannabis movement on the east coast. A disciple of our late, great friend and mentor Mickey Martin, Hardy worked at the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis – the first such campus on the east coast. He founded his own successful company, The Hardy Consultants, and played a major role in transforming the Boston Freedom Rally into the large scale event that it is today. It was during that informative time of playing puppetmaster at the Freedom Rally that Hardy says he soaked up the essential knowledge now being employed to make the Terptown Throwdown the region’s next deep-rooted tradition.

His co-founder, Kerrigan, an Irish immigrant with a brogue so dank you could get the whole crew blazed off of it, has been in-country for just six years but has steadily worked his way through the ranks of the underground scene to emerge as the Yin to Hardy’s Yang, providing a perfect balance between the two personalities.

Anytime one attempts to take on a task of this size, to do something that has never been done before, they will have certain motivations that drive them. For Kerrigan, that push comes from his children. As he strives to create a better life for them here in a new country, they’ve been burdened with health complications that no father should have to watch their daughter struggle with.  But, like his strong little one, Kerrigan perseveres and his passion for the upcoming event shines.

Kerrigan lights up when he talks about the educational aspect of the event which will feature indoor seminar talks throughout the day from some of the industry’s biggest players. Joining the Beard Bros. in those efforts will be Fabian from TG Genetics and the Propagating Purpose Podcast, Suny Cheba, Nick Tanem/Nikka T, Jenn Doe, Bobby Nuggz, Homegrown Natural Wonders, Doghouse 420, Dan from Rebel Grown, and more!

Although all intake, judging, and testing was done offsite, the day’s events will include an award ceremony recognizing the best entries for Flower, Solvent Extracts, Solventless Extracts, Edibles, Topicals, and Best CBD Product. Massachusetts is swimming in fire rosin these days so it will be interesting to see what the competitors bring to the table.

Including live art demonstrations, there will be over 100 vendor booths onsite as well as food, drinks, and plenty of water. Live music will also be in full effect all day long, culminating with legendary reggae band The Movement headlining at 9:00pm.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

For some of you reading this from California, it all might sound a little familiar but for our brothers and sisters fighting for their rights on the east coast, the fact that the Terptown Throwdown is happening at all is a major accomplishment.

First, consider that the town of Spencer has bucked state law and passed its own local ban on commercial cannabis activity. They are leaving a lot of money on the table by shunning lucrative legal dispensaries and the tax revenue they could generate so they’re clearly not the most weed friendly municipality. In fact, a request for a “glass art” show looking to take over the Fairgrounds in late June was denied by the city’s Board of Selectmen who said that the show was “very clearly a marijuana event” and that “Spencer isn’t Woodstock, nor do we want it to be”.

Still, Hardy and Kerrigan plead their case that while the powers that be in Spencer  have the right to ban commercial cannabis activity, state law still allows Spencer residents and all Massachusetts residents to grow their own cannabis at home and that their event would be focused on promoting that culture and not social consumption or swap meet style sales.

Operating on a severely stunted timeframe and up against an anti-cannabis Board, Hardy and Kerrigan defied the odds and gained approval for their event earlier this year, giving them just a few short months to pull it all off.

So yes, to answer the question that is surely on everyone’s mind right now – this will be a “non-consumption” event. That is the current state law and the Terptown Throwdown will abide by it. Now, technically, those are the rules at the state’s Freedom Rally each year as well and each year endless amounts of weed gets smoked onsite with little repercussion. The organizers of Terptown Throwdown are doing all they can to promote a legal, safe, environment but chances are some terps will be thrown down.

Another odd rule in Massachusetts, but one that is slowly moving in the right direction, is how cannabis brands are allowed to display their products at an event like this. Up until this year, no products that contained any THC could be physically displayed onsite. So at a similar event you’d see floods of CBD and lots of imagery but not much actual weed. That has changed this year and now, although cannabis vendors still cannot sell their products directly to the public at the event, they can now at least show off jars full of THC-laden buds and oils to help build their brand.

Whether you are a resident of the state of Massachusetts or if you are just planning to visit, adults 21 years old and up are allowed to possess up to one ounce of dried cannabis buds on their person at any time. A quick trip to a dispensary will ensure you are not empty handed since sales and trades of weed at the event will be prohibited.

With a long-term plan for strengthening and building the cannabis culture on the east coast, the founders of the Terptown Throwdown are wise to bring some of the brightest minds from the west and the Beard Bros. are very proud to be a part of this trailblazing event.

Do not let the “non-consumption” label keep you away. If all you consume on July 6th is the plethora of knowledge, the amazing live music, and the positive vibes, you’ll walk out of there high as a kite.

Are you down to Throwdown? We’ll see you in Spencer!